Does anyone remember Jim Carrey’s character in the comedy “Liar Liar?”
He had to tell the truth no matter what because of his son’s birthday wish. After reading about Brian Cashman’s WFAN sponsored breakfast today and all the gems that popped out of his mouth, I’m wondering if one of his kids made the same birthday wish. The Yankees have often been accused of being a secretive organization, not disclosing injuries, not wanting to discuss contract issues, evading reporters’ questions, but not today and not with Cashman at the mic.
To wit, here are some of his candid remarks:
* He foresees Jeter moving to centerfield (as opposed to third base) at some point in the future.
* He rates the Red Sox as the better team (except for our bullpen).
* He thinks Joba is washed up. (OK, he didn’t say that, but he did admit that Joba hasn’t been the same since his shoulder injury.)
* He implied that a couple of our minor league pitchers are better than Nova.
* He repeated that he wasn’t on board with the signing of Soriano.
* He doesn’t want Andy back unless his heart is in it.
Will Cash’s truth-telling compulsion continue? And if so, what will he blurt out at the next media event? A few possibilities…
* “I’d be willing to trade anybody for Felix Hernandez.”
* “I like Hank better than Hal, as it turns out.”
* “I always laugh when I see that commercial on YouTube with Coney doing the ‘El Duque.'”
* “I wish I had my own funny commercial.”
* “I wish I were taller.”
* “I wish I had as much hair as Theo Epstein.”
* “I wish the Yankees would win the World Series this year so fans would stop sulking over Cliff Lee.”
* “I wish Cliff Lee had said yes.”
That’s it for tonight. I’m off to watch the State of the Union address. Wouldn’t it be cool if politicians were forced to tell the truth – even for 24 hours?
I listened to Mike Francesca’s interview with Hal today, and was struck by how much more self-assured the Yankees’ big cheese sounded. He wasn’t full of his father’s bluster by any means, but he was no longer the reluctant boss. When Francesca brought up Jeter and Mo and whether signing them was a foregone conclusion, Hal made the expected noises about how much he wanted to bring them back, how they should always remain Yankees, blah blah. But he also said – twice – “but we’re running a business here.”
My heart kind of dropped when he used those words. I’m not naive enough to think there’s no budget and I realize that Jeter and Mo, while icons, aren’t young. But I got the feeling that Hal isn’t planning to write any blank checks or offer long-term contracts. In fact, I started to panic. What if the Yankees can’t come to terms with their two legends? Is that humanly possible?
Putting Mo aside for now (we need a closer and there’s no one better), I came up with five value-added ways to keep Jeter around when he can’t play shortstop or swing a bat. I pulled these from a blog post I wrote in February ’09 and they’re still options as far as I’m concerned.
Tonight’s opener against the Mariners was moving right along. Everything was going just the way Yankee fans would have drawn it up.
AJ delivered the kind of performance we’d been hoping for, allowing only one run over seven innings – including two (yes, two) pickoffs of Ichiro. The Yanks were facing Cy Young candidate “King” Felix Hernandez, so it was no small feat when they went up 2-1 in the sixth on Tex‘s sac fly. But then the tension mounted.
Huuuuuuuughes came on for the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order, looking pretty impressive doing it. It would have been sweet if the Yankees’ offense had tacked on an insurance run or two in the top of the ninth, but no matter. We had Mo on the mound to take care of the Mariners in their half.
And he did take care of them. Well, the first two of them. In fact, his strikeout of Carp, who was out number #2, was the 1000th K of his career. All he and the Yankees needed was one more out and the victory would be assured. And then the unthinkable. I’m still freaking out as I type this.
Mo gave up a double to Sweeney, not to be confused with the Sweeny who covers the Yankees for WFAN.
So what, I figured. There are two outs and it’s Mo pitching, not some journeyman. The guy has only blown one save in 43 opportunities. I wasn’t wild about having to see Ichiro again, since all he does is get on base. But there he was, looming large in that little body.
Before I knew what hit me, Ichiro hit the ball out of the park.
The Mariners won the game 3-2 and I sat in front of the TV going, “WHY? WHY?”
It’s baseball, that’s why. I have no other good answer.
On his blog today, LoHud Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham wrote about the interview WFAN’s Mike Francesa did with SI’s John Heyman. The subject of the interview was….
We’ve heard rumblings about unrest in the clubhouse before now, but Peter describes how Girardi and his players, particularly the veterans, didn’t always see eye to eye – to the point where performance on the field might have suffered.
Yikes. The players are paid to do their jobs, whether they like the manager or not. On the other hand, managers are paid, in part, to motivate their players. What good will it do to sign Sabathia or Burnett if Jeter and Posada can’t stand Girardi?
For those who aren’t familiar with Peter and his blog, he’s a no-nonsense source for what really goes on inside the Yankees’ inner sanctum. He’s not an alarmist. If he says there’s trouble, there’s trouble. But hopefully the situation is solvable. If not, we could be looking at Cashman begging Mattingly to put the pinstripes back on.