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Who’s in Charge in the Bronx? Cashman Sits A-Rod

Rodriguez, Cashman

Is it just me, or is it a whole lot of fun to compare the Yankees and Red Sox organizations? On the one hand, an enlightened despotism under Theo, the boy-king, and on the other, a treacherous, backbiting cabal ruled by the madness of King George?

I mention this because Yanks GM Brian Cashman appears to have acted on his own authority in benching the free-falling Alex Rodriguez. Don’t managers usually make decisions like this? Say what you will about Terry Francona, you can’t imagine that he’d sit still for that kind of meddling from above. I’d be willing to bet large sums of money that even high-handed Yankee management wouldn’t have been able to pull something like this in the days of Joe Torre. Whether or not it was a wise decision is immaterial: Yankee management is sticking its nose into day-to-day baseball decisions, and, historically, this action has been a good sign for Red Sox fans.

The turn-of-the-century dominance that the Yanks enjoyed has faded precipitously. They haven’t won a pennant since 2003, which interestingly enough, coincides with the arrival in New York of our dear glove-slapping friend A-Rod. They’re rapidly falling back into their stereotypical portrayal of 20-odd years ago: spending giant haystacks of money on aging stars, underachieving (as much as a team with a 38-31 record can), and being troubled by an unstable egomaniac of an owner. I still can’t think of Steinbrenner without hearing Larry David’s impression of him.

Of course, they bring it upon themselves, with their uncanny knack for getting players in at the absolute peak of their market value and then looking confused at their inevitable decline. You’d feel sorry for them, but then you remember – they’re the Yankees. And you chortle happily to yourself, crack a beer, and watch that clip of Ellsbury stealing home for the 43rd time.

The Jays are average, the Orioles still stink, the Rays are turning back into pumpkins, and the Yankees are in disarray. Small wonder the Sox are 20-8 against the AL East. Small wonder it’s such a fun time to be a Sox fan.

About Jon

I used to get along with Cubs fans so much better before 2004. What gives?

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6 comments for “Who’s in Charge in the Bronx? Cashman Sits A-Rod”

  1. Yeah, it’s only a matter of time before Cashman fires Girardi. Then who can manage that group?

    hahhaa at Larry David!

    Posted by KC | June 24, 2009, 6:51 am
  2. I don’t mind a comparison of the two organizations, IF the facts are straight. Jon Heyman a critically acclaimed writer for Sports Illustrated did just that. Here is what he reported.
    • Alex Rodriguez’s two days of rest was instigated by the front office, as was reported first here. But it shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a slap at manager Joe Girardi. A-Rod just couldn’t bring himself to admit he was wearing down whenever Girardi checked with him. So Yankees higher-ups Brian Cashman and Randy Levine engaged A-Rod and Yankees medical staff on a conference call (Girardi wasn’t available at that moment), and Rodriguez finally admitted he was tiring to the point where he wasn’t himself. Rodriguez’s refusal to give Girardi the straight dope isn’t a reflection on Girardi but the natural course for players who don’t like to sit. So the decision was made on the conference call.

    Posted by Josh | June 24, 2009, 5:47 pm
  3. @Josh:

    I appreciate your point, but I still think that it speaks volumes that Yankee management felt they had to step in. Girardi “wasn’t available?” Isn’t this the kind of moment that managers get paid for?

    Posted by Jon | June 24, 2009, 6:20 pm
  4. Managers get paid to do a lot of things, like manage 25 players. Francona kept getting paid when Manny decided he didn’t want to play, when Nomar decided he didn’t want to play then when they felt like playing Francona let them play. Does that make Francona a bad manager? No, he did what he felt was best for his team, in that case it was ignoring moody star players antics. In Girardi’s case, he trusted arod was telling him the truth. The Yankees upper brass doesn’t have to worry about keeping the players trust, so that’s why they basically put Arod in a corner by bringing him in for a conference call with the medical staff on the line to try to prove that he was in playing shape.

    Posted by Josh | June 24, 2009, 9:11 pm
  5. Yeah, but in the cases of Manny and Nomar, Red Sox brass trusted Francona. Yankee brass did not show the same trust in Girardi. Like I said, I don’t think they’d have dared to do that to Torre.

    Posted by Jon | June 24, 2009, 9:30 pm
  6. Hahaha. Reading back on this is hysterical. Good job predicting this one.

    Posted by Tom | July 13, 2010, 11:49 am

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