Friday, March 6, 2015

So why did Brian Cashman declare that Derek Jeter should be the last Yankee captain?

Rest in peace, Derek Jeter.
Yankee manager Brian Cashman apparently doesn't have anything interesting to say about this current Yankee team, except for his declaration that Derek Jeter should be the last Yankee captain. 

Nothing else he said to Mike Lupica in an interview on ESPN Radio yesterday was noteworthy -- and I listened to all 19+ minutes of it, The interview was a snoozefest, especially because Lupey never asked him a tough question. One example: they talked about contracts on the payroll, and getting younger, but Lupica never asked him an obvious question -- why did they spend $10M on has-beens like Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano if they want to get younger?

Anyhow, here are Cashman's exact words regarding Jeter, courtesy of Wally Matthews' article on the brouhaha (note: I had a lot to say in the comments section of that piece!): 
"I think Derek did it as well as anyone can,'' Cashman told "He wore it well, and I'm not a big advocate of giving out the captaincy anyway. I'm not going to recommend anyone being named captain of the New York Yankees right away.''.... 
"And that's not disrespectful of any of the guys I have here that have a lot of leadership,'' Cashman said. "As far as I'm concerned, and I'm not the decision-maker on this, that captaincy should be retired with No. 2. I wouldn't give up another captain title to anybody else.''
Cashman also said the following, according to George King of the New York Post:
"He was so good and so perfect for that."
So essentially, Jeter is more important to the franchise than former captains Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, and Don Mattingly, because Cashman thinks the title should be retired now that he is? (And yes, that IS what Cashman is saying here. If you say that "captaincy should be retired with number 2," you are saying that nobody else could ever do the job as well.)

I remember being at Old Timers' Day over a decade ago, hearing the ovation given to Don Mattingly, and thinking about how Mattingly was the most popular living Yankee. But things change, and Jeter has that title now. However, if Cashman really thinks that nobody will ever be capable of being captain, then he ought to retire now, too. It just shows how this franchise is more concerned these days with the constant walks down memory lane than in building for a great future.

One of my brothers has a theory on this. He thinks that Jeter himself wants the captaincy retired, in exchange for him doing stuff to represent the Yankees -- kind of like how Joe DiMaggio insisted that he be introduced as baseball's greatest living ballplayer in order to show up. This way, Jeter, and nobody else, would be called "The Captain."

I don't know if that is what is happening, but what does disturb me is how much Yankeeland is focused on the past. At any rate, Cashman shouldn't have weighed in on this subject in the first place. A GM is not the one who should make a decision that will affect the team for the rest of its history.

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