Saturday, September 23, 2023

Listen to the Fans: Fire Cashman Night...


Fire Cashman Night, 9/22/2023 (Photo Credit: Robert Sabo/NY Post)

Fans show up in support of Cashman’s dismissal…

Friday night was “Fire Cashman Night” and of course, the Yankees won with a reclamation project off the scrap heap (Luke Weaver), a common and consistent Cashman attempt to find ‘lightning in a bottle’. To Cashman’s credit, Weaver was once a promising young pitcher for the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, and perhaps the Yankees see something they can fix. Yet, it was funny that a Cashman ploy succeeded on a night when fans were calling for his ouster. Weaver was backed by Aaron Judge’s second three-homer game of the season, but the first home run, a three-run shot in the third inning would have been sufficient to back the tremendous outings by Weaver and reliever Jhony Brito. Gerrit Cole, not Matt Blake, is growing a reputation as the team’s Pitching Whisperer.

Gerrit Cole (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Despite Aaron Judge’s words after the game saying the players take the most responsibility for this season’s failure, the primary problem was the players who were on the field and that buck stops with Cashman. 

The Yankees (78-76) won Friday night’s game, 7-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the opening game of a three-game weekend series. The Yankees have eight games remaining. The series in Toronto next week will be tough but hopefully, the Yankees can win the series against Arizona this weekend with victories today and/or tomorrow and take next weekend’s series in Kansas City to ensure a winning season and help to stay a step ahead of the Boston Red Sox to avoid being the AL East Cellar Dweller. 

While I get the players need to perform better on the field, I do not feel that Brian Cashman should continue his role as the team’s general manager. It is TIME for a new voice and vision. Cashman’s years of complacency, the failures to make necessary supportive moves to help the huge free agent signings of Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge (signings driven by Hal Steinbrenner and not Cashma), and the disastrous trades and bypass of young generational free agent talent (most notably, Bryce Harper) over the past few seasons have helped the Yankees become the “mid” team they currently are. The Yankees spend money, it is the allocation of those dollars that has been the problem. Whether it is Giancarlo Stanton’s contract that grows uglier with each passing year or taking on the money owed to Josh Donaldson that largely helped the Minnesota Twins win this year’s AL Central crown, those are dollars that could have gone to elite players. As wide open as the American League is this year, it is too bad the Yankees were not prepared to participate. THAT is on Cashman. 

For every bad trade, people like to say the Yankees acquired Anthony Rizzo. The truth is the Yankees went for Rizzo when they could have had Matt Olson. Olson currently has 53 home runs and 132 RBIs and is batting .278/.386/.605 with .991 OPS. Maybe the Yankees never could have matched the package that the Atlanta Braves gave the Oakland A’s to get Olson but there is no real evidence they ever tried. Fans like Anthony Rizzo. He has a fun personality, is supportive of his t,eammates and is one of Aaron Judge’s best friends, he has a cute dog, and his defense at first base is light years ahead of the metal glove that preceded him (Luke Voit). In reality, Rizzo is an aging ballplayer with a bad back. Don Mattingly showed that a bad back can prematurely end a first baseman’s great career.  Sorry, I will not give Cashman credit for Rizzo even if I like the player. The Yankees could have and should have done better.   

Brian Cashman was the right man at the right time when he was promoted to succeed Bob Watson as the Yankees’ General Manager in 1998. He will always be associated with the 1990s Dynasty Years even though he was not the chief architect, and he has 2009 when he expertly used Hal Steinbrenner’s money to supplement a talented roster, bringing the championship back home. Cashman is a legitimate future Hall of Famer, however, his days as the Yankees general manager have reached the end of their useful life.

It is time to fire Brian Cashman.

Sadly, with each passing day as we near season’s end, the probability of Cashman’s firing lMostnce most teams, like Boston did in firing GM Chaim Bloom this month, make changes in August or September to ensure the new GM is in place before the start of the critical offseason. So, I guess I continue to hope Steinbrenner promotes Cashman to President of Baseball Operations (or a similar title) and makes room for a new showrunner. 

Regardless of what happens, the fans of the New York Yankees are united in the belief that Cashman must go (as general manager).

Wake up, Hal Steinbrenner, and listen to the fans. 

Thank you, Wandy Peralta

Wandy Peralta, one of the few successful trades in recent memory, has been a good Yankee. He pitched in 63 games this year, which spanned 54 innings. He has a 2.83 ERA with four saves. Yesterday, a right triceps strain caused the Yankees to place Peralta on the 15-day Injured List which ended his 2023 season and most likely his Yankees career. Peralta, a free agent after the season, is not expected to return.

Wandy Peralta (Photo Credit: @Yankees via X)

I am proud of the effort Peralta delivered for the Yankees during his time in Pinstripes.  He was not always successful, but he was certainly trying to succeed every time he took the mound. Not to say other players do not try, but Peralta always seemed unflappable in any situation. The Yankees could re-sign Peralta in the offseason, but I feel the odds are against it. With so many talented young pitchers moving up in the farm system, the Yankees have younger, cheaper options on the immediate horizon. Another team will most likely offer Peralta a multi-year deal that would be foolish for the Yankees to match. 

It sucks when a good Yankee leaves. I understand it, but it still carries a sense of loss. We appreciate your time in Pinstripes, Wandy. The team would have been better with more guys like you. Good luck with your continued MLB journey. 

To replace Peralta, the Yankees promoted pitching prospect Yoendrys Gómez. I am happy for Gómez. He gets a chance to prove if he can help in 2024 or at the very least, he can showcase his talents for other teams in the event he is traded in the offseason. I had expected Gómez to make his Major League debut last night, particularly when the Yanks had a pulled away from the D-Backs (although Clay Holmes tried his best to make it close), but it did not happen. Maybe today will be the start of his successful Major League career. 

Final Words

Michael King has made me a believer. He should be in the Yankees’ starting rotation next season. His early success in the rotation frees the Yankees to consider moving Clarke Schmidt in the offseason to help improve other areas of the roster.  I like Schmidt, but I like King better. As for pitching, I know many fans would like to move on from Frankie Montas, but I would like to see the Yankees bring him back on a short-term deal to prove himself. For as much as the Yankees paid for him and as talented as we thought he was at the time, it would be disappointing to get absolutely nothing from him in his Yankees career. As such, I am supportive of a one-year ‘prove it’ type of deal for his return. We have never seen Montas pitch when healthy and I would like for him to show Yankees fans why he was originally acquired. 

Frankie Montas (Photo Credit: AP)

I have mixed feelings about the potential interest in centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier. His tremendous glove was on display at Yankee Stadium this week when the Blue Jays were in town and he would be a nice “stopgap” for centerfield until Jasson Dominguez can return late next season, but the days of signing older players past their prime should be over if the team seriously wants to contend sooner than later. Maybe Kiermaier can prove otherwise if signed. I would not be disappointed if he showed up at Yankee Stadium this winter, pulling a Yankees jersey over his dress shirt, but conversely, I would not be disappointed if the Yankees simply passed. I am hoping Estevan Florial proves he can be a temporary solution in center next season despite the flaws in his bat. I am not convinced he can be, but he has time to prove it. Maybe not this year, but next Spring at the latest. 

Gerrit Cole should easily be the 2023 AL Cy Young Award winner, beating out former Yankees starter Sonny Gray. Cole is 14-4 with a 2.75 ERA. He has started 32 games, with one to go. He has pitched 200 innings and has 217 strikeouts. The gap between Cole and Gray is substantial enough that it does not matter what happens in the final starts for either pitcher. Cole is the AL’s best.  It is too bad the Yankees (i.e., Brian Cashman) did not give him a better-supporting cast for his greatest year in Pinstripes.

As always, Go Yankees!