January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up is Nick from True Yankee Blog.
Nick is originally from Manhattan and currently resides in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He has been blogging about the Yankees for eight months now. Nick is somewhat of a Moneyball-disciple and relies heavily on statistical analysis to back up his baseball opinions.
Here is his post, such as it is:
To me, the apparent changing of the guard in the New York Yankees front office over the past few months is extremely troubling. Full control has changed hands from General Manager Brian Cashman (a True Yankee favorite) to loudmouth owner Hank Steinbrenner. This is an appalling development in everyway and could very well lead to a Cash-less front office in ’09.
The Yankees are taking away final say from Cashman, clearly the best baseball mind in the organization. This is just completely insane. Since October 2005, when Cash got full control, the Yankees minor league system has leaped from one of the worst to one of the best (this has been well documented). The guys who deserve the credit for that complete turnaround are Cash and Vice President of Pro Scouting Damon Oppenheimer. They were very successful in the short time they had full control. What is the upside of ending their full reign prematurely in favor of a man without a baseball background?
In 2008, the last year of Cashman’s contract, Cash will have an entirely new role in the front office. His recommendations will definitely be heard, but as to how seriously they are considered by Hank is yet to be seen.
Yes, we know that Cashman drafted Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, but is he even going to be in the Boogie Down Bronx long enough to see their primes? There has been plenty of speculation as to how Cash is dealing with his sudden relaxation of power and the possibility of him leaving after ’08 is more than out there. Frankly, I can’t say I blame him. If I was Cash and I had to put up with an owner who tells anyone who will listen exactly what the organizations plans are, I’d have to consider leaving too. In the movie Rounders, Mike McD says to “throw your cards in the moment you know they can’t win, fold the hand.” I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Cash grows tired of Hank during the ’08 season, realizes he can’t beat him, and folds his cards for new ones in ’09.
On another subject, I’ve been getting some emails about why Don Mattingly doesn’t get more votes for the Hall Of Fame, here’s my take on that:
The main point that should be stated in the Mattingly case is that those who don’t support Donnie for the hall aren’t saying he wasn’t a great player. He was. In fact his peak WARP3 is above average for Hall Of Fame. 1B. But, his career WARP3 is well below average hall-of-fame 1B because he didn’t do it long enough thanks to a bad back (tough luck, still doesn’t get him in the Hall).
It’s not because he wasn’t amazing. Mattingly is the best fielding 1B ever not to appear on Seinfeld and he retired with a .300 EqA+. Those are great things, but the lack of longevity is what’s keeping him out.