Hank Steinbrenner said Brian Cashman never got to personally meet with Cliff Lee when negotiating with him, and Steinbrenner blames it on the deer. In an extensive interview with Kevin Kernan, Yammering Hank explains:
“The fans pay the bills, we owe it to ourselves and to them to put the best product out there,” Hank said. “If we couldn’t get Cliff Lee, I’m really happy about getting Soriano. I just wish Lee would have given Brian the chance to meet with him, but [Lee] was on a hunting trip. He’s got his own reasons.”
A six-week hunting trip? What was Lee hunting — the woolly mammoth?
And this is the first I’ve heard that Cashman didn’t meet with Lee — there was a whole to-do at the beginning of the free agent season about how Cash flew out to Arkansas to see him. What’s the real story here?
At any rate, it seems that Lee’s reported aversion to meeting with Cashman was a big honking clue that he wasn’t coming here. So the current spin that the Yanks were stymied/blindsided by the rejection is just that — spin.
The whole Hank interview is worth a read — he predicted bounceback years for pretty much everybody in pinstripes, too. He also said the Yankees “just need to [bleeping] win”!
Anyhow, I noted yesterday about how Brian Cashman tried to justify his talking about Derek Jeter moving to center field by blaming the setting. He’s continuing with that lame excuse in today’s John Harper column:
“This is not a news event,” he said. “I was having a baseball chat with fans. It was not a declaration of what we intend to do with Derek. It was hypothetical. It’s no different than talking about Randy Johnson, when he was a Yankee, and saying that if he got to the point where he wasn’t starting anymore, he could be a great short reliever.”
Nonsense. Cashman made this comments at a breakfast in front of 150 fans and Mike Francesa, the biggest radio personality in town. Did he really think he could keep this quiet? What a lame excuse.
Besides, his answer wasn’t a hypothetical. The Yankees have Jeter under contract for the next four years, and this is an issue they will have to face. And does Cashman really think that comparing Jeter, the most beloved Yankee of his generation, to Randy Johnson’s future is “no different”? Come on now. And I say that as someone who completely agreed with Cashman’s stance on Jeter this offseason.
One other tidbit from Cashman’s interview with Harper:
“My job isn’t to make friends,” he said. “My job is to do what’s right for the organization. I’ll do what I’m paid to do at all costs.”
Forget about the talk of Cashman being a GM elsewhere next season. The whole “I’m not here to make friends” is straight out of every competitive reality show! I’m thinking “Survivor” will have Boston Rob oppose Cashman next year!
What do you think? Squawk back!