As the Yankees roster has transformed this offseason, it’s more than the lineup that’s been changed. The dynamic of the clubhouse is sure to be different without Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. I can’t say those four were all on equal footing in terms of leadership, but Rivera was the obvious leader in the bullpen, and Pettitte was elder statesman of the rotation, Cano was a true mentor to Eduardo Nunez, and Granderson was the Yankees team representative to the Players Association.
That’s a lot of leadership heading into retirement or into other clubhouses.
We’ll go ahead and start this third day of the Winter Meetings with both Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman addressing that evolution. The video above is Girardi’s take on the situation — “I think other people will step up and take charge of the clubhouse,” he said — and here’s what Cashman had to say, specifically about the loss of Rivera and Pettitte.
“I always think about that,” Cashman said. “Losing Mariano and Andy, the leadership that Mariano and Andy brought, that stuff is not replaceable. And that’s nothing (negative) about Robbie, but Mariano and Andy have been leaders here for a long time. They were invested as players, and they were invested in their teammates. Not everybody is wired that way. Some people are just invested in, hey, I’ll do my job, and if I do my job and everyone else does their job, the whole team will do well.
“Mariano and Andy, they would go above and beyond and invest in their teammates and try to work with them away from the field, after a game, well before anyone showed up at the ballpark, on the phone, in the wintertime, recruiting. They were different; different than most players.”