If there’s one thing New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman really wants you to remember about the past 20 years of baseball, it’s that his team was somewhat robbed of a trip to the World Series on one occasion in 2017, thanks to the Astros’ widely acknowledged and basically unpunished cheating system.
Please, for Cashman’s sake, keep screaming about that semi-stolen AL Pennant. Do not focus on the seasons from 2004-2008, 2010-2016 and 2018-2021, whatever you do. If you look too closely at how those seasons ended, it might accidentally reflect negatively on the GM’s work, and we wouldn’t want that.
Well, he wouldn’t.
In speaking with The Athletic this week (subscription required), Cashman confirmed every Yankee fan’s biggest fear: that he still feels slighted enough by Houston’s 2017 run to outwardly accuse them of “illegal and horrific” actions in a Trumpian manner, while still being unable to focus on (and fix) the correctable problems in his own backyard.
Was Cashman incorrect here in his latest emotional outburst? No, of course not. Houston cheated. We’ll never know if they’d won a title without doing so.
But was Cashman trying to deflect from his own failures by shining a light, yet again, on someone else’s team from five years ago? Absolutely.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants you to think about the Astros cheating. Every day.
Where to begin? Most importantly, Cashman has every right to feel slighted by Houston’s advantages, but he’s also got advantages of his own — namely, a massive budget that should be more than enough to put a championship roster on the field. And yet, through pitching missteps, misallocated funds, and trade losses, the Yankees haven’t reached the promised land since 2009.
Cashman wants you to place an asterisk next to his drought because of 2017. It makes far more sense to look right back at him and say, “OK, done. One asterisk and no guaranteed title wins in 13 years. Great. And we’re supposed to not be embarrassed by that?”
Because, after you’ve pumped your fist because your GM gets it and got totally railroaded by Houston, remember:
- The 2017 Dodgers had a better roster than the 2017 Yankees and probably would’ve won a title.
- The 2017 Red Sox got massacred in two Astros home games in the ALDS. Shouldn’t they be more upset than the Yankees?
- The “Yankees Letter,” about to be unsealed, could seal Cashman in a glass house.
- The Yankees barely hit the ball at all in four road games. The pitching actually held up!
Oh, right, and:
5. Cashman extended Aroldis Chapman, acquired Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield, added James Paxton as the “final piece,” extended Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks, traded for Sonny Gray, failed to pull the trigger on 85 other potentially impactful moves, lost the “missing piece” to seven different rivals over the past decade, and single-handedly fueled the Red Sox 2018 title run by dropping the “Do Damage” soundbite.
All of which must’ve been the Astros’ fault, too.