Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why did Brian Cashman pursue Carl Pavano -- and insult Andy Pettitte?

I've been saying all winter that for some strange reason, Brian Cashman seems to have shown very little interest in wanting Andy Pettitte back. His comments have been very tepid in talking about one of the greatest pitchers the Yankees have ever had. And the fact that Cash recently compared Pettitte to Brett Favre, the day before praising Carl Pavano (!) seems to be a real passive-aggressive message to the Texas hurler.

Compare and contrast:

Cashman on Pavano: "I had several discussions (with his agent). I still believe Pav can pitch here. He has proven he can pitch in some difficult situations. The thing is, he's healthy. I don't think he was afraid to come back here, either."

Cashman on Pettitte: "I told him don’t ‘Brett Favre’ us. You got to be all in and fully dedicated to play. Do I need him? I need him, but I don’t want him to play if his heart’s not in it.”

Yes, because nothing shows how much you need Andy Pettitte than comparing him to Brett Favre. How insulting, especially given that Pettitte is known for living his life as a Christian family man, while Favre is known for allegedly sending pictures of his genitals to girls half his age. Way to go, Brian!

Besides, the comparison is not even accurate -- Favre actually retired and unretired a gazillion times. Pettitte has never done that. And as much as I despise Favre, nobody can accuse him of not being "all in" when he did play. Suggesting such a scenario with Pettitte is also insulting.

Squawker Jon notes Cashman even using a friendly nickname - "Pav" - for Pavano. As far as I'm concerned, Pavano already has two perfectly good nicknames -- American Idle and the Crash Test Dummy!

Anyhow, I thought Derek Jeter was wrong to think that the Yankees mistreated him this offseason -- they clearly made him their priority. Pettitte, on the other hand, has a right to feel slighted. And it's not the first time this has happened -- remember the halfhearted offer they made to him after the 2003 season? Or the way they halved his salary a few years ago? I'm sure Pettitte remembers that, too.

My old boss posted here the other day that he thought Pettitte might play for the Astros again. Given the inept way Cashman has pursued him, I wouldn't be surprised.

As for Pavano, Cashman wants us all to forget that it was he who made Carl get a second, a third, and a fourth opinion on whether he needed Tommy John surgery. And this was *after* Pavano had gone to see Dr. James Andrews. Now he acts like Pavano was just misunderstood or something. Puh-lease.

And remember, Pettitte played hurt in the playoffs this year to help his team. Not that his Cashman cares about that. Maybe if Andy had been laid up for months with bruised buttocks or something, his GM would have more respect for him.

At any rate, it's sad that Randy Levine, of all people, showed more passion in just one statement on Pettitte than Cashman has all winter. The Yankee president said this a few weeks back:
"Andy's a great Yankee and a great person and I know he'll give it thought and follow his heart and we'll respect his decision. But we're out there, all of us, hoping every day that he comes back," Levine added. "I think he knows we need him. I think he knows how much we respect him and what a great leader he is."
Is it too much to expect the Yankee GM to say something similar about one of the most beloved players on the team? Apparently so.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Uncle Mike said...

You have to keep in mind, Lisa, that it wasn't all that long ago that we thought Favre was "a good family man" as well. I'm not suggesting a similar fall from grace will, or could, strike Pettitte.

But then, look at all we didn't know about Roger Clemens. Pete Rose. O.J. Simpson. Heck, I didn't know Mickey Mantle was a womanizer until after his death. (A "beaver-shooter," to use Jim Bouton's word, yes; a cheating husband, no.) And look at the hit Joe DiMaggio's reputation took after he was no longer around to threaten people with excommunication from his world.

I think it's a mistake to think that Cashman was thinking "Favre's peccadilloes" when he told Pettitte, "Don't Brett Favre us." He was saying, "Don't leave us hanging" and "Don't have us thinking you'll do one thing, and then do another."

But I really hope Andy comes back. We need him.

Lisa Swan said...

Mike, the point is that comparing a player you're supposedly trying to bring back to Brett Favre is pretty insulting. Again, when Randy Levine has shown more deference and passion for Pettitte than the GM, that's a sad state of affairs.

Even if you think it's just about the retirement issue, it's still an insult. And an inaccurate one at that.

jamoroso said...

Cashman has said time and time again that he will explore all options. The fact that Pavano made it this late into free agent season is a clear indication that Cashman didn't have serious interest, but it's his job to touch base with agents for all available players. Beyond that, I don't think he insulted Andy at all- retirements aside, Favre was notorious for keeping GB brass in the dark until the last minute about whether he was playing or not, so the comparison is valid. All you (or Andy) needs to know is Cashman said "I need him."

Subway Squawkers said...

jamoroso, I appreciate your response, but I still think Cash could have done more. Thanks for writing, though.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I've lost faith in Cashman but Petitte has behaved like a Diva.

Jerome Rose said...

I think it is obvious that Brian Cashmen is over his head in building a championship team for 2011.The starting rotation with or without Pettitte is questionable at best. Andy would have to be both effective and healthy for the entire season. We saw last season that this cannot be counted on. Plus he is a year older.Then we have the case of AJ. Who would be willing to bet the farm on his doing a 180 degree turnaround?So I say that the Steinbrenners cut their losses and send Brian Cashman packing!

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