Brian Cashman did nothing to help himself or the New York Yankees last week at the General Managers Meetings when he stood in front of the media, ready to answer any question hurled at him with a defensive tone and a disdain that could consume you from a mile away.
Just about every person and outlet that covers the Yankees had a scathing review of his behavior, especially how in contrast it was to Hal Steinbrenner's "nothing" presser. Cashman at least answered questions and didn't shy away from anything ... but everything he said totally missed the mark.
Again, we can sympathize with Cash and all of the criticism/pressure he deals with as a result of the Yankees' struggles. A lot of things have not gone right for the Yankees and some of that was out of his control. But what he doesn't seem to get is that a lot of it was in his control, and if he had gotten some things right, it may have canceled out the unexpected occurrences that played a role in derailing the Yankees' World Series chances since 2017.
Perhaps there's some validity to fans and blogs not possessing the necessary knowledge to rip the inner workings of the Yankees' organization. We can understand that because we're not in the clubhouse or front office hearing exactly what's going on.
But like we said, every outlet thought Cashman's words and behavior were outlandish and incorrect, and it all culminated with MLB Network ripping the Yankees' GM a few days ago.
MLB Network roasting Brian Cashman should be tipping point for Yankees
Yes, that's the official network of Major League Baseball. That's Brian Kenny, whose sports broadcasting career began in the 1980s. And the sentiments being echoed here are the same ones fans have been yelling about for months/years.
Kenny specifically called out Cashman for pushing back against the criticism of the Joey Gallo and Sonny Gray trades, just like everybody else did. Because it was objectively ridiculous for Cashman to think there wasn't a problem with either of thise moves simply because both players were acquired by playoff contenders after they left the Yankees. They STUNK in New York far more than they did anywhere else! That doesn't matter? That's just water under the bridge at this point?
Kenny also brought up the departures of Jordan Montgomery and Aaron Hicks, two players Cashman somehow wasn't asked about during his controversial media session. Both had good years with the Yankees, but immediately upon leaving they leveled up and were important contributors to two of the game's top playoff contenders.
Kenny did actually give Cashman props, crediting him as one of the most successful executives of all time, and alluding to the 2019 season when the Yankees tied the MLB record for most players with an above-average OPS+ on their roster. But how much credit can that even get with it being the juiced ball year?
Kenny and MLB Network even took issue with Cashman's comment about the Yankees having the smallest analytics department in the AL East, which is up for debate because Peter Gammons reported 15 years ago the Yankees had the largest analytics department in the entire league. What do you know? That coincides with one of the worst stretches in franchise history! And if that was indeed the case, the Yankees decided to neglect one of the most important aspects of preparation as the rest of the league caught on and lapped them?
Cashman bragging about having the smallest analytics department in his division holds no merit because a) the Yankees finished fourth in the division this year and b) it has nothing to do with the analytics information being fed to the guys on the field. Whether it's the largest or smallest department, something is off. The information being valued is wrong. And Cashman was outed when it was revealed Aaron Judge suggested the team should focus on batting average and RBI more -- you know, the basic tenants of the sport of baseball.
Whatever the case, Cashman's rant and the Yankees' lack of success as a result of his decisions have reached the desk of MLB Network, and Kenny, the writers and producers pretty much have the same assessment as the average Yankees fan sitting on the couch, inhaling chips and fried food. Does that sound like it helps Cashman's case?