Yankees Front Office Mired In Excuses – TechVerdant

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In a remarkably defensive and antagonistic press conference Tuesday, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s press conference was a disaster. Owner Hal Steinbrenner’s words weren’t much better. This Yankee team finished a distant 4th place with an 82-80 record. However, if fans were looking for answers- they were in short supply. Truthfully, the Yankees sound full of excuses yet short of answers.

Cashman, at one point, had an expletive-laden rant defending his front office. Describing his malfunctioning front office as “pretty *blanking* good actually.” With the caveat that they perhaps weren’t ‘top of the class.’ Also, having to “separate fact from Bull–” regarding reasons for the teams’ struggles.

It was an appalling press conference from Brian Cashman. Regarding his comments about his Baseball Ops not being ‘top of the class,’ my immediate question would be – why aren’t they? He’s been in charge for two decades and has unlimited resources at his disposal. Instead of sounding defensive, perhaps he should point out some areas where they can improve their baseball operations.

This was an opportunity for the head of the Yankee ship to be accountable and show fans that they were willing to look at themselves and put it right. Instead, he was argumentative and defensive. For Yankee fans hoping for change, today it seemed more like doubling down than being accountable—very poor look.

Hal Promises “Big Changes” Yet Brings Everyone Back

After the Yankees worst season in 30+ years, owner Hal Steinbrenner promised ‘Big Changes.’

Fans and media wondered whether Aaron Boone, coming off his worst season as manager, was under threat. Brian Cashman is about as popular with fans as NY State taxes. Plus, Yankees health and conditioning coaches oversaw one of the most injured teams in the league. Indeed, reading the Yankees IL list this season would be longer than a Bruce Springsteen concert. Anthony Rizzo‘s concussion wasn’t diagnosed for months. There was even discussion of Hal bringing in auditors to fine-comb the Yankees analytics department.

However, Hal decided to back down from changes. For instance, he saw no issue with the medical staff. He then defended Brian Cashman’s woeful recent trade record and said that everyone he spoke to convinced him to bring back Aaron Boone.

As for the audit of the analytics, it isn’t personnel-based and will take a year before the results are back. The Yankees sound full of excuses yet short of answers.

Apparently, the only changes that appear to be forthcoming in 2024 are a new Bench Coach and Hitting Coach. Bench Coach Carlos Mendoza left to be the Mets Manager. While hitting coach Sean Casey didn’t want to return.

Hal did say that he plans on the Yankees ‘bunting more,’ however. What he hopes that will accomplish is anyone’s guess since the Yankees are currently one of the slowest, least athletic teams in the league.

In all seriousness, in any walk of life- if a team or business underperforms expectations- and the people in charge reassure their investors/fans/media that significant changes are coming and instead make almost no changes- it is fair to wonder about leadership.

I sincerely question why Hal, the man least like his late father, chose to speak at all. It would have been better if he just said at the end of the season- he’s happy with his personnel and that they’ll be back next year, which is the intention all along. It’s bad optics to promise changes and deliver excuses instead.

At least to his credit, Mr. Steinbrenner went as far as to say that he felt the season was awful and that their winning record was not an accomplishment but a requirement. Indeed, more than what came from his GM Brian Cashman.

Cashman’s Yankees Sound Full Of Excuses Yet Short Of Answers.

A few takeaways from Brian Cashman today: he railed against the narrative that the Joey Gallo and Sonny Gray deals were a mistake. He even goes as far as saying he gets a ‘kick’ out of the narrative. Citing that Joey Gallo plays for a playoff team in the Twins, and Gray is a CY Young candidate in the NL. First off, Gallo didn’t play in the postseason for the Twins this year, and he batted .177 in the regular season—hardly a good example.

As for Sonny Gray, a more appropriate question would be why, just like Jordan Montgomery (now a Champion with the Rangers), have they gone elsewhere and become far better pitchers than they were for the Yankees? That’s usually a sign of a development issue. This falls directly on the front office and coaching.

Cashman railed against respected Baseball writer Joel Sherman’s line of questioning regarding the Yankees’ use of prospects. Particularly Oswald Peraza. He was extremely defensive here and said his path was blocked by Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres‘ excellent season. Using Donaldson as a reason is a poor excuse since Donaldson was one of the worst trade acquisitions in modern Yankee history prior to his release. Torres is going into the last year of his contract, and Cashman incidentally tried trading him to the Marlins for Pablo Lopez two summers ago. The excuses are high from Cashman, but the holes are apparent in his arguments.

He championed rookie Anthony Volpe‘s ascension. Rightly so, but the Yankees have had a hard time developing legit major league talent since Aaron Judge– who’s now 31.

Regarding their use of analytics, Cashman said the narrative that they base most of their personnel decisions on analytics is not true. Claiming their Pro-Scouting department is far bigger. He’s trying to use his Scouts as a deflection this time. Again, it is full of excuses yet short of answers.

Blaming Injuries- An Example Of The Yankees Being Full Of Excuses Yet Short Of Answers.

Cashman instead preferred to say that injuries were the reason for the Yankees’ struggles this year. No doubt it played a huge part. Losing Aaron Judge for the summer due to a freak wall collision robbed Judge of a second straight historic year offensively and likely a wildcard spot.

What is missing from that excuse, though, is two things. First off, the Yankees completely fell apart and resembled a minor-league team without Judge. A team with the resources of the Yankees should never collapse like that.

Secondly, Cashman has overwhelmingly doubled down on injury-prone players. Most recently, trading for Frankie Montas, who was injured at the time of that trade. As was trading Jordan Montgomery for Harrison Bader– who was in a walking boot.

Furthermore, Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson were oft-injured before being DFA’d. Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t had a fully healthy season for the Yankees since 2018. Luis Severino was extended despite needing surgery soon after. Their only Free Agent signings last year were Tommy Kahnle, coming off surgery, and Carlos Rodon. In Rodon’s case, a great pitcher but injured often, just like most of last season. It isn’t enough to cite injuries as an excuse when he builds injury-prone rosters. All the expletive-laden rants from him today don’t change that fact.

Today Was A Bad Look For The Yankees.

It’s hard to look at too many positives to take away from today for those who root for the Yankees. Owner Hal Steinbrenner’s major changes appear to be bunting and an audit that hasn’t started yet.

Brian Cashman F-bombing to defend a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 2009- hardly feels appropriate. I question how good an operation he claims it is. For example, the Yankees had the second-lowest hits in the Majors this year. Only the tanking Oakland A’s had worse. They had the least doubles in the league. They had the second-worst team batting average in the majors. That is not an indication of a good operation, considering their payroll topped $300 million. It does a disservice to the fans to be so combative and excuse laden.

Cashman later said he’s in the market for a preferably left-sided left fielder. Ironic since he didn’t acquire a left fielder last season, and the lineup was overly right-handed. Perhaps his baseball operations should have figured that out earlier.

He did say one thing today that I agreed with- all that matters and what he will be judged upon is wins. At the end of the day, he’s right. If he has a good off-season and acquires enough talent through trade and free agency, there’s no reason to suggest they can’t make the postseason next year. This isn’t a question of talent.

However, it is fair to question why this organization is so defensive. Cashman had every opportunity to own his mistakes and reaffirm his commitment to fixing them. Hal had every opportunity to do what his father had no issue doing, and that was holding people accountable publicly. If anything, it shows the fans that the 27-time champion Yankees won’t accept failure. Instead, today was a disservice to that history. In short, they were full of excuses yet short of answers.

Main Photo Credits: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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