Being at the helm of the New York Yankees comes with the highest expectations in the sport, and even the most impatient fan will admit that managing the roster and keeping the fan base happy are sometimes in conflict with one another.
That said, Brian Cashman's been at this for a while. And if he thinks fans should've been less vitriolic as they watched their undermanned offense wilt at the hands of the Houston Astros four consecutive times last fall, he might want to take a breather and remember where he resides.
As privileged as fans of this organization have been for decades on end, the way the 2022 season ended wasn't a typical playoff loss. It was an all-time pantsing at the tail end of a season that began with historic expectations, careening off the tracks after the team played 120-win baseball through June. It was the end of a season that sent Aaron Judge into the vortex of free agency. It was a devastating series loss to the No. 1 roadblock of the Baby Bombers Era, which seemed to signify the end of it. It came in the wake of a 2021 loss to the Sox, 2020 loss to the Rays, 2019 loss to the Astros, 2018 loss to the Sox, and 2017 loss to the 'Stros that started it all.
Each year, for six years running, the Yankees have picked the most painful possible opponent to end their season. That's what the fan base has been dealing with.
Privately, it's understandable for Cashman to feel somewhat ungrateful, though he has to also comprehend why the cage is being rattled. But to publicly poke the bear after the 2022 ALCS, the franchise's most frustrating singular playoff series loss since the 2004 ALCS against Boston -- highlights of which, coincidentally, were shown to foolishly motivate the Yankees after Game 3 of this year's mess -- is tone deaf. Especially as the team gets ready to embark on a new season with a swiss cheese hole where left field should be.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't understand why fans were angry during 2022 ALCS
According to Cashman, in a story published over the weekend:
"It was funny, I was just talking to Omar Minaya, one of my special assistants. Last night, we're having a little dinner and I was talking with him and my son, Teddy and we were talking about how the season ended. I was like, ‘Where did, how far did we get? We got knocked out in the first or second round?’ Omar was talking me about it today, he was like, ‘Man, you guys are in it so much that you can’t remember what happened?’ I'm like, ‘Well, you know, to be quite honest, Omar, the truth was in the end, we were four games short of a World Series appearance, but it felt like the way our fanbase reacted and the press that we got knocked out in the first round.' So you can't really remember sometimes reality versus the perception, and the perception was we didn't do well. The reality was we had a hell of another run at it but, but fell short. But that’s just the New York market."- Brian Cashman
A "Championship or Bust" mentality can be quite unhealthy, but so can a "Let's Ignore the Obvious Problems With Our Roster/Legitimate Reasons for Anger in the Wake of Getting Bodied by Our Rivals (Again) Because We Won a Playoff Round" mentality.
Let's hope none of that rubbed off on Minaya, who has a fresh slate to be a check on Cashman rather than another Yes Man.
The 2022 New York Yankees felt like this fan base's way out of purgatory. The first half of the season was a dream; the second half was an 80-game bus accident.
If Cashman can't understand that nuance, then perhaps Brian Sabean can.