Here’s what /u/HarvestTheGrapes has to say about it:
As a Yankee fan, if you have not watched Brian Cashmans' end of the season press conference, you are doing yourself a major disservice because it is very enlightening.
I cannot recall a media interaction in recent years that more clearly demonstrates the dangerous arrogance and stubbornness of the modern Yankee organization than this press conference. It was almost megalomaniacal.
In particular,the interaction between WFAN New Yorks' Yankee beat reporter, Sweeny Murti, and Brian Cashman that illuminates the defensive, combative stance the Yankee organization has taken towards its' own fanbase in regards to spending.
First of all, major kudos to Sweeny Murti. If you want to talk about the media speaking truth to power (in a baseball context of course), he was asking questions that the self-censorious Yankee media lap-dogs wouldn't dare direct at a man that some have laughably deemed, "the Cashgod."
In this tense moment, it became clear that Cashman is in fact not, "the Cashgod." A “Cashgod” would not allow the Yankees to go through a 19 year stretch where they have as many championships as they do plagues of locusts.
Before we shatter the dogma, let's refresh ourselves on the transcript of the interaction from the press conference.
Sweeny: There are several starting pitchers over the last few years that you passed on, that are in the World Series right now…
Cashman: I didn't pass on them.
Sweeny: You didn't?
Cashman: No. I didn't pass on them.
Sweeny: How would you charactorize it?
Cashman: Well, I guess… why would you charactorize it as passing on them?
Sweeny: Were there opportunities to get some of these guys?
Cashman: Give me some specifics.
Sweeny: Justin Verlander. Gerrit Cole. Patrick Corbin.
Cashman: Justin Verlander was a player two or three years ago that was in play, and if you recall, the payroll structure that we were under, he was not going to fit in our environment given the directives from above. And that’s not blaming ownership on that aspect at all. But we had overspent to a level to where we were going to be under our payroll, and their ultimate goal was to get out from luxury tax issues where we were rewarding our opponents.
Sweeny: So you wouldn't categorize that as passing?
Cashman: So Verlander was not someone that was in play because of those protocols that were in place. So that’s one. But that question has been answered several times over.
Sweeny: It's semantics then as far as what we're describing why they're not..
Cashman: Well when we're talking about Patrick Corbin, did we not make an offer? Yes or no?
Sweeny: You tell me.
Cashman: You know the answer….. Do you not know the answer?
Sweeny: I was told no. Did you make an offer?
Cashman: We made an offer to Patrick Corbin. The Nationals made a more significant offer to Patrick Corbin. I don't know who told you no, that would be false.
Sweeny: So has Hal or anyone…
Cashman: So would you categorize that as a pass?
Sweeny: I would categorize it as we're arguing semantics and they're currently not here. But my question is..
Cashman: And Gerrit Cole was traded from Pittsburgh to Houston. Did we make an offer to Pittsburgh for Gerrit Cole, yes or no?
Cashman: OK, did that mean we passed on him?
Sweeny: You didn’t increase your offer enough to get him, did you?
Cashman: Houston made an offer that in Pittsburgh’s mind was a better offer than ours. This is all ancient history, but these are all facts. But that doesn't mean we passed on anything. We made attempts to try to acquire.
Sweeny: My question to you is, has Hal expressed any regrets over any of these decisions that did not go in your favor over the course of the last couple years and or do you regret anything?
Cashman: I don't regret our process. And there are certain things in that process that are controlled and some things that are out of our control in terms of knowledge. I have no knowledge in free agency of what an opposing team is offering until ultimately it comes out after the signing is elsewhere. So whether it's Dallas Keuchel this summer or Patrick Corbin this past winter, obviously it’s illegal to be calling the other clubs to find out what they're offering. So you don't know until then.
In the Keuchel situation, for instance which you didn't bring up, I used the line of, “we missed out by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin.” It was a very close number from where our offer was, but how would I know that? So, you put your best foot forward you live with it. I have no regrets if we have a strong process and we put our best foot forward based on a lot of pressure points, and then you live with it.
So am I living with that? I’m living with that. Am I comfortable with every decision and everything that we went through in our process? I think we have a strong healthy process that leads us to make whatever offers we’re making at the time for good reason and something we can be comfortable with.
You don’t get everything you want at all times, but I think what we’ve done is do a lot of great things along the way. I can sleep at night with the process that we have in place. It’s served us well and put us in a position to take a legitimate shot at the championship so far in the more recent years. And that’s despite some of the options that went elsewhere.
Did Brian Cashman have a Freudian slip when he said that the ultimate goal in 2017 was to "get under the luxury tax?" This was the directive handed down from ownership? Try to imagine, for even a millisecond, George Steinbrenner dubbing luxury tax management his "ultimate goal." Try to imagine the Boss allowing Cashman to even put that narrative out there for the fanbase to consume. Having trouble picturing something so perverted? That's because the Boss would never do that.
The modern Yankee organization has gotten comfortable ignoring and even shaming their constituents. They are upset that the fans want a championship at any cost. This is not a cost they are willing to incur because they are not as passionate about being champions as George was. However, they are "savvy" enough to recognize that in order to protect their bottom line, they must act as though they are desperate for a championship. They understand that if they can create a believable enough charade, Yankee fans will by-and-large drink the Kool-Aid and leave coins in the collection basket.
Everyday we resemble Mets fans or Knicks fans more and more. We are case studies in Stockholm Syndrome. We are so addicted to the cache of being Yankee fans; the history, the winning, the core four, the tradition, the Bronx NY, that we have no actual leverage over the organization to voice our discontent and get them to put their money where their mouth is, so they don't. They know the overwhelming majority will continue to show up at the gate, watch the YES Network, collect the jerseys and consume the content online regardless of how dismissive and abusive the organization may be towards the fanbase. In this case, we were represented by Sweeny, and they showed you exactly how they feel about people who question them.
To be clear; the "Cashgod" is comfortable with the process because it has put them, "in a position to take a legitimate shot," at a championship.
In any other area of the real world, would being, "in a position to take a legitimate shot" at success, and then repeatedly failing be something management is comfortable with? Does that jive with the Yankee winning tradition?
Organizations that are comfortable with their process and aren't successful end up like Blockbuster video. On the flipside, on the winning side, forward-thinking organizations that are adopting varying viewpoints and practices to disrupt the marketplace are the ones who last. You will likely be able to watch a Blockbuster documentary about how they collapsed on a streaming service one day.
Brian Cashman was so sensitive to a differing perspective that he fought vigorously with a reporter over the use of the phrase, "passed on." Can you imagine how dictatorial Cashman must be towards dissenters within his own ranks behind closed doors?
This doesn't resemble a "god" at all. If anything, it resembles a caricature of God in the story of Job from the old testament.
Summary: Job was an ardent worshipper. He also had a great life. God was pretty happy with Job. The devil made a bet with God that even his most loyal follower would turn on him if He punished Job with disease, death and overall misery. God took the bet. God then methodically destroyed every good thing Job had going for him. Eventually after every horrible affliction you can possibly imagine befell Job and his family, he asked God why this happened to him. In other words, he questioned God. The Devil won the bet. God appeared and spoke to Job and blasted him for having the audacity to dare question Him. Job apologized.
Obviously, this is a gross oversimplification of a biblical story, but Cashman more closely resembles this vindictive lord than he does any sort of all-knowing all-capable loving force. He's more of an old-testament type, yet at the same time he is abandoning the Yankee tradition and going all new testament with analytics and fiscal conservatism. In other words, he has the wrath of old-testament God and he won't die for his sins. Does that sound like a "Cashgod" to you?
We don't own the Yankees, the owners can do whatever they choose. But you better believe we bear an extreme fiscal burden everytime we go to a Yankee game. If I can pay $45 to park, or $13 for a beer, or $162 for a decent seat on a fairly laid back regular season game on my measly salary, I do not want to hear the billionaire-owned Yankee organization complain to me about their expenses. As a consumer, it's my right to tell them to go take a walk if I don't like their product or the cost.
We are not paying for a “legitimate shot” at a championship. Chances don't cost $200+ a night unless I'm at Empire City Casino, and at least there I know I'm going to lose before the night even starts. If a "chance" is what the Yankees are trafficking in, then charge us the same cost that the Tampa Bay Rays charge their fans. They just want a shot at winning too.
This isn't broadway. We're not here for tragedy. When we dish out money for a play in Manhattan, there is a mutual understanding. We are consenting to having our hearts broken. Show me the human condition, warts and all. Make us laugh. Make us cry.
That's not why we overpay to go to Yankee games. We're not here for theater. We are paying the highest prices in baseball because the Yankee brand is winning. We are paying for victory. We are paying for a dynasty, for a tradition of dominance. There is an understanding between Yankee fans that we will pay any price for baseball divinity.
Divinity is perfection. Divinity is all-knowing. All-encompassing. Omniscient. Omnipresent. Omnipotent. If the Yankee roster is Cashmans' creation, Cashman is an imperfect creator.
The "Cashgod" does not have the power of the wallet. Nor is he present on the big-ticket free-agent market. He does not have the knowledge necessary to be the disrupting force in the game of baseball. That credit goes to organizations like the Athletics, who started the Sabermetrics movement with “money ball.” Or the Royals, who won a World Series with a bullpen. Or the Rays, who started the "opener" trend. Or the Red Sox, who spread their money throughout free agency in 2013 rather than going after the big names. Or the Astros, with their sign-stealing operations. The Yankees are copying, not creating. Worst of all, they're not even replicating the success of the innovators. Unless of course you consider the Rays a success. Funny coincidence, the Rays are a Tampa Bay team, and that's where the Steinbrenners reside. Home is where the heart is, as they say.
Perhaps there was a scaithing viciousness in the old testament God. Such brutality can wear on even the most devout believer. However, in the ultimate display of compassion and egalitarianism, the new testament God sent His own son, who was actually a part of He Himself in human form, to die brutally and unceremoniously for the sins of all men.
In that moment on the cross, even Jesus Himself questioned God, just as Job did. He asked, "Why have you forsaken me?" At least us mere mortals had the vindication of knowing that God gets it.
The false, "Cashgod" and his "heavenly" owners feel no remorse punishing us with high prices and losing teams because they know that Yankee fans are little more than religious zealots. We will recite the doctrine like scripture and we will kneel before the altar of the Bronx. Step out of the orthodoxy and be burned at the stake. Sweeny Murti for a moment became a blasphemer, invoking the ancient tradition of the old-Yankee commandment, “thou shall not let the best players go to rivals,” and the Yankees were eager to strike him down with lightning. In their warped, revisionist covenant, Sweeny had sinned and must enter a confessional booth to repent.
Only so many heretics may be disposed of before the "Cashgod" is revealed as human. Flawed, capable of and prone to making poor decisions. Failing with regularity. Petulant. Unwavering. Dishonest. With Cashman, there have not been any miracles. He has been unable to turn water to wine. He descends into the river when he tries to walk across it. He refuses to be questioned and will not denounce his falsehoods and self-righteousness. We Romans are gathered at his Coliseum for one reason and one reason only. Not for entertainment, but victory. When we do not have it we demand it. Yet the almighty, "Cashgod" talks down to us.
In 2020 A.D., if he does not secure the ultimate victory, he will be dragged before Pontius Pilot.
If you are indeed the “Cashgod,” then this is your cross to bear.
Your opinion matters!
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