Results tagged ‘ Brian Cashman ’

Yankees react to the retirement of Hideki Matsui

Angels Matsui BaseballHideki Matsui was without a doubt one of the classiest players I’ve had the pleasure of covering, wonderfully balancing his graceful nature with a flair for the dramatic. His final game as a Yankee, the historic Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, could not have been a more perfect conclusion to his seven seasons in pinstripes.

Derek Jeter often called Matsui one of his favorite teammates, and that’s high praise — and well deserved. I was personally always amazed by Matsui’s pain tolerance; you’d see him 20 minutes after the end of a game in which he more often than not did something to help the Yankees’ cause, and he would be grimacing at his locker with huge ice bags strapped to both knees.

More than once, I can remember seeing Matsui before a game and thinking there was no way he’d be in that night’s lineup. Not only would he go through batting practice and wind up in the starting nine, but flash forward a few hours and I’d be scribbling a ‘HR’ in the scorecard next to his name.

Here is the press release from the Yankees announcing Matsui’s retirement, with statements included from Hal Steinbrenner, Jeter and Brian Cashman:

DECEMBER 27, 2012

NEW YORK YANKEES REACT TO THE RETIREMENT OF HIDEKI MATSUI

Mobbed by his former teammates, Matsui receives his World Series ring in April 2010.

Mobbed by his former teammates, Matsui receives his World Series ring in April 2010.

Earlier today, former Yankee Hideki Matsui announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.

Matsui – nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ – spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2003-09), combining to bat .292 (977-for-3,348) with 536 runs, 196 doubles, 140 home runs and 597RBI.

Originally signed by the Yankees as a free agent on January 14, 2003, following a 10-year career in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, Matsui became first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam in his Yankee Stadium debut, doing so on April 8, 2003 vs. Minnesota.

The two-time All-Star (2003-04) did not miss a game over his first three years with the Yankees, playing 518 consecutive games – which remains the longest streak of consecutive games played to start a career in Major League Baseball. He also drove in at least 100 runs four times during his MLB career, including each of his first three seasons.

In his final game as a Yankee, Matsui went 3-for-4 with a home run and 6RBI in the Yankees’ World Series-clinching Game 6 win vs. Philadelphia on November 4, 2009. The 6RBI is tied the World Series record for a single game (also the Yankees’ Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Albert Pujols in 2011), and sealed Matsui’s unanimous selection as the World Series MVP.

Matsui soaks up the scene as a champion  along the Canyon of Heroes in Nov. 2009.

Matsui soaks up the scene as a champion along the Canyon of Heroes in Nov. 2009.

STATEMENT FROM YANKEES MANAGING GENERAL PARTNER HAL STEINBRENNER

“Hideki Matsui, in many ways, embodied what this organization stands for. He was dedicated to his craft, embraced his responsibilities to his team and fans, and elevated his play when he was needed the most. He did all these things with a humility that was distinctly his own, which is why he was such a big part of our success and why he will always be a cherished member of the Yankees family.”

STATEMENT FROM YANKEES GENERAL MANAGER BRIAN CASHMAN

“Hideki is proof that baseball is an international attraction that brings people from all over the world together in their passion for the game. He was the type of player and person you want young fans of this game to emulate. He played with pride, discipline and of course talent, and flourished when the lights were at their brightest. People naturally gravitated towards him, and that’s a direct reflection of his character. He was a true professional in every sense of the word and it feels good knowing he was able to raise the championship trophy as a member of the Yankees.”

STATEMENT FROM YANKEES SHORTSTOP DEREK JETER (Matsui’s teammate from 2003-09)

“I’ve said it numerous times over the years, but it’s worth repeating now. I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees, but I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites. The way he went about his business day in and day out was impressive. Despite being shadowed by a large group of reporters, having the pressures of performing for his fans both in New York and Japan and becoming acclimated to the bright lights of New York City, he always remained focused and committed to his job and to those of us he shared the clubhouse with. I have a lot of respect for Hideki. He was someone we counted on a great deal and he’s a big reason why we became World Champions in 2009.”

Cashman, Yankees sorry to see Martin leave for Pirates

Russell MartinInbetween practice jumps down the side of the Landmark Building in Stamford, Conn. on Friday, as preparation for the city’s upcoming Heights and Lights festival, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded to Russell Martin’s decision to ink a reported two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cashman said that the Yankees had interest in retaining Martin this spring (offering him a three-year, $20 million deal, according to reports at the time), but the Yankees seemed to recognize that Martin’s departure was a very real possibility as they headed into the winter. Cashman said the Yankees never got around to making Martin an offer after the season, instead choosing to focus on pitching.

We will have full coverage on MLB.com later today, but here are some quick reaction quotes from the Yankees GM, who said the team may very well have their starting catcher on the roster right now in Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Austin Romine or Eli Whiteside:

On the aforementioned group of replacement catchers:
“Listen, without a doubt, in terms of catching and throwing and running games, I’d line those guys up with some of the best catchers in the game on the defensive side, game planning and handling a pitching staff. The bats, a couple of guys have the potential to become everyday catchers because of their bats, if they develop. Other guys really are more backup oriented.”

On the blow of losing Martin to Pittsburgh:
“I like Russell Martin. I’m a big Russell Martin fan. But ultimately we have a lot of holes to fill and we have to be very careful how we spend our money. The market for Russell was aggressive, as it should have been, and again our focus has been our pitching. After that, I’ve got a lot of different holes to fill. We need to be careful how we allocate our remaining funds to make sure that we can fill all the holes. Now, I feel fortunate to have had Russell Martin for the two years that we had him, and I’m sorry to see him go. The Pirates got a really good one, but at the same time, I think we’ll find ways to cushion the blow like we always try to do.”

On if Martin’s departure creates another hole to fill:
“No, when he left for free agency, that was the hole. That hole has been there. This isn’t something that caught us off guard. It’s something we were very well aware of, and the agent was very honest with us, as well as the player, Russell. The best shot we took at retaining him was in Spring Training, and after that, obviously it became more difficult and now he’s moving on.”

On if the Yankees were willing to offer the three-year, $20 million deal again:
“No, we were prepared to do that in Spring Training. We never made an offer. … We never got to that point.”

On if the Yankees will play on the high-end catching market:
“At the end of the day, we have holes to fill. In the catching area, we do have placeholders there. We have people that can handle and run the game. The offense is an area that currently what the rest of our roster provides will be a downgrade from what we’re used to, but the most important aspect — listen, when Girardi was catching for us, he was a defense oriented catcher. We played him at the time ahead of a young Posada and an older Leyritz. They were more offensive oriented at those times, so it’s not like we haven’t gone with defensive oriented first situation. We transitioned from Mike Stanley to Girardi while Posada was being cultivated and growing still. We had Girardi, we had gone away from Leyritz who was offensive oriented. I only point that out because it’s not the first time we’ve been in this position, but it’s an acknowledgement that the offense that is provided off the roster at that position right now certainly isn’t what we’ve been accustomed to. The defense is special in our opinion, no matter what name we’re going after. If you want to throw Stewart’s name, Cervelli’s name, or Whiteside, who we claimed off waivers but recently designated. Romine is young and up and coming and had a very good Fall League; a lot of good things coming. He just missed a full year of Triple-A development, unfortunately. He’s back on track, he’s healthy. At the very least, that’s our fall back, but we are going to have to pursue a lot of areas on this club — the bench, right field, potentially catching. Maybe not. It’s possible that our catchers are right here on this roster, right now. That is very well possible and more likely than not, to be honest. We’ll see. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.”

More Mo! Rivera tells Yanks he wants to pitch in 2013

NEW YORK – You will be hearing “Enter Sandman” over Yankee Stadium’s speakers once again in 2013.

Iconic closer Mariano Rivera has informed Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that he intends to pitch next season, thus answering one of the biggest questions of the club’s offseason.

“He called me yesterday and told me that he’d like to play in 2013,” Cashman said. “Now [agent] Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen.”

Rivera, who turns 43 next month, suffered a season-ending injury on May 3 in Kansas City, tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament. Rivera underwent surgery in June and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Baseball’s all-time saves leader with 608, plus a record 42 more in the postseason, Rivera is currently a free agent after his two-year, $30 million contract expired.

It is likely that the Yankees will offer less than $15 million for the 2013 season, considering Rivera’s age and the fact that he is coming off an injury.

But Cashman said that the Yankees trust Rivera can return to the closer’s role, which he has filled in the Bronx since inheriting it from John Wetteland for the 1997 season.

“I believe in his ability to fill that job that he’s always done,” Cashman said. “He’s never failed and I know that knee is going to be good, so we look forward to returning him to the closer’s role.”

Rivera made just nine appearances this year, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA. In 2011, Rivera was 1-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 64 appearances, converting 44 saves, and had saved at least 25 games in 15 consecutive seasons (1997-2011).

After Rivera’s injury, the Yankees’ closer job was held down by Rafael Soriano, who helped the club get to the postseason by converting 42 of 46 save opportunities. At the direction of agent Scott Boras, Soriano opted out of his contract last week, taking a $1.5 million buyout instead of a guaranteed $14 million salary for next season.

The Yankees issued Soriano a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer on Friday, along with identical offers for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Nick Swisher. Soriano and Swisher are expected to decline in favor of seeking multi-year deals on the open market; those three players have until Friday to accept or decline the offers.

“We have a qualifying offer on Soriano, so it’s still possible we’ll have him,” Cashman said. “From our perspective, we’re still in play.”

Cashman: Mariano isn’t coming back this year

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel this morning, where hosts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin asked about reports that closer Mariano Rivera may be able to play this season.

Cashman again splashed cold water on the idea, going a little bit further to call out Dr. Keith Pyne for unprofessional behavior. Pyne is the rehab doctor who is working with Rivera; he spoke to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman earlier this month, sparking what Cashman says is false hope of Rivera’s return in 2012.

Host/Jim Duquette: “Mo, is there a chance he could come back? We saw some reports that he might be able to come back.”

Brian Cashman: “No. I mean, his physical therapist that he’s working with, I thought was unprofessional and went public with things. I mean, medical personnel should be quiet. And it’s not our physical therapist, it’s someone he’s got that we’ve signed off on. But those guys should not be doing interviews and he provided an interview that was, you know, not a fair reflection of where this player’s at. His over-enthusiasm, I thought, provided improper information. He’s not coming back this year and I wish he was, I wish he was, but unfortunately people get excited. They want to get their name out there for whatever reason and so he got a day in the sun, but he’ll be proven wrong in the end unfortunately. So, he got all our fans excited and a lot more media attention for myself to deal with, but he’s not coming back this year. I wish he was.”

Rivera has said that his goal is to return in 2012 but he doesn’t want to commit to it for fear of creating disappointment. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has pointed out that it would be difficult for Rivera to prepare to pitch in postseason games since there is little Minor League action in September. After his right ACL injury, the all-time saves leader vowed to pitch in 2013.

Cashman wants to find answers from within

Adam Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A and will make his Major League debut on Friday against the White Sox.

The Yankees were hit with a double-whammy of injuries to left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on Wednesday, but general manager Brian Cashman said that his preference is to search for answers within the organization before burning up the telephone lines looking for potential trades.

Sabathia (left groin strain) should be back in the Yankees’ rotation after the All-Star break, missing just two starts, but Pettitte (fractured left ankle) is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

“I would prefer not to go outside,” Cashman said. “Obviously if we do go outside, we’ve done that before. This is part of the process. You have to have alternatives; this gives opportunities for people to step up. Just like some guys in the bullpen have allowed us to step up and withstand some injuries – that’s what Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and [Cody] Eppley have done – we’re going to have to ask for some other guys to do that for the rotation, as well. Let’s play it out and see where it takes us.”

The Yankees have already assigned starts to Adam Warren and Freddy Garcia, and Cashman said that David Phelps could soon be promoted from Class-A Tampa, where he is building back into a starter.

Phelps threw 55 pitches in his last outing at Class-A and could throw 65 to 70 pitches next time. Cashman said that Phelps would have been the first choice if he was ready to serve as a starter, but since he isn’t, the call will go to Warren.

“Warren is by far the next best for us. He’s earned it,” Cashman said. “He almost earned the opportunity last year, too. We’re excited to get a chance to see what he’s got to do. I know this is a day he’s been dreaming about and growing for. Throw strikes, try to eliminate the butterflies, trust the guys he’s got behind him and we’ll see where he takes us.

“He’s earned the right and he’s due for the opportunity. Now it’s going to come, which is great. Whatever happens is going to happen in the short-term; it’s not going to change the fact that we believe he’s a big-league starter going forward here at some point on a consistent basis.”

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