Since 2009 -- or, really, since the late '90s with one financial boom exception -- Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been receiving eternal credit for being savvy without reaping championship rewards.
So why wouldn't he earn the endorsement of another MLB executive who's been oft-lauded for building regular season winners, then excusing his own repeated playoff failures by insisting his "sh*t doesn't work" in October?
It's difficult to win a World Series, of course. But it's far more difficult if you're A's steward Billy Beane, whose Moneyball philosophy was eventually coopted by big-market teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. Those teams could all chase the same traits he emphasized while outbidding him along the way, rendering his innovations largely moot.
Yet, somehow, Cashman managed to screw up that advantage, too. He fell for the Giancarlo Stanton trap, agreeing to inherit most of the Marlins' forthcoming problem contract. He targeted incorrect additions in Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo, and Frankie Montas, with a big 2024 looming to keep Carlos Rodón off the list. He was given a $290 million budget to play a sustainable small market's game and he failed.
That's why it's stunning, but also not at all, that Beane would be confused by Yankee fans' vitriol towards Cashman. He's always way over .500 and the playoffs are unpredictable, right? So what are they complaining about? Except ... the playoffs aren't that unpredictable these days, and given 15 bites at the apple since '09 now, the Yankees probably should've won a pennant or two by now.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman praised by playoff failure Billy Beane
A short series can turn a contender into an also-ran after an ill-timed cold streak. Sure. It can happen to anyone.
But, since the Yankees last made (and won) the World Series in 2009, the Red Sox have made it twice (and won two titles). The Dodgers have made it three times (winning once). The Giants have reached the mountaintop thrice, too. The Astros? 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022, with two championships. Sustainable, championship-level success has been possible for the Yankees' big-budget cohorts.
And, besides, the randomness of a short series has nothing to do with pockmarking several consecutive deadlines and offseasons with high-profile and expensive failures. Yankee fans aren't frustrated at Cashman because the 2010 Bombers came up short. They're angry at the fact that the Baby Bombers couldn't develop the way they were advertised, and were hamstrung and handicapped along the way by a series of ill-advised decisions.
Perhaps Beane and Hal Steinbrenner should get in the same room and have it explained to them. Cashman's "sh*t" doesn't work in the playoffs, and may have stopped working in the regular season, too, now that his payroll's all clogged up. Hope that helps.