Yankees fans love listening to David Cone in the YES Network booth. He’s the perfect blend of a former player’s know-how as well as a willingness to embrace modern analytics and other tools he never had access to when he was helping lead the way to four World Series titles in five years.
Could there be something more in this game for Cone, though?
As Aaron Boone listlessly leads the Yankees into the second half, seemingly at odds with the roster and beholden to the front office without any feel for why he’s doing what he’s doing, Cone would appear to be a perfect hybrid. That’s why we’ve endorsed him for the managerial position in recent weeks.
Prior to the hiring of Indians guru Matt Blake as pitching coach, though, Cone was in that room, invited by Brian Cashman to interview for the position before the team ultimately went in a different direction.
How close was he? Is there any chance Cone eventually does bolt the booth for a coaching or front office role? Will it be with the Yankees?
Both parties opened up on the proceedings to ESPN’s Andrew Marchand in a long-form piece this week that shed light on whether the Yanks ever will bite the correct bullet and transition Cone to a more influential policy position.
According to this revealing new piece, Cone argued in the room that he’d be able to bring credibility to the position as someone with extensive postseason and big game experience. He even argued that he might be especially effective paired with someone like Matt Blake, supplementing the knowledge of someone who was raised in the modern game.
Cash didn’t disagree — after all, he asked for Cone for a reason — but ultimately settled in a different direction.
"Cashman added he feels like bullpen coach Mike Harkey brings the “been there, done that” experience to the current staff.Both Cone and Cashman agreed Cone did not have experience with the latest technology, like electronic cameras.“I hired a manager who had never managed, so it wasn’t a lack of experience from that aspect,” Cashman says. “It was just a lack of intimate personal knowledge of the new toys that exist in this game today, but he was in the room for a reason because he’s open-minded and obviously comes with a lot of experience on the mound.”Cashman believes there is a place in the game for Cone if he pursues it.“It just comes down to his interest level and his ability to commit,” Cashman says."
We don’t know how Cone feels almost two years after the fact about communicating his mechanical tips directly to pitchers in need (rather than over the airwaves), but he seems to be the exact type of trusted voice this disconnected set of pieces needs. He’s both imbued with the undefinable “Yankees mystique” and has an ever-deepening knowledge of the modern game.
In other words, we’re sure there’s someone else in the front office who could get him properly aligned on electronic cameras.
Whenever we ultimately lose Cone from the booth, it will be based on meritorious service, and he’ll be leaving for a greater opportunity.
We can only hope the stars align and the team’s braintrust eventually realizes that his voice could be exactly what their locker room is missing.