Why Larry Should Thank His Lucky Stars
Earlier in the day, I gave you a play-by-play of Larry Barnes’ temper tantrum, why Brian Cashman was right to include an opt-out clause in C.C.’s contract, and why C.C. will milk that clause for all it’s worth. But let’s flesh this out some more, because we still need to discuss why some Yankees fans are assholes.
All of this drama comes down to the fact that C.C. wants a contract extension. He just came off of a Cy Young-caliber season. He is only 30-years-old. He has a chance to get a raise from his current $23 million/year contact. The Yankees are desperate and he knows it. He also knows that, without Cliff Lee or Andy Pettitte, the Yankees have a ton of leftover money to invest in an ace. Why wouldn’t C.C. try to extend his contract while he is still healthy, dominant, and in a position of power? When will anyone in his family ever be in such a position again? He can ensure that his great-grandchildren will be taken care of for life. His agent, Greg Genske, is more-or-less required to explore the potential options. And unfortunately, opting-out is one of them. It simply drives up C.C.’s value, because it isn’t like anyone is actually going to outbid the Yankees. So by purposely dropping a loaded comment like “anything is possible” in the media, Genske just scared the crap out of half of New York. As evidenced by Larry Barnes. Listen, C.C. has gushed about New York and the fact that he has no intention to leave it. As he mentioned, he bought a huge house, his kids are happily enrolled in school, and he is settled here. I don’t think that he is going anywhere; I just think that he wants more buck for his bang. And I can’t blame him.
But I can blame stupid people for adding to the already ridiculous media firestorm, especially when they do not rely on the facts. To use Brian Cashman as a scapegoat for C.C.’s due diligence – and, even more so, for other non-Yankees’ decisions to sign elsewhere – is unfounded. Cashman offered Cliff Lee the money and years to make it happen, and he had previously offered our best prospect for him; it is not his fault that Cliff Lee had a hard-on for Philly or that the bankrupted Rangers stole him in July. So, his “failure to provide any other options for the franchise” is simply unsupported. Don’t get me wrong; Cash is not without his faults. At times, he puts all of his eggs into one basket and when it falls apart, we are left with nothing. But how often does that happen? Other than, say, Greg Maddux and Cliff Lee, how many big-time free agents have spurned the Yankees? Still, there are ungrateful fans out there that act like Brian Cashman is useless and/or lazy.
Sure, he has a $200 million payroll to work with, but some assholes assume that if they had those funds at their disposal, the Yankees would be 152-10 every year. That is just irrationally ridiculous. I wish we could put all of these people into a fantasy league and see who bombs the quickest. The Yankees have been a 90 to 100 win team for basically the past 15 years. We are always in contention. We always have a shot at the championship. We have a rock solid farm system. Go ask the Indians, Pirates, Dodgers, or hell, the Mets about incompetence. I detested the Javier Vazquez signing and had nightmares about his first stint in the Big Apple. But when Cashman re-signed him, he was dominating the National League, he was the best available trade, and we got him at an extremely reasonable price. The fact that he sucked was not Cashman’s fault. It also wasn’t his fault that Nick Johnson got injured or Curtis Granderson was disappointing. Cash may have a lot of money to work with, but he only has so much control over the situation. In regards to C.C., he tried to create a mutually beneficial deal that would bring C.C. to New York, and it worked; for better or worse, the opt-out clause was a necessary evil.
As a Yankees fan, it riles me to no end when we come off as unappreciative, insufferable, or entitled. We should be thanking Brian Cashman. He has dealt with George Steinbrenner and his sons, ARod, Derek Jeter, steroids, the fans, and the media. He is straight-forward and entertaining. He juggles New York, and all of the craziness associated with it, nearly to perfection. I hope we extend his contract almost as much as I hope we extend C.C.’s. And when we do, I hope that he takes his gigantic fake hammer weapon and knocks some sense into Larry Barnes.