To a very small extent, I’ve seen behind the curtain. I’ve been in Mark Newman’s office, asked him a question about a specific player, and watched him log into the Yankees database to pull up the necessary information.
I couldn’t see details — couldn’t really see the computer screen, didn’t try to sneak a peak — but it was crystal clear that Newman had all the information he could possibly need at his fingertips. And that information clearly went beyond fastball velocity and batting average on balls in play.
The Yankees know plenty of things we don’t know. Even in this media market, not everything goes public, and the things that do go public quite often come with internal or external spin. We all like to play general manager from our living room — Trade for Felix Hernandez! Make an offer to Jeremy Bonderman! Give Adam Warren a shot! — but we’re at a disadvantage.
With apologies to GI Joe, when it comes to being a GM, knowing isn’t half the battle. It’s the entire battle. And Cashman knows more than the rest of us.
To answer the three questions Jesse asked this morning:
1. What information could possibly be leaked to the public if WikiLeaks ever targeted the New York Yankees?
If the Yankees were lucky: In-depth scouting reports, records of free agent and trade offers, progress reports for minor leaguers and aging veterans. If the Yankees were unlucky: Disciplinary files, commentary on players’ personal lives, in-depth analysis of Yankees beat writers and bloggers!
2. What would be the aftermath of such information becoming public?
That depends. Is it only Yankees information that’s going public? If every team’s scouting reports were suddenly public knowledge, the resulting trade market would be fascinating. Whose scouts would teams believe? If only the Yankees information were leaked to the public, the result would be a massive disadvantage.
3. Would you, as fans, want to know these secrets, or prefer to be kept in the dark?
To some extent, I think the mystery is good. It’s good that some information is out of reach. It keeps the game from becoming too much of a science, keeps the winters buzzing with dreamed-up scenarios from living-room GMs. Then again, if that computer screen were right in front of you…
Associated Press photo