Recent comments from New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman have fans screaming for his head. In just three short days, Cashman has become public enemy No. 1 in New York after his comments on two New York radio shows.
Most feel that being the general manager of the biggest wallet in baseball is one of the easiest jobs you could get.
Your goal every offseason? Sign the biggest and best free agents available. Don't win the World Series in 2008? No problem. Just go out and write checks to Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia and lo and behold...a World Series title! Problem solved. It's that easy to be Brian Cashman, right?
Well, in the biggest market in the world, with the harshest media in the world, Cashman has to watch what he says at all times and be sure not to step on the very wealthy toes of the Steinbrenner Empire.
Cashman may have done just that.
One of the biggest questions of the Yankee offseason this year concerned their franchise shortstop, Derek Jeter. Coming off the worst statistical season of his career, how much was Jeter worth? The two sides fired back and forth for weeks before the Yankees finally came to their senses and resigned Jeter for three years and $51 million.
But when asked about Jeter's future with the Yankees on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio, Cashman said he would be "surprised" if Jeter was still the Yankees' shortstop by the end of his new deal.
Listen folks, Cashman is not wrong. You know it's true, whether you're willing to admit it or not.
Jeter is 36-years-old. He's older than every other shortstop and he's too old by baseball standards to stay at his position. When the time comes for Jeter to change positions, the outfield is where he'll go. It's going to happen so get ready.
Now, I don't necessarily think Jeter can move to center field of all places, a corner position would probably better suit him, but he will have to change positions. The list of players to finish their career at shortstop is way too short to think Jeter will add his name to it.
Not to mention that the Yankees have a far superior defensive shortstop waiting to take over in Eduardo Nunez. Yes, Jeter won a Gold Glove in 2010, but let's be real here for a second—he didn't deserve it. Yes, he had an excellent fielding percentage (.989), but his limited range kept him from making a lot of plays, which didn't count against him.
The change is coming people, and rather than make a comment about Jeter not finishing his career with the Yankees, he simply said he wouldn't finish at shortstop.
After the Derek Jeter comments, the Brian Cashman "greatest hits" catalog kept growing.
During a Q&A with New York radio host Mike Francesca, Cashman was asked: "When you look at this Yankees' team right now, on paper, before you make a move for a pitcher and clearly you will...who's a better team this morning (Tuesday morning) on paper, Yankees or the Red Sox in your mind?"
Cashman's answer? "Red Sox." Is he wrong? Again, no.
Cashman went on to say that the Yankees have the superior bullpen and their position players are comparable to the Red Sox, but what sets them apart is that the Red Sox have the better starting pitching; that they have their starters set while Cashman is still looking for a fourth and fifth starter.
As it stands right now, the Yankees' starting rotation is made up of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. After that, it's a huge question mark. You can forget about Cliff Lee. You can forget about Carl Pavano. Heck, you can forget about Armando Gallarraga.
As Cashman said, the Yankees are going to sign a starting pitcher, but who they'll sign is another issue entirely.
So until the Yankees find a way to improve their starting rotation, the Red Sox are the better team and Cashman is not wrong for saying so. And instead of claiming Cashman has no confidence in his team, perhaps the Yankees can use his statements as motivation this season.
Should Cashman have made these comments about Jeter and the Red Sox? Maybe, maybe not. But is what he said wrong? No. He's right about Jeter and, at the moment, he's right about the Red Sox.
The truth hurts people, we all know that, and whether or not you feel a monkey could do his job, the fact is that Cashman, like all general managers, has made both good and bad deals while with the Yankees.
Yankees fans don't like hearing that the face of the franchise won't stay at shortstop. They also don't like hearing that their hated rivals are a better team.
However, they'll have to get used to it, because it's all true.