Billy Beane’s job is very different from Brian Cashman’s. Imagine Cashman acting as a seller come trade time while the Yanks were still very much involved in the play-off race. Beane has done just this these past two weeks. Oakland is still in the post-season hunt–at least according to its record. And yet Beane has traded off 2/5 of his starting rotation for packages of prospects. The Harden trade, one could argue, actually brought back players who can help now–including today’s starter Sean Gallagher–but the appearance these trades give is that Beane doesn’t like Oakland’s chances in 2008 and is reloading for 2009 and beyond. Such a situation seems impossible to imagine in New York. Is Cashman even allowed to think his team sellers ever? The Steinbrenners, New York reporters, most New Yorkers, the city’s pigeons, all would be hard pressed to give up on a season midway through it, no matter how dire the situation. Given their respective divisions, there are even more obstacles standing in the way of post-season entry for the Yanks than there are for Oakland. But such is life in the Big Apple. Selling is not an option. At least not this early.
But one wonders if the zeitgeist of the city clouds our hero Cashman’s judgment. One of the most important qualities a front office man should have is self-knowledge, or rather an honest insight into his team’s actual ability moving forward. Beane assessed the situation and since everyone in Oakland and beyond thinks he knows what he’s doing, and since ownership seems to let him do what he wants, he acted accordingly. But does the New York situation compromise a general manager’s decisions? Yes, he can spend money, a lot of it. But must he lie to himself more as a result? It’s a state of confusion. And since Richie Sexson is not in today’s line-up, you have your gamer title–a tribute to Sonic Youth, New Yorkers through and through.
This is a rather bizarre gamer, yes, I agree. The Yanks looked very good last night. I was especially pleased with Cano’s swings–he looks on top of every pitch, ready to hit everything hard. And David Robertson is looking quite good out there (again, why do we need Brian Fuentes?). Joba is on the hill for the Bombers. Let’s hope the Yanks justify our New York Buyer stance! Comment here.