All New York Yankee fans have gotten used to general manager Brian Cashman going through offseasons in which he makes everybody happy.
That was the case following the 2008 season, when Cashman opened the Steinbrenner safe and signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. The result was a World Series title.
All Yankee fans have also gotten used to Cashman going through offseasons in which he leaves us wondering what the hell he was thinking.
So, here we are, 24 games into the 2010 season, but right now it looks as though Cashman's moves after the 2009 season will be in the latter category.
Cashman made a whopper of a trade that had all of baseball buzzing when he dealt one-time first round draft pick and starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, reliever Phil Coke, and Yankee stud prospect Austin Jackson in a three-team transaction that brought Curtis Granderson to New York.
Over the weekend, Granderson strained his left groin going from first to third against the White Sox; he will be on the disabled list for an undetermined amount of time. That may be the most productive thing Granderson has done since the first week of the season.
Granderson started out in his New York Yankee uniform looking great, as the former Detroit Tigers center fielder homered in his first at-bat on Opening Night in Boston. But a week after that he flamed out and has been really struggling ever since.
He had played in all 23 games until getting hurt on Saturday, but was hitting only .225 with an on-base percentage of only .311. He was brought over with the expectations that he would hit 40 home runs in Yankee pinstripes. After all, he hit 30 for the Tigers last year.
So far, however, Granderson has hit two homers, and is on pace to hit about 12 to 15 home runs this year.
But then he was going to be able to also use his great speed, right? Well, he has stolen four bases thus far, which will put him at about 25 for the year.
Oh, and by the way, one of the guys who went in the trade, Jackson, is the Tigers' new center fielder.
Jackson has started 25 games, is hitting leadoff, and finished the weekend hitting .367 with an OPS of .893, and an OPS above 140.
Another pawn in the trade, Coke, has been great out of the Tiger pen. Coke has won three games and has an ERA of 1.93 in 14 appearances.
Okay, so far it's a transaction that has not worked out the way Cashman and Yankee fans would have wanted.
On to Cashman's second offseason deal, in which the Yankees signed free agent Nick Johnson with the intention that he would take Hideki Matsui's place as the Yankee DH, but would be inserted in former outfielder Johnny Damon's No. 2 slot behind Derek Jeter in the lineup.
The thought was that Johnson's skill at getting on base would make him the perfect two-hole hitter.
Thus far, Johnson has missed a couple of games with nicks (no pun intended). But it would have been better if he could have really been hurt and joined Granderson on the DL.
Johnson finished the game today going 1-5, and is now hitting a dynamic .141. At first, he was making up for his weak bat with a lot of walks. But now it is so bad his OBP is down to .368.
Some Yankee hopefuls also thought Johnson's upper cut swing was tailor made for the jet stream out to right field in the new Yankee Stadium. Johnson has one home run in 64 at-bats.
Sort of makes you wish Cashman had talked a little longer with Damon's agent since Johnny is hitting .344 with an OBP of .439 for the Tigers.
Or maybe Cashman could have asked Matsui if he would like to remain in NYC. Matsui's sore knees have only allowed him to play in 25 games this season, but he is hitting .272 with four home runs and 13 RBI, which calculate out to about 32 dingers and 104 RBI for the Angels player this season.
Finally, Cashman gave away Melky Cabrera in order to bring Javier Vazquez back to New York, where his last appearance before 2010 was watching Damon send a grand slam deep into the night, as Boston came back from 0-3 in the 2004 ALCS to beat the Yankees en route to their first World Series title in 86 years.
But let's allow bygones be bygones. Let's not hold Damon's grand slam against Javy. Let's not even hold his total second-half collapse in 2004 against him.
After all, there is plenty to hold against him just by what he has done this year in his return to the Bronx.
Vazquez has started five games, which is four too many. He is 1-3, but absolutely should be 1-4. His ERA is 9.78. NINE, FRICKING, SEVEN, EIGHT!
On Saturday, Vazquez started against the Chicago Pale Hose, a team Ozzie Guillen cannot figure out, and he is their manager.
Chicago is pretty bad and is especially weak on offense. But they sure got well in a hurry against Vazquez.
Vazquez was allowed to come out for the fourth inning, but no one is quite sure why. Because when Vazquez left the home dugout for the top of the fourth, his team still had a chance.
After all, he had only given up three runs in the first three innings. But he would change that. He faced four hitters in the fourth, and got none of them out. And he gave up two more runs in the fourth before Yankees manager Joe Girardi mercifully lifted him.
Vazquez threw 83 pitches, which was about 75 too many. If Girardi had taken him out in the first inning before Paul Konerko hit his home run, Vazquez could have been considered for a "hold." (Obviously, I'm joking here.)
He gave up seven hits and five earned runs in three innings.
And believe it or not, he did not even get the loss. He should have but that ignominious stat went to David Robertson, who only gave up one hit, but two runs in relief.
The problem for Robertson, and the saving grace for Vazquez, is that they pitch for a team that just fights every at-bat. The Yankees came back from four runs down to go ahead in the game, thus saving Vazquez the loss.
Cashman's 2008 offseason was incredible.
I just wish we did not have to believe what he did this past offseason, because it will take us a long time to forget Granderson, Johnson, and Vazquez, and how they tried as hard as they could to screw up the effort to repeat as world champs.
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