Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shocker: Kevin Youkilis is on DL and Brian Cashman is all aflutter

I had to laugh to keep from cringing when my Red Sox friend Johnny pointed out to me Brian Cashman's latest pontificating on the state of the Yankees. Specifically, my friend cited Cashman telling the media yesterday this shocking news about Kevin Youkilis: that "back issues usually don’t get better." Gee, you think? Next thing you know, Cash will figure out that jumping out of an airplane could possibly result in injury!

It's amazing -- when the Yankees got off to a good start this year, Cashman got all the credit. Now that they're struggling, it's all apparently issues beyond Fredo's control.  You know, bad luck like a guy who has been chronically injured for the last five years, missing significant time on the DL every single year, having his back bother him again, and feel even worse after he played every inning in the Yankees 18-inning game last week. Shocking, I'll tell you. Shocking.

When it comes to Youkilis, let me use Hollywood writer Nikki Finke's most famous expression -- toldja! Because I did, when Cashman signed him. I pointed out that the signing made no sense:
Only the Yanks would get "younger" (Youk will be 34 in March) with a player who misses 40 to 60 games a year, and who has been on the DL pretty much every year of his career. Only the Yankees would replace an overpaid, frequently-injured third baseman with an even more brittle version. And give him $12 million (!) to do so.
I said then that I "would have been happy with a rookie or role player who can play decent defense and can stay healthy," but noted that "the Yanks are more interested in big names for ratings on the YES Network than with having some nobody (the horror!) field the position."

Speaking of the ratings, they are down 38% from last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. And last year's ratings were the lowest since 2003.

Anyhow, Cashman gave a bizarre explanation as to why he signed Youkilis in the first place. (I was kind of hoping he would say something like "when you have the opportunity to pay $12 million for an injury-ridden has-been former Red Sox who is going to hit .219 for you and show little power, you have to take it" but to no avail!) When he was asked whether Youkilis' back was an issue this winter, he said this:
“He passed his physical, came in through flying colors, and that’s with a history of back issues and certainly having a full diagnostic workup. And (there was) a comfort level of knowing the White Sox offered him a two-year deal and that’s where he just came from.”
First of all, I don't remember Youkilis being offered a two-year deal by the White Sox, and I was unable to find evidence of it online. Second, even if we say for argument's sake that they did, nobody offered Youkilis anything close to $12 million in one year, the way Cashman did. Third, it makes no sense for Cashman to justify his deal based on what another team did. Lots of GMs do stupid things. Cash should know.

Speaking of stupid things, did you see this bizarre rant from Cashman about Kevin Long saying to the media the obvious, that Mark Teixeira hasn't looked right since he came back to the team from injury?:
"It is alarming that K-Long would say that to the group of reporters, but he has never said that prior to that," Cashman said. "This is a lot of times how things work out when things go bad, things get said. If K-Long felt that way, we should have heard that from K-Long, but we never heard that from K-Long.
"Before anyone asks, 'Am I mad at Kevin Long because of it?' No, but do I think that commentary jives eternally in that clubhouse regarding this player prior to him going down? The answer is absolutely not. ... Some people are better with the microphone than others."
Um, Bri, there is a really cool invention called a pronoun. Instead of saying K-Long (and who invents these nicknames, anyway -- K-Long is so 1997!) a hundred times, you can say "he" or "him."  And the word is "jibes," not "jives." You're welcome.

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