FanDuel - WFBC

April 28, 2009

Brian Cashman: The Bad Lieutenant: Matt Taibbi rips Cashman as only Taibbi can: They all made a show of preferring some other situation before quietly, somberly almost, taking the big money and going to New York. Basically, Brian Cashman hired a team full of Brian Cashmans, i.e., guys who passed up the girl they really liked to marry the Boss's bucktoothed, cross-eyed daughter.

posted by dusted to baseball at 11:54 PM - 16 comments

It felt like that article should have been written in all caps. When did Men's Journal start publishing Youtube comments. Is that just his style? What am I missing?

I've got no love for the Yankees and their's no doubt a lot of Cashman's signings haven't panned out but they've made the playoffs every year but last year. The fact that they haven't won it all during his time as GM is beside the point for me as the post season just feels like a toss up and whoever gets hot is going to win it.

posted by tron7 at 10:38 AM on April 29

Matt Taibbi always writes like this. You should see him on politics. Here's what he said about one candidate, name omitted to avoid sparking a political argument: "Not only is X a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV -- and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation."

I suspect he was raised at the knee of Hunter Thompson.

posted by rcade at 12:50 PM on April 29

For what it's worth, I believe Taibbi is a Red Sox fan.

posted by holden at 02:03 PM on April 29

"And I suppose it's entertaining on some level to see someone work so hard to construct such complicated put-downs, but ultimately the piece is a showy, ignorant mess."

The basic thesis is shit. The fact that he built so much upon it just makes things worse. Wish I could make a living as an Internet Troll.

posted by yerfatma at 03:41 PM on April 29

For what it's worth, I believe Taibbi is a Red Sox fan.

He grew up in the Boston area, and his father, Mike Taibbi, did news for one or another of the local TV channels. If he were not a BoSox fan, I'd really be surprised.

As far as his writing style goes, were it not for the internet and those organs that encourage his sort of style, he'd probably never be published. The piece on Cashman conveniently ignores the facts in order to fill space. Commercial media is not in business to report or inform. All the various outlets care about is selling more advertising space at higher rates. Truth, or informed research, is no longer allowed to get in the way of circulation or ratings, so if your content attracts the demographic that you are trying to reach, anything goes. It's both the strength and weakness of the internet that the metrics of circulation have not yet developed. This allows for more good, factual information being available, but also tends to attract more who spread misinformation, not to mention giving a soapbox to those of us (this author included) who are afflicted with diarrhea of the keyboard.

posted by Howard_T at 04:25 PM on April 29

Damn, y'all are sensitive. I find it absolutely refreshing that this was printed in a major magazine. Taibbi is crude, sometimes (often actually) way over the top, but he tells the truth. Cashman is a failure at his job and the article gets to the heart of why he keeps screwing up and why he's still around.

posted by dusted at 06:56 PM on April 29

I do find it surprising, but "dusted" proves that there is actually an audience for this type of writing. The idea that this article "goes to the heart" of anything besides "I hate the Yankees" is beyond me.

posted by DudeDykstra at 07:08 PM on April 29

Cashman is a failure at his job and the article gets to the heart of why he keeps screwing up and why he's still around.

I just don't see how it goes to the heart of why. Taibbi certainly describes his distaste in a very unique way, but that was most of the article, very little in factual information. There was a few good posts after the article that yefatma linked to, with Craig C also unable to find hardly anything in the piece that was solid, factual, debatable information, saying :

"Almost as absurd as Taibbi failing to mention what, if anything, Cashman should have done differently over the past decade"

...and asking questions like:

1. "Why doesn't Taibbi actually set forth an argument with evidence of Cashman's poor choices as GM?"

2. "What should Cashman have done differently and when?"

3. "Why is Cashman a schmo for going after high priced talent like Sabathia and Teixeira but also a schmo for not going after Santana?"

Point being that Taibbi could have supported his claims with legitimate information, but instead he used his creative style to bash somebody for 10 paragraphs. The only thing he forgot was a "You're momma's so fat, she..." joke.

posted by BoKnows at 07:46 PM on April 29

I just don't see how it goes to the heart of why.

Specifically, they overpaid. They spent many millions more than other teams would have paid for guys who clearly preferred, all things being equal, to be somewhere else. Teixeira probably wanted to be in his hometown of Baltimore. Sabathia would have liked to go back to Milwaukee or home to the West Coast, but definitely in the National League, where he'd get to hit. Burnett, he's a guy all of baseball knows would rather play in a low-intensity/small-market environment like Toronto.

They all made a show of preferring some other situation before quietly, somberly almost, taking the big money and going to New York. Basically, Brian Cashman hired a team full of Brian Cashmans, i.e., guys who passed up the girl they really liked to marry the Boss's bucktoothed, cross-eyed daughter. They might do their nightly duty in the sack, but they're not going overboard. They're not buying her flowers on the way home from work or taking her on surprise trips to Paris for Valentine's. And their excuse for being crappy husbands is built into the deal: They never really loved her to begin with.

Which is why at the first sign of relationship trouble the first six-game losing streak in May, the first whispers of a Joe Girardi firing in June they will all scatter like rats to the far corners of the Yankee clubhouse and start making cell-phone calls to their agents and whispering to the press. That's the way it's always been with high-priced free-agent teams, from the Dan Snyder Redskins to the Malone-Payton Lakers to the Yankees of the A-Rod era.

Emphasis mine. I think that gets pretty close to the heart of the "why."

posted by dusted at 07:56 PM on April 29

I see a lot of speculation and presumptions, followed by ridiculous description, but little in the way of reference or research. He has an interesting style, which a lot of the time, I enjoy. But unless Taibbi uses some manner of fact to support his claims, I view this simply as entertainment and not at all as something that has any manner of legs to stand on.

posted by BoKnows at 08:10 PM on April 29

dusted, I don't think I'm sensitive about the subject; as Sox fans, Howard and I should be the first people on the anti-Cashman bandwagon, but facts are pretty thin in the piece. It's a bunch of assertions and hand-waving that essentially adds up to, "I don't like Brian Cashman." Take away the five dollar words, add some misspellings and a few "......" and it's the kind of comment I hate to see on this site. Plus the thing is 17 grafs and the first three are one, obscenely long, shitty metaphor.

It makes me think of the NFL draft BS. He claims Cashman is an idiot because he didn't trade for Johan Santana, but if Santana's arm blows out this year and Hughes/ Kennedy/ et al turn into a solid rotation, will there be an apology piece?

You'll note the bit you emphasized is delightfully fact-free. The Red Sox and Angels were both in the Teixeira chase. The Angels were interested in Sabathia. What secret fund of information is he privy to that tells him what other teams were willing to pay? The second graf you pulled is awful. It's the kind of thing that's funny as a drunken rant late at night but looks like a turd in a punchbowl come daylight. The third graf is a less pithy, "YANKEES SUCK!"

posted by yerfatma at 08:56 PM on April 29

...will there be an apology piece?

Probably not. From Taibbi's blog: This is a piece I wrote about the Yankees GM for Men's Journal. I have to admit I kind of expected to get this one wrong when I wrote it months ago, and I fully expect the Yankees to rally back very soon, so I'm posting this now while it still looks prescient.

posted by dusted at 02:27 PM on April 30

as Sox fans, Howard and I should be the first people on the anti-Cashman bandwagon,

As Sox fans I don't know why you would be anti-Cashman at all.

I think he's doing a great job. The Yankess recent post-season record speaks for itself.

You go, Brian Cashman!

posted by THX-1138 at 02:36 PM on April 30

You know what I mean, like we wouldn't be able to suppress the chuckling. If I'm being honest, I do agree with Ta-how-you-spell-it in that I think Cashman thinks he's Epstein with a bigger budget, whereas he's really the dope in your fantasy league who looks at all the wrong stats. Which is me. And I'm balding. Hey Brian, we should hang out!

posted by yerfatma at 06:01 PM on April 30

While you're hanging out, yerfatma, maybe you and Brian could swing by the front rows at the Yankees new Taj Ma-ball so it looks like there's more folks at the game.

posted by THX-1138 at 06:13 PM on April 30

The piece on Cashman conveniently ignores the facts in order to fill space.

As the old saying goes, "Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story"

posted by BornIcon at 01:42 PM on May 04

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