Part of any front-facing job in sports is choosing your words carefully. In New York, that characteristic is perhaps most important because of the unforgiving media and how easily phrases can be spun. Somehow, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, after 25 years on the job, hasn't grasped that concept yet.
While he said nothing but the truth about Giancarlo Stanton and the slugger's injury woes, the delivery was poor and some might say disrespectful. Cashman overlooking the fact he was the one who traded for an expensive, one-dimensional, oft-injured player is the larger problem.
Not only that, but Stanton shares an agent with the second-most prized free agent on the market this offseason in Yoshinobu Yamamoto: Joel Wolfe. Wolfe responded to Cashman's comments and essentially warned free agents -- both domestic and international -- to think long and hard about signing in New York because of the difficulties that come with the market.
Great job, Cashman! Nothing like stirring up more controversy when it's totally unneeded as the Yankees endure another unnecessary, tumultuous offseason!
And so the back and forth goes! Cashman responded to Wolfe's comments about Cashman's initial comments on Thursday night before he slept outside in the cold in Times Square for the 13th year in a row to raise awareness for homelessness.
Brian Cashman responds to Yankees fans' backlash over Giancarlo Stanton comments
We guess it's good news Cashman spoke to Wolfe and cleared the air, but we should've never reached this point. Saying injuries are "part of Giancarlo Stanton's game" should've never been the choice of words. Everybody knows he's injured. Everybody knows his lack of availability has killed the Yankees. His boss doesn't need to harshly reiterate that to the masses, whether that was the intention or not.
Cashman also said he feels strongly that his commentary didn't affect the Yankees' chances of landing Yamamoto, and, while we hope he's right, we simply don't believe that. It's irresponsible to assume there's no possible way Wolfe hasn't advised Yamamoto on his decision after what Cashman said. It might not be a death knell, but it's definitely not a non-factor.
Cashman's follow to all of this also just would've been perfect to accompany his words at the GM Meetings about Stanton. Then none of this would've been necessary.
It's an inherent to value the players you've acquired. That's nothing groundbreaking. And it doesn't change anything about the injury criticism.
At the very least, Yankees fans are happy to know the two parties took some steps to clear the air, but the door won't close on this until Yamamoto is a Yankee or until Stanton's future in the Bronx is clarified.