Mar
29

Bean counter or ballplayer?

By

(From the CUA archives)

You might not recognize the man pictured to the right. Two and a half decades after this snapshot, he hardly looks like the same person. Were he to wear a baseball cap, there wouldn’t be any hair protruding. He also wouldn’t be wearing a uniform, since his current job is more administrative. The only familiar aspect, really, is the same haven’t-slept-in-weeks look. Yes, the man to the right is Brian Cashman, from his ball playing days at Catholic University of America.

At CUA’s campus newspaper, The Tower, Douglas K. Barclay reminisces on Cashman’s time at the university. While he is often chided for not being a baseball guy — he never played professionally at any level — Cashman’s decision to attend Catholic was centered solely on baseball. “The Catholic decision…was pure baseball,” he said.

Really, this post is just an excuse to display an image of Cashman that might catch people off-guard. It’s certainly not how we’re used to seeing him. But make sure you read the entire article. It’s a quick one, and it provides us with a little more insight about the man making the decisions for the Yankees.

Categories : Front Office

29 Comments»

  1. thumper says:

    mission accomplished…certainly caught me off guard. Now find one of Theo during his tee ball days, and we’ll call it a day.

    • Gonzo says:

      Boy Wonder managed every team of his to a championship. He figured being a GM might offer a challenge, so he went for it. True story.

      Totally not a true story.

      • Not Tank the Frank says:

        After taking control of baseball operations for his Babe Ruth little league team, he was actually able to trade for Babe Ruth. It was considered a masterstroke.

        True story.

      • thumper says:

        And they were all gritty over-achievers entirely comprised of kids from the local sandlot that beat their rivals, who were forced to bribe all their players with bubble-gum and baseball cards.

  2. Kiersten says:

    OK that’s really weird because during my nap earlier today, I had a dream that Cash was coaching third base as part of a promotion or something and he was wearing a uniform, but it wasn’t a Yankee uniform (I just remember it being white and there were no pinstripes).

    …and there he is.

  3. Mister Delaware says:

    Picturing that jersey with any other religion on the front is funny. Or AGNOSTIC in fancy cursive.

  4. S says:

    Young Cash looked like he was taking a few of David Ortiz’s “vitamins” in college

  5. XSoldier56 says:

    Wow. My respect for Cashman just went up exponentially. If he played ball for four years at college, than means he played his whole life up to that point. Even though he never played pro ball, he has an understanding of the game that only a player can have.

    • Jericho Spade says:

      Sorry, this is ridiculous. I would venture to say I rather have someone who never played baseball be the GM, over someone who did. I will take the smart guy over the former pro any day and that relates to any sport.

      • boogie down says:

        Agreed. I’m pretty sure that’s what many (if there are many) Charlotte Bobcats fans are saying these days.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        I will take the smart guy over the former pro

        You realize that they are not necessarily mutually exclusive?

        • Jericho Spade says:

          Of course they are not mutually exclusive, my point was, I couldn’t care less if the person running the team was a former pro. As long as they are intelligent enough to do the job.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Is this a joke or serious?

  6. XSoldier56 says:

    Why?

  7. MStezano says:

    anyone else think he actually looks exactly the same?

  8. Jess says:

    He looks the same.

  9. MikeD says:

    Kenny Williams, former professional baseball player and now MLB GM.

    Brian Cashman, not a former pro baseball player and now a MLB GM.

    I know which one I’ll take.

    I think being a former pro player who wants to be a GM might actually be a negative in this day and age.

    • KeithK says:

      Gone are the days when a guy like Lou Piniella, a manager for two years very shortly after he retired from playing, would get kicked upstairs by ownership.

      (Nothing against Lou, who was certainly a good field manager, but what the hell was George thinking? I know, stupid question…)

      • MikeD says:

        True.

        I should add, though, that I’m not arguing against a former player being a GM. It’s just that a former player today is probably at a disadvantge competing against other GMs who have more of a business and operations background, and are also more open to using advanced metrics to evaluation players, not just scouting. Both are important, but there’s a greater chance a former player will fall back to only the scouting aspect. You need both skills today.

        The Pinella reference is interestings since Big George did like to bounce his players around the organization. He did it to Gene Michael, forcing him to come back out of the front office to manage again when they found it almost impossible to get other managers.

        Yet Michael was one of Steinbrenner’s best people, and on some level Steinbrenner must have recognized that, but I wonder if Steinbrenner knew how good Michael was. When the Yankees hit rock bottom in the early 90s, Steinbrenner named Michael GM and left him in charge when Steinbrenner was suspended. Michael was the key executive that moved the Yankees toward embracing OBP, bringing in Wade Boggs, jettisoning scum like Mel Hall, trading for Paul O’Neil, who not only made the Yankees better on the field, but was part of Michael’s plan to change the culture of the Yankees club house. It was a move Cashman would follow again years later when bringing in players like CC and Swisher. And, of course, Michael rebuilt the Yankee system that resulted in the foundation of the dynasty years of the late 90s. The Red Sox, before bringing in Epstein, tried to hire Michael away from the Yankees in late 2002 as their GM. It was under Michael’s guidance and advice that both Showalter and Cashman were promoted.

        I mention all this because Michael basically did all the things the new, younger GMs try to do today, but he’s not a advanced metrics analysis guy. He didn’t become a GM until he was already in his 50s. If he was ten or twenty years younger and used a computer, he’d be hailed as a “boy genius,” and the media would be fapping over his every move. What he was was a good baseball man, and he did much of what the new GMs try to do and he did it somehow working for and managing George Steinbrernner, something few have ever done. He seems to rarely get credit for all he did. We do hear his name mentioned more now for rebuilding the Yankees, but nowhere near as much as he should. He’s one of the most important members of the Yankees over the past generation.

        So, yeah, it is possible for pro ballplayers to be good to great GMs, but it’s much harder today than it was in the past.

  10. Accent Shallow says:

    He had the school hits record? Not bad.

  11. TopChuckie says:

    He looks like Lip from Shameless.

  12. Greg C says:

    I think anyone who manages to play college baseball is a “baseball guy.” That’s quite an accomplishment. There are “baseball guys” who couldn’t make it past little league.

  13. Jackson says:

    Hey, you know who else played second base at CUA? Me, where’s my GM job?

  14. I am not the droids you're looking for says:

    Roids!

    Kidding. Sort of.

    He’s rather beefy and thick necked here, no? Funny I always think of him as a bookish pipsqueak.

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