On the off day between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series, the New York Yankees joined the other cool kids in the playoff loser bunch and parted ways with their manager. Cutting-edge decision making like this is what keeps the Nationals, Red Sox and Yankees ahead of their loser brethren in Denver, Phoenix and Minneapolis.
Though initially sold as a mutual parting of the ways, it was later revealed that Yankee GM Brian Cashman wanted Girardi gone. So he’s gone.
While I like Dusty Baker (more to come on him later), and John Farrell did win a WS in Boston, I think the Yankees are making the biggest mistake. In my view, Girardi has consistently gotten better than expected results from the Yankees in his 10 seasons there, just as he did in his one season in Miami.
And as for the concern that he’s not the right guy to lead this next crop of young Yankees, I can’t fathom how that’s a reasonable conclusion. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino were not expected to be this good, just as longstanding outfielder Brett Gardner before them was not seen as a 30-WAR player when he was coming up in the New York system. The Yankees have a terrible habit of getting better than anticipated play at the big-league level up and down the roster. If that’s not on Girardi, then who is responsible?
For many Yankee fans, it must be Brian Cashman. While I think Cashman is a pretty solid GM, it’s remarkable that he’s managed to survive almost 20 seasons in charge of the Yanks without a whiff of criticism. Essentially, he’s managed this by getting credit for everything that goes right, while the poor decisions are blamed on any of the Steinbrenner boys, dead or alive. Hell, a recent commenter at BTF, in reaction to the Girardi firing, noted he’d done a good job in hiring Joe Torre and Girardi, so he was worth trusting. That must be the next evolution on the Cashman Love Story, giving Cashman credit for things that happened before he even became GM.
But what the hell, I’m game. Herewith, the Top 10 greatest moves made by Brian Cashman.
10.* Drafted Aaron Judge
9. Grabbed Aaron Small off the scrap heap.
8. Considered, but ultimately turned down, deal with Senators for Aaron Burr following his solid 1803 campaign.
7. Traded domestically reprehensible closer to Cubs for hot prospect Gleyber Torres.
6. Shrewdly signed free agent closer who had just won Game 7 of the World Series
5. Snookered Derek Jeter, trading 35-year-old middle reliever for AL MVP from 2029-2033, inclusive.
4. Integrated baseball
3. Traded for Babe Ruth, the key move in creating Yankee dynasty.
2. In deadline deal with Indians, acquired Manhattan for $24.
1. Obviously, extended contract of Yankees GM Brian Cashman.