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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brian Cashman sez Derek Jeter is the center fielder of the future

Brian Cashman participated in WFAN's "Breakfast With a Champion" series this morning. Mike Francesa interviewed him on a slew of topics, and social media maven -- and espnW blogger -- Amanda Rykoff tweeted the event. Because Cashman was pretty candid, some of his words are already causing a whole to-do, like his idea of one day putting Derek Jeter in center field.

Cash said, "I'd be surprised if he plays SS for all 4 years. I see him moving to OF." He later explained, "I like corner outfielders and corner infielders who have power, so for me, if he's ever gonna move, it's probably gonna be a Robin Yount situation. But we don't have to deal with it at this point. We'll deal with it when we have to."


I can't see Jeter ever being a center fielder. Yount moved off shortstop when he was 29; Jeter is already 36. And if he can't hit for average any more, there really isn't a spot for him in the Yankee lineup. Of course, Cashman can't say that, so he brought up center field, which also happens to be a glamour position in Yankeeland. What else is he going to say? After all, even though the captain did say last month he was in the "middle" of his career, he really isn't.

I really don't have a problem with what Cash said about Jeter at the breakfast. What does irk me a little is the way he tried to backtrack from his comments, as Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports:
Cashman said that he answered the fan's question in that fashion because it was not in a formal setting.


"This was not a press conference where we are talking about something that may never happen," Cashman said.
Please. He's speaking in public, at an event where hundreds of fans paid to attend, and where the top radio figure in New York hosted. How could Cashman not think what he said would not get out? And what difference does it make what the setting was? If you're the GM of the biggest team in baseball, you pretty much have to assume that everything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. Heck, I'm careful with what I say on Facebook and Twitter for that reason, and I'm nobody!

I also thought it was interesting that when Cashman asked who the best Yankee he's ever seen, he said it was Mariano Rivera, and not Jeter. (That's my answer, too, so I don't exactly disagree with that assessment -- I just think it's interesting that he didn't say Jeter.)

There were apparently a few other candid Cashman comments:

* He finally acknowledged that Joba Chamberlain hasn't been the same pitcher since he was injured in Texas in 2008 when he was a starter. (Which begs the question, why was there the whole "competition" between Hughes and Chamberlain last spring training for the starting spot?)

* When asked who was better, right now, Yankees or Red Sox, he said the Red Sox, but that the Yankees had a better bullpen. No thanks to him, though!

* Cashman said this about A.J. Burnett: "He knows he has a problem and he's doing all he can to fix it." That's a very strange way to describe the Burnett situation, unless he's getting at something else!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

randombaseballstuff.com said...

I find it interesting that Cashman was that candid at a public event.

I'd also like to know why anyone believes Derek Jeter would be capable of moving to center field once his fielding skills deteriorate to the point that the Yankees have to concede that he's not a major league shortstop any more.