Cashman profile

Brian Cashman is dropping some moderate-sized bombs this morning

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espnW’s Amanda Rykoff is at WFAN’s Breakfast with a Champion event in New York this morning, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman is talking to the media.  She’s live-tweeting it, and it you can check out her feed now to see what all the columnists will be talking about tomorrow. Among the comments from Cashman that might have some legs:

  • WFAN’s Mike Francesca arrived late, turned to Cashman and said “How are you?” Cashman said “I’d be better if I could get a starter.”
  • He thinks that Derek Jeter will be moved off shortstop during his current contract period, probably to the outfield.
  • Cashman said that that the New York media coverage can wear a guy out.  That sound you hear is Bill Madden re-jiggering his “Cashman wants to be a small market GM” column with some extra “I told you so’s.”
  • Cashman was asked, once again, about Joba Chamberlain starting. He said  that Chamberlain hasn’t been the same pitcher since his injury that occurred in Texas back in 2008.  This has been suspected, but I believe it’s the first time that the Yankees have publicly acknowledged that Chamberlain’s injury was a big deal.
  • Cashman said that the Red Sox are the better team today, but that the Yankees have a better bullpen. He said that the Yankees are one starter away from being a World Series contender.
  • He called Mariano Rivera “The best Yankee I’ve ever seen.”  With apologies to Derek Jeter, I’d probably agree with that assessment. I’m not talking about value in some statistical sense — he’s still a closer — but in terms of the awe he inspires, I don’t think any Yankee of the current era comes close to Mo.

Fun stuff. It should give the New York press material until pitchers and catchers report.  Thanks for passing it along, Amanda.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.