Results tagged ‘ Brian Cashman ’
There were several light moments during last night’s charity event to benefit Yankees radio engineer and producer Carlos Silva, but one that sticks out concerns Mariano Rivera and his not-so-secret desire to play center field for an inning in a big league game.
A fan brought the topic up during the Q&A portion of the evening, and I was a little surprised to hear it — I assumed that’d been put to rest by last year’s injury in Kansas City. Yankees manager Joe Girardi answered the question fairly, pointing out that the only scenario where they’d even consider it would be a bad one for the Yankees — it’d have to be late in the season and already apparent that the team wasn’t going to the playoffs, since they wouldn’t risk losing their closer (again) with any chance of a World Series on the line.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman had a better response, laughing and saying that Rivera killed those plans for himself by crumpling on the warning track at Kauffman Stadium last May.
“My answer is, you saw what he did. He can’t play center field,” Cashman said, laughing. “The guy is an old man! He blew his knee out!”
That doesn’t mean Rivera has completely given up on the idea; brought on stage seconds later, he announced that we all haven’t heard the last of him in center field.
It should go without saying by now, but this Rivera guy doesn’t give up easily. Here’s how Girardi and Cashman handled the question:
More newsy notes from last night:
- Cashman said that the Yankees invited Hideki Matsui to Spring Training as a celebrity guest instructor, but Matsui declined because his wife is expecting a child. By the way, Jorge Posada – fresh off his appearance at Women’s Fantasy Camp – has hinted that he’ll be attending.
- Girardi said that there is “no formula” for how the Yankees will handle their catching, but they’re holding firm that it’ll probably be from the group of Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. The Yankees don’t view Stewart as a starting catcher, but Girardi said that he could see Romine – who remains slated to begin the year at Triple-A – playing in New York for “a substantial amount of time” in the near future.
- Cashman likened Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams to former big league outfielder Otis Nixon with a little more power, which is a comparison I hadn’t heard before. He also said that Mark Montgomery has a real chance to land at the big league level this year, wielding a nasty slider that could have him help in a David Robertson-type role.
- Cashman on why the Yankees were so quiet on the free agent market: “This market, this winter, was bad.”
- Cashman on what he liked about adding Travis Hafner: “Big hairy monster. I keep saying that, but none of those guys have a lot of hair. He’s the profile we like; on-base percentage with power from the left side. He’s not someone that when he’s coming to the plate, a pitcher is going to be too comfortable facing, especially in our ballpark.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman dropped a little bit of news during an appearance on ESPN 98.7 FM this afternoon, confirming to hosts Ryan Ruocco and Stephen A. Smith that Travis Hafner will indeed be in pinstripes this season.
Hafner is expected to receive a one-year, $2 million deal that includes incentives, and he’ll serve as the Yankees’ DH against right-handed pitching. The deal has not been officially announced by the Yankees, pending the completion of contract language and a physical.
Most of Cashman’s interview, however, revolved around the Alex Rodriguez situation — and there is little Cashman is permitted to say at this time concerning the issue.
Here’s a brief summary (you can listen to the entire 13-minute interview here) —
Initial response to the allegations: Cashman said that the Yankees’ media relations department received a letter last Friday from the Miami New Times, seeking a comment from A-Rod. The Yankees turned the issue over to MLB and the Commissioner’s Office, and have not commented further since then. Cashman said that the Yankees had no knowledge of the situation before receiving the letter, and the team is in full cooperation with MLB. Cashman later said he hasn’t spoken to A-Rod, and wouldn’t comment when asked if he would.
On potentially voiding A-Rod’s contract as a result of this: “Those type of suggestions and speculation are all premature until you have facts. You can’t act on anything, you can’t pursue anything, unless you have verifiable facts. That’s what Major League Baseball is determining. They have an office that handles these things and are very serious about these circumstances. We’ll just have to wait until there are facts, and see how it relates to every individual team and player if everything is verified. Obviously we have a very bad story that Major League Baseball is looking into right now.”
A-Rod in 2013: Cashman said that the Yankees continue to expect A-Rod to come back from his hip surgery in 2013, but his stance is that they’re not counting on it, and that’s why they gave $12 million to Kevin Youkilis. It’s a similar situation to that of rehabbing right-hander Michael Pineda, who is scheduled to help at the big league level in May or June, but Cashman said he can’t plan on it. Pineda has been throwing from a half-mound down in Tampa this week and it does not sound like he’s had any setbacks.
Derek Jeter update: Jeter is healthy and cleared for action, and the Yankees are taking him slowly because they have time. The goal is to have him at shortstop on Opening Day vs. Boston and Cashman said, “There’s no reason that’s not going to happen. he’s really 100 percent healthy and he’s now knocking the rust off.”
Jeter has been hitting off a tee and taking ground balls hit directly at him. Cashman said that the Yankees could clear him to run right now, but they’ll hold off out of caution. “His recovery is very predictable,” Cashman said.
There has been a lot of talk about the quiet winter that the Yankees are having, and it’s justified in many respects. It’s difficult to look at the roster on paper and make the case that the team is now better than the one that was swept by the Tigers in last year’s American League Championship Series.
But while some are already picking the Blue Jays as the team to beat in the American League East, general manager Brian Cashman isn’t buying the suggestion that the Yankees won’t be competitive this season, as he told reporters last night at an event for Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation dinner in New York.
Here’s a quick transcript of Cashman’s meeting with the media (thanks to MLB.com’s Mark Newman for passing it along):
On looking forward to Spring Training: “I am, especially in this kind of weather. It’s nice to get out there, and now we can actually show you that we do have a team. A lot of people think we don’t.”
On proving those people wrong: “That comes in the course of the season. I have until now and the Trade Deadline to solve all issues, and everybody usually has some area of vulnerability. We obviously have some that we need to shore up. I think the pitching staff’s not one of them at this stage, and we have a lot of quality players we are going to be running out there. So I’ll have some time between Opening Day and May 21 or whatever to continue to look for ways to shore up and improve those areas, such as the bench and right-handed bat for the outfield, that currently stand out.”
On the Yankees being better in 2013: “It’s too early to say whether we’ll be better. It’s hard to be better than a 95-win team anyway, it’s hard to squeeze out an extra win from 95 wins to 96 or 97 or whatever. It’s too early to say. It’s still evolving. We’ve got players who are getting healthy. We’ve just got to have more time to reinforce some areas but also see where we are with Jeter, Mariano and CC — all are expected to be fine, but until they’re out there doing what you’re consistently used to seeing, you’ve got to wait it out.”
On the offseason: “I’m in the marketplace both with free agent and trade, and I’ll stay that way, with available players and have conversations, whether it’s a non-roster invite or actually a Major League acquisition in some form or fashion. I mean, I’m open for it. Clearly, everything that’s taken place so far, either we passed on or they passed on us. We just keep working on it and see where it takes us.”
On feeling comfortable with this roster: “My job is never to feel comfortable. I never do. We had the ’98 world championship team, and I wasn’t comfortable. So I’ve never been comfortable — and that team was 125 wins and 50 losses. So I think it’s best to never feel comfortable.”
On former D-back and current Brave Justin Upton: “Did I ever have a conversation with Arizona about him? Yeah, but they weren’t focusing on us.”
Hideki 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
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.
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.”
Inbetween 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.”