The New York Times holds regular Times Talks sessions with people, including celebrities, from all around the world. On Monday, June 28th, Michael Schmidt interviewed royalty from the Bronx. Brian Cashman and Randy Levine were at the New York Times Center to discuss the current state of the Yankees and what the future holds for the Bronx Bombers.
I was among many Yankee fans on hand to ask Brian Cashman and Randy Levine questions on what is going on behind baseball's best team's closed doors. Here are a few notes that I picked up during the conversation:
- There is a lot of praise for the owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner. Randy Levine clarified that The Boss is still active and plays a role with the Yankees. He may not be the same man he was in the 70s, but he is still a part of the team's tradition. Levine stated that nobody will ever replace The Boss and that there is nobody like him.
- Levine spoke about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera's upcoming free-agency. He said "Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Yankees." He noted that it is highly unlikely they will leave and that they will remain Yankees. This was followed by a round of applause by the audience.
- Cashman noted that the search for the next Mariano Rivera will be difficult.
- You might believe someone like Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes will be the next Rivera. Cashman noted that Chamberlain's development is done and there are no restraints on his pitching. Hughes remains on a pitch count because he is still not fully developed. One interesting note is that he did not say that Joba will remain a reliever. He said that performance is what is going to take them to their roles.
- There were questions about Joe Torre and the reunion tour that just occurred in Los Angeles. Cashman said that he has not spoken to Joe Torre since "The Yankee Years" came out. Levine has not spoken to Torre since the meeting before Torre left New York.
- Levine stated that Torre is always welcome in the Bronx and at Yankee Stadium. On whether the No. 6 will be retired one day, Levine said that is still being pondered.
- Levine shared his background on where he came from and what his role was with Rudy Giuliani, and how the former NYC mayor is similar to and different from The Boss.
- Cashman spoke about how the Yankees are sought after by free agents, but it is important to know when a team is in need and when a free agent is available. Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado were noted as players who asked to sign with the Yankees, but they were ee agents at a time when they were not needed in the Bronx.
- Cashman spoke about the upcoming Trade Deadline and said he is pleased with the performance by the Yankees pitching staff. If he decides to make a deal for a player, it would be to add someone to the bench.
- The players to watch for in the minors, according to Cashman, are Dellin Betances, Austin Romine, Jesus Montero, Slade Heathcott, and Andrew Brackman.
- One fan asked a question on whether Jeter and A-Rod's relationship will have anything to do with how Jeter's contract is negotiated. This was faced with laughter, and Cashman disregarded the question.
- Cashman gave advice to those in the crowd who want to pursue a career in sports management by sharing his personal experiences in the business.
- Cashman answered a question on whether he believes the game should be more stat-related or going by instinct. Cashman noted he was more of a statistical man.
- The role of the closer should stay the way it is, according to Cashman. There is no need to bring him in when the game is the tightest. He believes that numbers don't show the pressure and guts it takes to be a closer. He said that the Yankees are fortunate to have a guy in Mariano Rivera, who can do his job very well.
- The last question of the night was directed at the Yankees' General Manager on which player he would have loved to have, but was never able to obtain. He noted the player would have to be inactive, or else it was tampering. He couldn't come up with a name but said that if he called up The Boss, he would give him a list of names.
- Question of the Night: Fan: What World Series Ring are you wearing, Brian? Cashman: This is the 2009 World Series Ring. Fan: My second question is: Could you pass it around? Cashman and the Crowd: (Laughter)