February 17, 2011

PART I: In Defense of Brian Cashman and C.C. Sabathia, or a Response to a Bleacher Report Rant.

Larry’s Lament

When I said yesterday that there would be a later post about C.C. Sabathia and his contract issues, I originally intended to write it sometime early next week.  But then I read a rant on Bleacher Report entitled “Brian Cashman’s Incompetence Leaves New York Yankees Over a Barrel,” by some dude named Larry Barnes.  If you want to read it, you can use Google, but with all due respect, I refuse to link to such stupidity.  As a disclaimer, we should acknowledge that a lot of the nonsense posted on Bleacher Report has no academic or entertainment value.  But every now and then, there will be insightful commentary or an amusing slide-show.  This was not one of those posts. 

Mr. Barnes begins his hissy fit by talking about the “GIGANTIC hammer” that C.C. Sabathia holds over the Yankees as a result of his opt-out clause. It is like C.C. is Thor. He claims that what is most damning about the situation is that “Brian Cashman is not only the one who basically forced Sabathia to hold the hammer, but also the one responsible for making it so ginormous.” He mentions how Cashman personally “threw in” the opt-out clause to entice C.C. to New York, but he alleges that it was unnecessary because C.C. had already said that he was “100% committed to New York.” Now, all because of “Cashman’s brilliant idea,” the Yankees will have to take on additional years of risk.  One of my favorite parts, however, was this:  

And here’s the real kicker: Thanks to Cashman’s inability to provide the Yankees with any real options over the last two-plus years since Sabathia signed his deal, New York’s ace has the team completely over a barrel.

There is just so much ridiculousness there, but let’s keep going.  The problem, he says, is that we are dealing with “multiple levels of incompetence on the part of Cashman.” Multiple levels. Mr. Barnes isn’t fucking around here. I will let him explain the levels, because I am not sure that I can do it justice (this was my other favorite part):
First, Cashman gave Sabathia the hammer by volunteering the opt-out clause, then he turned it into a sledgehammer by failing to provide any other options for the franchise that provides Cashman with never-before-seen resources with which to do his job. There is a sliver of good news for the Yankees in all of this. At almost exactly the same time Sabathia figures to be wielding his GM-provided and enhanced weapon, Cashman’s current contract will expire.
Not only has the gigantic hammer, which later became ginormous, now turned into a sledgehammer, it has also morphed into an enhanced weapon.  This is a gigantic ginormous enhanced weapon sledgehammer, people. Due to the fear-mongering, we are currently investigating whether Mr. Barnes is employed by FoxNews, but my house elf has not yet returned from his mission, and it would be improper for me to comment on it at this time.  Barnes goes on to complain how Cashman has “damaged” the Boss’s “most-prized possession,” turned the Yankees into an underdog, and basically ruined the state of New York forever.  At least we will soon have the Nets.

First of all, the reason that Cashman included the opt-out clause was because three years of C.C. were better than no C.C. at all.  Before he signed, C.C. was hesitant to come to the East Coast, and in particular, New York. Cashman threw a boatload of money and years at him early – in part, to scare off competitors and set the bar so high that no one could even venture joining the bidding war. Still, the offer sat there for months, there was no guarantee that he would sign, and we needed him.  Our rotation, much like it is now, was a mess. The question I’d pose is this: if we now had the opportunity to sign Cliff Lee, King Felix, or Roy Halladay for only three years, knowing that they would choose to leave in a few seasons, would you do it?  Of course you would.  Like no doubt whatsoever, sign me up now. And Brian Cashman knew this.  If an opt-out clause guaranteed that C.C. would sign on the dotted line, then who cares?  If he was pitching so incredibly that he’d opt-out and test the market, then those three years were totally worth it. And in those three years, regardless if C.C. ultimately leaves, he brought us a championship (maybe two!) for the first time in nearly a decade.  As far as I am concerned, A+ to Brian Cashman. 
Sure, it sucks that he may opt-out. It is not like I am happy about it.  But do I blame him? Not at all.  Just because C.C. once said that he was “100% committed” to New York – which, by the way, came after he signed, i.e. when the opt-out clause was already inserted in his contract – does not mean anything.  I have no doubt that he has been committed over the past two seasons, is still committed, and will be committed for as long as he is a Yankee.  C.C. is just that type of workhorse and all-around good guy.  But this is business.  If I was his agent, you’d be damned sure that I would tell him to opt-out.  Especially after some of the ridiculous contracts that pitchers have received over the past few years.  I would be doing him a disservice as an attorney if I didn’t.  At the very least, I would advise him to taunt the Yankees that “anything is possible” and see how they react.  Because that is what I think this is really about – a contract extension.  And I think his agent, Greg Genske, is playing this to perfection.

Come back in a few hours for Part 2, wherein I will explain why Greg Genske is playing this to perfection, why we can’t blame Brian Cashman for any of it, and why I think that Yankees fans like Larry Barnes are total assholes. 


  1. Wait is that a new pic of CC post dropping the 30 el bees? Either way, looking gooooood, CC.

  2. Thanks for the love!

    How 'bout a blog link exchange?

    Yankees 'n More: