You gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to be this much of a joyless scold:
At this point, I would much rather have someone who is “no name” – but a real and qualified “baseball person” – someone trying to make his bones as a hard working GM, running the Yankees. Someone who just wants to do his job, and well, with no fanfare or excuses, rather than someone who is running around town in a wig speaking an pancake breakfasts, jumping off buildings, tending bar – and getting his picture on TV and in the papers.
Gabe Paul and Stick Michael just did their job without using it as a platform to attain celebrity status. Cashman should follow that example instead of trying to be like Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Kenny Williams – making a “name” for himself for doing things outside of the office. Guys like John Schuerholz and Pat Gillick did it right. Cashman’s inflated sense of self-importance and need for admiration is getting old in a hurry here. I just hope the Yankees put an end to it – and soon.
And yes, the writer — Steve Lombardi of Was Watching — is fully aware that Cashman’s bartending thing was for charity. Doesn’t matter to him. I suppose he should have been trading for Roy Halladay last night or something.
If this stuff is so unsavory to Was Watching, one wonders why he’s even watching in the first place.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉