Blog Entry

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 3:47 pm

CashmanWhen one hears the name "Steinbrenner" these days, you either think about the Yankees owner that passed away after restoring the Yankees' brand to America's consciousness, or you think of his son, Hank.

But what you don't think of is Hal, who runs the Yankees along with Hank and prefers to stay in the background. However, with Brian Cashman (pictured) making headlines for his belief New York should not have signed Rafael Soriano, saying Derek Jeter could become a center fielder and moonlighting as a bartender, Hal felt compelled to step in to clear the air.

"[Cashman] and I have a great working relationship," Steinbrenner told the New York Post, saying he does not believe Cash is trying to get fired or create a rift in the organization. "There is no problem, right now. I think we have had a bunch of drummed-up drama."

The drama has largely focused around Cashman's words about Soriano, indicating he was displeased by the organization's choice to sign the reliever and surrender a first-round pick. Given Cashman did not make the final call there, some have wondered as to his autonomy.

"I value his opinion and his advice," Steinbrenner said. "That does not mean I am always going to go with that advice and all of my VPs know that I might go a different way. There are no hard feelings between Cash and I. There never was. Reasonable men can differ in opinions.

"I keep reading about dissension and discord. We are a well-functioning company. The bosses have a decision to make. Sometimes people don't agree with those decisions. So I told him, 'You are always honest with the media, be honest now. Tell them what you have to tell them.' I was already onto the next decision. I told him, 'You and I are fine. Answer in any way you want.' We are not always going to be on the same page. It is my job to think what is best for the family, partners and company."

The drama includes Cashman's future with the Yankees, with many openly speculating that New York was not pleased by Cashman's "recruiting" of Cliff Lee, the rough negotiations with Derek Jeter and how Cashman has tired of the organization. But in recent interviews, Cashman has debunked all speculation, and Hal went a step further, saying the goal is to keep Cashman as GM beyond 2011, when his contract expires.

And Hal made clear that not all of the offseason blame game should be heaped on Cashman. When Jeter's agent came out with statements that called New York's negotiation techniques "baffling," the Yankees (via Cashman) responded that Jeter was welcome to shop the offer. That came straight from Hal, apparently.

"I will return fire when fired upon," he said. "I do have some of the old man [George Steinbrenner] in me."

But despite all the hubbub, perhaps the most offended Yankees fans got was when Cashman admitted the Red Sox were stronger on paper. He had to defend himself from angry Yankee fans (never mind that the Red Sox actually are stronger on paper, at least for now) and point out that championships are won on the field and in the summer, not on paper in the winter. And Hal Steinbrenner has no problem with Cash's statements to that regard.

"My understanding was he was asked in an objective way about the different areas of the team and said our hitting was on par with the Red Sox, our bullpen is better and their starting pitching, right now, is a little stronger," Steinbrenner said.

"Really, there are no problems at all," Steinbrenner added. "Brian calls me on my cell phone more often than I would even like. He and I talk on a daily basis multiple times. There is not much that he does without consulting me first. This has been a very good relationship."

UPDATE: Brian Cashman spoke to FOX Sports about the issue Friday. This wide-ranging comment from Cashman says it all:

The bottom line is, I'm charged with putting together a championship-caliber club. As far as I'm concerned, we've got something pretty good here. We won the World Series in 2009. We missed by two games in 2010. [Outside publications] rank our farm system as one of the best in baseball.

Tell me where we are screwing up on the baseball operations side. I need a starting pitcher, but is the future strong because we have a farm system acknowledged in the industry to be one of the best? Check. Am I getting our payroll down, as charged by ownership? Check. Do we have success on the field? Check.

What's the problem? Why are people bitching so much? That's my question. That's my frustration. The problem is people having patience with the process.


-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2011 7:59 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Interesting.  Hal Steinbrenner tells Cashman to cut the payroll, then overrules him by ordering him to spend megabucks--and a first-round draft pick--on set-up man, Soriano.  I thought this only happened in the civil service where they're not spending their own money.

I'm a Jays fan.  Our team's dilemma is a little different than the Yankees'.  The Jays are owned by Rogers Communications, the wealthest owners in major league baseball.  The profit Rogers earns on just its telephone, internet, cable TV and wireless division
($4.09 billion last year) could buy out the Yankees entire organization twice over every year with chump change left over.

You can imagine just how frustrating it is to be a Jays fan.  This year's payroll will be about $70 million.  The team will end up in third, fourth or fifth place in the American League East.  All the while, the Jays brilliant young General Manager, 33-year-old Alex Anthopoulos, keeps insisting that "the money is there" when it's the right time to spend it.

I don't doubt his word, but my patience is wearing mighty thin.  The Jays haven't made the playoffs since 1993.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:33 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Welcome to NYC, Cash.

One would think he knew exactly what he was getting into.  And it's not like he just joined up this past offseason.  Good Lord.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2011 3:55 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments


Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2011 3:30 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Another feature to the Soriano business: Cash is covering himself with other GMs and the media, to whom he represented himself as adamantly opposed to trading his 1st-round pick.  He got shown-up--perhaps rightly, we'll see--by the Steinbrenners on this call, mostly because the Steinbrenners were making a business, not baseball, decision (the team needs to "do something" in the off-season, esp. as the Sux clean up on the hot-stove). 
Lee: didn't want to go to NYC, wanted Philly.  Had it come down to Texas and Yanks, who knows.

Overall: Cash has done well, with a mix of obvious bummers (esp. w/high-priced pitchers most everyone thought would be great: Brown; Karsay; Pavano) and winners (including some low-priced spare parts at the end of last season, esp. Wood).  He's handling the Pettite situation perfectly.  He knows the game, his system, his organization, and his personnel.  The only place I see him faultering is with Jeets, simply because he stupidly wades into a buzz-saw of an icon and gets whipped for saying stuff that, however true, does him no good to say.  But that's naivety, not stupidity.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2011 12:09 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Having a difference of opinion is whether to get Ritz or Town House crackers at the market. Signing a MLB-ready relief pitcher to a major contract isn't something you just have a "difference of opinion about."

So whatever it means to you.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2011 7:43 am

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

OK first off Hank and Hal have been fed baseball since birth so they will know as much as Cashman about baseball. Secondly I have yet to see a move Cashman did that was amazing. So far he just offered free agents the most money. I'm sorry but someone with no baseball knowledge could just hand a free agent the most money.

Also draft picks can be overrated. If you can trade away a prospect for a stud player at any position and it can drastically improve that part of your team, it's worth it. Yankees did almost nothing during the offseason. They watched the Red Sox acquire Adrian Gonzales and sign Carl Crawford. They witnessed the Red Sox sign Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler as well. With the Red Sox signings they leveled the field with hitting, combined with their rotation being better than the Yankees regardless if the Yankees  got Andy Pettitte or not. Then the Red Sox went out and signed Jenks and Wheeler to solidify a pen that already included Johnathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard. If the Yankees didn't sign Rafael Soriano, their bullpen might've ended up weaker than the Red Sox.

In essence the Yankees needed a top flight player regardless the position because they needed to make one area of their team stronger to counter all the moves the Red Sox did. If they didn't get Soriano, there is no way the Yankees could compete with the Red Sox. Not with the Red Sox having an equally powerful line-up to the Yankees, and having the better rotation.

Cashman clearly wasn't thinking about this, he's trying to place too much value on a first round pick. Hal saw the obvious, he needed a strong player. It was the right decision for Hal to go against Cashman on this.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2011 2:38 am

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

     Hal Steinbrenner has proven to be the man in charge.   I do believe Hal when he says he wants Cashman back...I just don't know if Cashman has the resolve to be the GM of a team that has an owner that forfeits his draft picks and doesn't take his advice in allocating huge sums of money.  The ownership gives him marching orders to reduce payroll and then goes ahead on his own and throws 35 million dollars at a set up man.  That has got to drive Cashman crazy.  I for one think the Soriano signing makes us better, but I can certainly understand Cashman's frustration at the process.  Cashman sounded frustrated last week when asked if Joba Chamberlin would be a reliever or a starter.  He answered "for the hundredth time...he's a reliever".  Why would Cashman be so frustrated at that question when every spring training since Joba's been a Yankee, he's been stretched out to start.  Why now when we need a starter seemingly more than ever would he not be stretched out as a starter?  There is more frustation on the part of Brian Cashman than is being admitted to in Yankee land right now...and I just hope it all works itself out.

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2011 3:19 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

If a GM wants to give a player a contract that is too expensive for the club that  is the owners decision.  If the owner wants to sign a player that the GM does not think is worth giving up a 1st round pick, that is a baseball decision that needs to be a GM's choice.  Owners=money GMs=baseball.  It's very simple, even a Steinbrenner can follow this logic if maybe someone walks him through the big words.  I'm no Yankees fan but Brian Cashman is a damn good GM when all the brainless meddlers in the organization leave him alone to do his job.  All Hank and Hal did was inherit a lot of money from their rich daddy and not one bit of his sense.  George was a huge ego but even he knew when to shut the hell up and leave baseball decisions to baseball people... eventually.

Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:38 pm

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

Keep the ship tight boys...... Thats what we need to do. No unwanted drama

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