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Tag:Brian Cashman
Posted on: March 7, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Pepper: Raise a glass


By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Orioles are a trendy pick to be better in 2011, and they should be. But no matter how the Orioles do on the field, things will be better this season in Baltimore because Natty Boh is back.

Before the take-over of the beer industry by the big brewing companies, regional beers were king -- be it National Bohemian (known as Natty Boh in Baltimore) in the mid-Atlantic, Hudepohl in Cincinnati or Hamm's in Minnesota.

These were different than the great microbrews of today, they were the macrobrews of yesterday. It's what you remember your grandpa dinking, whether it was an Olympia in Washington or an Old Style in Chicago. These were American, working-class beers. And they belonged with baseball, at the ballpark and at home, listening along to the local nine on the radio.

Well, one of these greats, National Bohemian, is back where it belongs, at the ballpark at Camden Yards. And for that, America and baseball are better than they were before. (Baltimore Sun)

For more fun, check out this video of old Natty Boh commercials (with an added bonus of Maryland history):

GARDNER MAY PUSH JETER FROM LEADOFF: The Yankees front office wants Brett Gardner, not Derek Jeter, leading off, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News writes.

Jeter has batted first or second for most of his career, but it seems natural to put the speedy Gardner atop the lineup. Gardner had a .383 on-base percentage last season, along with 47 stolen bases. He also saw an MLB-best 4.6 pitchers per plate appearance, giving him a good case to bat first for the Yankees.

HOLD 'EM OR FOLD 'EM: Boston's Mike Cameron had his name thrown around a bit this weekend after Philadelphia lost Domonic Brown to a hand injury, but with J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury roaming the outfield, is it wise for the Red Sox to get rid of any outfielder?

Although Cameron is making $7.5 million this season, that would hamper many other teams, but not the Red Sox. Cameron is also a rarity in the Red Sox clubhouse, a right-handed hitter. (Boston Globe)

HART SIDELINED: Brewers right fielder Corey Hart missed the last week after straining a muscle in his side. He was expected to miss two weeks, but after a setback during a throwing exercise on Saturday, Hart said he doesn't expect to be back in the original timeframe.

However, manager Ron Roenicke said he expects Hart to be ready for opening day. (MLB.com)

MOM KNOWS BEST: Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said he was feeling sorry for himself after suffering a broken bone in his left foot, until his mother set him straight.

"I woke up positive and [said] 'Let's do it,'" Cervelli told the New York Daily News. "That's it. Start the work, the therapy and get better. A lot of people in the world don't have legs or arms; I'm healthy. I just have something in my foot, but it's going to be OK."

MONTERO MAY BACKUP: Cervelli's injury may have opened the door for Yankees top prospect, Jesus Montero.

Many thought the Yankees would want him to play every day and not have him break camp just to back up Russell Martin. One who doesn't buy that theory, apparently, is Brian Cashman.

"There is a lot of knowledge that a catcher has to absorb that you just won't get at Triple-A," Cashman told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. "If it's the second week of April and he has only pinch-hit or started one game, I won't consider it a lost week. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that he has never experienced before.

"He can watch, see how [Martin] goes through it -- pre-game, advance scouting meetings, all those things. When he gets in there in the future, he'll be fully prepared, rather than just sink or swim."

The Yankees know Montero's bat can play right away, but many question his ability to stick behind the plate.

TRADE STUNG SAUNDERS: Former first-rounder Joe Saunders said he was upset last season when the Angels traded him to Arizona.

"I was pissed off. I'm not going to lie to you," Saunders told the Orange County Register.

Saunders said it was weird heading into the visitor's clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Angels' spring training home.

MULLET MANIA: Travis Schlichting has the greatest mullet in baseball history, and Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan has the story.

AUTHOR-PITCHER: Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst -- better known as the author of The Bullpen Gospels than anything he's done on the field -- said he's walked a fine line between being truthful and writing a tell-all.

Hayhurst's often hilarious characters in the book (really, it's worth checking out, a fun, quick read), are real, but he doesn't name names. He's also working on a second book and has a contract for a third, but those will also be done in his particular style, where the only specific player you get dirt on is Hayhurst himself.

The Rays seem like a perfect fit, if only for the fact that when asked about Hayhurst, manager Joe Maddon used the word "ameliorated" in his response. (St. Petersburg Times)

OLIVO CONFIDENT: Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo had a scare on Saturday when he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury and had to be helped off the field. Olivo will have an MRI today, but he told reporters on Sunday that he's confident he'll be ready for opening day. (Seattle Times)

BOOF REMAINS A MYSTERY: Even Boof Bonser doesn't know how his name came about, even though he's legally changed it. (Star-Ledger)

FORTUITOUS CUT: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is pretty happy he cut reliever Cristhian Martinez last year when both were with the Marlins. Martinez was optioned to Triple-A at the end of spring training last season and then designated him for assignment on April 3. The Braves signed him and now he's competing for the final bullpen spot.

Martinez struck out five in two innings against the Nationals on Sunday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

MAYBIN MAY RETURN: San Diego's Cameron Maybin may return to action today after suffering concussion symptoms when he hit his head on a post during Wednesday's practice.

Maybin, the team's newly acquired center fielder, took batting practice on Sunday and said he felt good afterwards. (MLB.com)

D-LEE STILL OUT: Derrek Lee won't make his debut with the Orioles in the Grapefruit League until Wednesday at the earliest. (Baltimore Sun)

PEAVY TO MAKE SECOND START: White Sox starter Jake Peavy said he's sore from Saturday's start, but he's good enough to start on Wednesday. (Chicago Tribune)

FIRST BASE BATTLE: Here's something you don't hear very often -- Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said defensive will be a key component to the team's search for a regular first baseman.

Russell Branyan, Brandon Allen and Juan Miranda are the other leading candidates for that job. (Arizona Republic)

ZAUN TO RETIRE: Veteran catcher Gregg Zaun is set to retire after 16 seasons in the big leagues.

Zaun, 39, was in the Padres camp. He's a career .252/.344/.388 hitter, but better known for his defense, spending most of his time as a backup catcher.

His retirement gives Rob Johnson the inside track at the Padres' backup job. (Sportsnet.ca)


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Posted on: March 6, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: March 6, 2011 11:35 am
 

Pepper: Phillie concern

Domonic Brown

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After nothing but (deserved) rave reviews this offseason, reality is hitting the Philadelphia Phillies.

Still the favorite in the National League East, the same problem that kept them in a division race last season is popping up again -- injuries.

Chase Utley is already getting cortisone shots and, as our own Danny Knobler wrote it perfectly, if the Phillies are concerned -- and they're saying they're concerned -- it's not a good sign.

And now Domonic Brown is out with a broken hamate bone in his hand. Although Brown was struggling this spring -- hitless in 15 at-bats -- and was likely headed to Triple-A, he was still part of the team's plans for 2011.

The hamate injury is a tricky one -- he'll likely be able to play this season, but he won't be the same. Last year when I was around the Reds a bit, I talked to two players who were in different stages of the same injury. One, Yonder Alonso, suffered the injury in 2009, the other, Chris Dickerson, had the surgery during last season.

Dickerson was able to return and even played with the Reds and Brewers after the surgery. Alonso had the surgery in June of 2009 and was back that season, as well. However, the injury saps power. Alonso told me several times that the ball just didn't jump off his bat the same, what would be a double in the past wasn't getting past outfielders, and what was a homer in the past just died in the outfield. As doctors told him, about a year fate the surgery, his power was back. 

Brown can return this season, but don't expect him to be the same player he has shown to be in the minor leagues and that he'll be in the future.

The Phillies are counting on Ben Francisco and Ross Gload to fill in for Jayson Werth until Brown is ready. Now they'll be counting on those two longer.

Pitching won't be a problem for Philadelphia, and it wasn't the problem last year. When the team got in trouble, it was injuries and offense. With uncertainly to the health of Utley and then general uncertainty with Jimmy Rollins, there's cause for concern in Philly.

That said, they're still the favorites, but maybe not quite the prohibitive favorites they were before.

STAYING PAT: The Yankees appear to be happy with the starters they have in camp -- CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova.

Brian Cashman tells the Boston Globe the team is unlikely to trade for a starter before opening day.

"Can't rule it out, but it's highly unlikely," Cashman said. "Normally anything of quality doesn't become available until after the June draft. That's why you try and get as much as you can get accomplished in winter."

HOT DOG RUN: Apparently because the team mom forgot the orange slices, after his stint in Saturday's game, Boston's Dustin Pedroia ducked out of the Red Sox clubhouse to the concession stand for three hot dogs.

"They probably didn't think he was a player," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters, including the Providence Journal. "Did you see that outfit he had on? He looks like he's going into second grade."

NATS OPTIMISM: A scout tells Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman (via Twitter) that Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is "back." He's throwing 94-95 mph with a "superb" slider. Said the scout, "if they had [Stephen] Strasburg, they'd be dangerous."

The Nats don't, but Zimmermann offers hope for 2012, as he had Tommy John surgery in August of 2009, a year before Strasburg. 

AMBASSADOR GRIFFEY: Ken Griffey Jr.'s new job with the Mariners is to be an ambassador of sort, but before he does that, he served the same role for the U.S. State Department in the Philippines. 

Griffey just returned from working with coaches and youth players in the Philippines. 

USA Today's Paul White caught up with him last week before his trip. Griffey still refuses to talk about his exit from the game, but he'll likely be seen around the Mariners some this season. His new job requires about a month's worth of work with the team, doing a little bit of everything.

More importantly, he's being a dad. His daughter Taryn recently led Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School to the Florida girls basketball championship. Taryn Griffey, a freshman point guard, had 21 points in the championship game.

His son, Trey, is a junior safety and wide receiver who is being recruited, as well.

PIAZZA NOT BUYING Mets: Mike Piazza tells the New York Post he's interested in buying part of a baseball team "someday" but not now.

"I think everything is timing," Piazza said. "It's an interesting time in the game. There's a lot of change going on … but as far as anything on the forefront, there's nothing. Let's just say I talked to some people that are interested in getting into the game … It doesn't cost anything to talk. At least not yet."

NO PANIC FOR Braves: Atlanta's 23-year-old Craig Kimbrel has the inside track to replace Billy Wagner as the Braves' closer, but he's not been very good so far this spring. He's struggled with his command and has allowed four runs and six hits in three appearances this spring.

"If there is a trend like this later in the spring, then you start worrying about it," manager Fredi Gonzalez tells MLB.com. "But not right now."

CAIN FEELS BETTER: Giants pitcher Matt Cain played catch for about eight minutes on Saturday and felt no pain in his right elbow.

Cain was scratched from his last start and won't make his scheduled start on Tuesday, either. (MLB.com)

PIONEER LAID TO REST: About 500 people reportedly attended the funeral of Wally Yonamine in Hawaii on Saturday, according to Sanspo (via YakyuBaka.com). A memorial service will also be held in Tokyo later this month.

Yonamine, the first American to play professional baseball in Japan, died earlier this week at 85. The New York Times had a good obituary earlier this week, and a column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser shed light on how Yonamine dealt with death threats and other pressures when he started playing in Japan.

However, Yonamine became a star in Japan and was elected to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also the first Asian-American to play in the NFL.

NOT THAT IT'S GONNA HAPPEN: But contraction isn't going to happen.

Union chief Michael Weiner tells the St. Petersburg Times that the union will fight any attempt to contract teams.

"Having been in bargaining in baseball since the late 80s, anything is fathomable, so we don't either take anything for granted or rule anything out," Weiner said. "All I would says is if that changes, if contraction becomes a goal of the owners in this negotiation, the tenor of the talks would change quickly and dramatically."

Bud Selig tells the Los Angeles Times it's not a goal for the owners, and it's certainly not a fight they want to take up.

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Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Cashman: Joba 'obviously heavier'

Joba Chamberlain
This is the week where we get countless stories about how "so-and-so says he's in the best shape of his life." That's not the story with Joba Chamberlain, who apparently arrived at camp in more of an oval shape. The New York Times asked general manager Brian Cashman about the noticeable change, and he wouldn't really take the bait.

"He's heavier, we'll just leave it at that," Cashman said.

Told that Chamberlain claims to have packed on muscle, Cashman said: "He's obviously heavier. That's as much as I'll say."

Well, will he be lighter by the time camp ends? "He's heavier."

So, to summarize: Joba Chamberlain is heavier.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Rangers, Ryan have tried to woo Pettitte

Andy Pettitte Brian Cashman isn't the only one trying to woo Andy Pettitte -- Rangers president Nolan Ryan tells 1050 ESPN in New York that he's talked to Pettitte several times this winter.

Ryan Ruocco tweets that Pettitte told Ryan he will pitch for the Yankees or retire. Pettitte had also told Ryan he wouldn't make a decision until February.

That would be the time considering it's already February and pitchers and catchers report in the next two weeks -- but it does mean he hadn't made up his mind before now.

It's really looking more and more like Pettitte will return .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Cashman won't rush pitching prospects

Manny Banuelos The Yankees are accused of many things -- buying titles, ruining baseball, stunting the popularity of sideburns -- but one accusation that is rarely thrust at baseball's most successful franchise is that of hurrying prospects to the big leagues.

General manager Brian Cashman doesn't want to start that trend now with their two top pitching prospects, lefty Manny Banuelos (pictured) and right-hander Dellin Betances.

"They shouldn't be caught up in our major-league problems," Cashman told the New York Post 's Joel Sherman .

So, no matter what happens with Andy Pettitte, the Yankees are hoping to start both in the minor leagues, likely Double-A, where both have made just three starts.

Banuelos won't turn 20 until March 13, but is one of the team's most valued prospects. The left-hander pitches in the 90s and can hit 95, despite standing just 5-foot-10.

Betances is older (he will be 23 in March) and taller (by nearly a foot, standing 6-8), but had surgery to reinforce an elbow ligament in 2009. Still, he came back throwing in the high-90s and has a plus-plus curveball.

Sherman notes the two could get some time in the bullpen in 2011, but it still seems a bit premature to fit either for pinstripes just yet.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Hal Steinbrenner defends Cashman's comments

CashmanWhen one hears the name "Steinbrenner" these days, you either think about the Yankees owner that passed away after restoring the Yankees' brand to America's consciousness, or you think of his son, Hank.

But what you don't think of is Hal, who runs the Yankees along with Hank and prefers to stay in the background. However, with Brian Cashman (pictured) making headlines for his belief New York should not have signed Rafael Soriano, saying Derek Jeter could become a center fielder and moonlighting as a bartender, Hal felt compelled to step in to clear the air.

"[Cashman] and I have a great working relationship," Steinbrenner told the New York Post, saying he does not believe Cash is trying to get fired or create a rift in the organization. "There is no problem, right now. I think we have had a bunch of drummed-up drama."

The drama has largely focused around Cashman's words about Soriano, indicating he was displeased by the organization's choice to sign the reliever and surrender a first-round pick. Given Cashman did not make the final call there, some have wondered as to his autonomy.

"I value his opinion and his advice," Steinbrenner said. "That does not mean I am always going to go with that advice and all of my VPs know that I might go a different way. There are no hard feelings between Cash and I. There never was. Reasonable men can differ in opinions.

"I keep reading about dissension and discord. We are a well-functioning company. The bosses have a decision to make. Sometimes people don't agree with those decisions. So I told him, 'You are always honest with the media, be honest now. Tell them what you have to tell them.' I was already onto the next decision. I told him, 'You and I are fine. Answer in any way you want.' We are not always going to be on the same page. It is my job to think what is best for the family, partners and company."

The drama includes Cashman's future with the Yankees, with many openly speculating that New York was not pleased by Cashman's "recruiting" of Cliff Lee, the rough negotiations with Derek Jeter and how Cashman has tired of the organization. But in recent interviews, Cashman has debunked all speculation, and Hal went a step further, saying the goal is to keep Cashman as GM beyond 2011, when his contract expires.

And Hal made clear that not all of the offseason blame game should be heaped on Cashman. When Jeter's agent came out with statements that called New York's negotiation techniques "baffling," the Yankees (via Cashman) responded that Jeter was welcome to shop the offer. That came straight from Hal, apparently.

"I will return fire when fired upon," he said. "I do have some of the old man [George Steinbrenner] in me."

But despite all the hubbub, perhaps the most offended Yankees fans got was when Cashman admitted the Red Sox were stronger on paper. He had to defend himself from angry Yankee fans (never mind that the Red Sox actually are stronger on paper, at least for now) and point out that championships are won on the field and in the summer, not on paper in the winter. And Hal Steinbrenner has no problem with Cash's statements to that regard.

"My understanding was he was asked in an objective way about the different areas of the team and said our hitting was on par with the Red Sox, our bullpen is better and their starting pitching, right now, is a little stronger," Steinbrenner said.

"Really, there are no problems at all," Steinbrenner added. "Brian calls me on my cell phone more often than I would even like. He and I talk on a daily basis multiple times. There is not much that he does without consulting me first. This has been a very good relationship."

UPDATE: Brian Cashman spoke to FOX Sports about the issue Friday. This wide-ranging comment from Cashman says it all:

The bottom line is, I'm charged with putting together a championship-caliber club. As far as I'm concerned, we've got something pretty good here. We won the World Series in 2009. We missed by two games in 2010. [Outside publications] rank our farm system as one of the best in baseball.

Tell me where we are screwing up on the baseball operations side. I need a starting pitcher, but is the future strong because we have a farm system acknowledged in the industry to be one of the best? Check. Am I getting our payroll down, as charged by ownership? Check. Do we have success on the field? Check.

What's the problem? Why are people bitching so much? That's my question. That's my frustration. The problem is people having patience with the process.

 

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 12:12 am
 

Signs pointing to a Pettitte return?

Andy Pettitte When Yankees GM Brian Cashman reportedly told Andy Pettitte not to "Brett Favre us" it seems the left-hander misinterpreted his former boss' request and just didn't hit send on those pictures he was planning to send to Cashman's iPhone.

Because it seems Pettitte, who was "leaning toward retirement" at one time, is now working out and may return this year, pulling the Favre yo-yo is-he-retiring, isn't-he-retiring thing with the Yankees.

Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets some baseball people expect Pettitte to play, while NBC's Craig Calcaterra's best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who heard Pettitte say there's a "strong possibility" that Pettitte will pitch in 2011 while in line at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

Maybe Pettitte just heard Cashman say yesterday that he'd be happier if he had another starter, and Pettitte thought giving him some hope he'd return would lift his spirits better than a picture of his junk.

UPDATE: Heyman tweets the Yankees have or will offer Pettitte $12 million to pitch in 2011. He made $11.75 million last season.

UPDATE: Cashman said Wednesday night that there was nothing new with Pettitte. From the New York Times :

“It would probably be easier with you guys (if he just came out and said he is retired). But from our perspective, he’s done everything he needs to do. He’s been honest and straight up, awesome like he’s always been. He’s a special guy. I think the bottom line is that people don’t want to let him go. And for good reason because he can still participate and be a championship-caliber pitcher, and no one wants to let him go. So that’s probably the issue.

“But he deserves his freedom and his peace. We’ve been fortunate to have him for this, and we’d be fortunate to have him longer, but if not, it’s, ‘Hey man, it’s been great, special.’ At the same time, we’ve got to leave him alone. He’s been up front with us from the beginning. If something changes, he’ll let us know. It could happen because he hasn’t officially retired.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Cashman vetoed on Soriano signing

Brian Cashman The signing of Rafael Soriano didn't seem like a Brian Cashman move -- especially after he'd said publicly he wasn't going to do it -- and now it's official. At Wednesday's press conference, Cashman admitted it was Hal Steinbrenner's call to sign the Rays closer.

"I didn't recommend it just because I just didn't think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we had," Cashman said (via the New York Times ) . "We had a lot of debate about it. Like everything on the free-agent market and trade market, you discuss it, make your recommendations to ownership, and they choose what direction they prefer to go given the circumstances. My preferece was waiting. They obviously acted, and we are better."

Steibrenner, apparently, was the one willing to shell out a the three-year, $35 million contract to Soriano, who will serve as a set-up man to Mariano Rivera. Cashman said he didn't feel Steinbrenner's veto was a challenge to his power.

"I think it's certainly a sign at times if Hal wants to go different directions that could happen," Cashman said. "I think that's certainly the case. This is their team. Does that happen often? Will it happen a lot? I just think it depends on the circumstances what the comfort level is taking place at the time. Not to say it won't happen again, not to say it will. It's hard to say."

The biggest issue was the fact Soriano is a Type A free agent, meaning the Yankees must give up their first-round pick to the Rays as compensation. The 2011 draft is seen as one of the deepest in years. Cashman said he didn't want to give up that pick for a set-up man. He was willing to give it up for Cliff Lee.

"I think 29 clubs would love to have Rafael Soriano thrown down their throats," Cashman said (via ESPNNewYork.com ).

Team president Randy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com that there is no rift in the organization and the team is happy with Cashman, there was just a difference of opinion and in the end, the ones who sign the check have the last word.

"Cash is the best general manager in the game," Levine said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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