The Big Lead

The Big Lead (a sports blog in the vein of Deadspin for those of you who aren’t familiar) did a piece explaining the Yankees’ failures this year.

To start with, the article makes a few good points: it’s not A-Rod or Girardi’s fault, Jeter gets too much of a free pass, etc.

However, a few things mentioned about Hank and Cashman bothered me. Regarding Hank:

An overall loud mouth who pushed Joba Chamberlain into the starting rotation (which worked well until he injured himself).

Sigh. Everyone in the Yankees’ organization said Joba would be a starter. Cashman, Hal, Hank, Girardi. All from the beginning. Hank just said it like it was news.

During the off season he called Oakland’s demands for Dan Haren
ridiculous and backed Brian Cashman’s decision not to trade for Johan
Santana for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a minor leaguer because he
was convinced that Kennedy was going to be a star.

Oakland’s demands for Haren probably were ridiculous – this is Billy Beane we’re talking about. And Hank did not back Cashman – he wanted to trade for Johan. But he was talked out of it. Anyone following the trade talks knew this. And Kennedy might be a star. Last I checked, he’s only 23.

Is he responsible for the mistakes this team has made? As much as I
hate to say it, probably not. But, his unwillingness to scrap the team,
allow for a losing season, and rebuild is preventing the team from
growing and making the necessary changes to succeed.

Um… so he’s at fault for trying to rebuild through youth and not trading for aging veterans… oh and it’s his fault because he’s preventing the Yankees from rebuilding. Gotcha.

Regarding Cashman:

As GM, he was at the helm when the Yankees turned down the offer of Kennedy, Cabrera and CF Jose Tabata for Johan Santana.

And let us all (well, Yankee fans) be thankful that he did. Or the Yankees would be paying over $20 million a year to a declining pitcher.

His trades for Pudge Rodriguez, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte had little affect[sic].

Pudge I’ll give you (and I guess Marte as well) but Nady, who was the biggest acquisition? He’s only thrown up a .304/.360/.552 since he’s arrived. I’d say he’s had an impact.

He couldn’t get CC Sabathia because the Yanks have a very thin farm
system (years of trading minor leaguers for superstars will do that).

Were this 2004, I’d say good point. But it’s not. The Yankees last I checked are generally ranked in the top 5 in terms of farm systems, though with IPK and Joba losing their rookie status, this could change. Either way, their system is certainly not “very thin.” Their pitching depth is amongst the best in baseball.

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