Friday, January 28, 2011

Hal Steinbrenner spinning Cashman rift

Hal Steinbrenner, realizing this Brian Cashman story is getting out of control, is in serious spin mode.

Steinbrenner looked at all the papers and blogs and realized the story on the rift with Cashman about the Rafael Soriano deal and the speculation about the general manager possibly heading for the exit was completely overshadowing the deal itself. For a guy who made the move partly to appease a rabid fan base that is never truly satisfied when not counting World Series victories, Steinbrenner must have been really annoyed that his latest personnel move, a good move that should help the New York Yankees compete this year, was being virtually ignored by the media.

So he decided to step in and end the madness and speculation. He turned to the team's preferred paper of choice, the New York Post, to get the message out that Cashman is still the general manager, still a valued voice in the Yankees hierarchy and would be welcomed back with open arms if he re-signed with the Yankees next offseason. Steinbrenner got a too eager assist from the Post's Joel Sherman, who scoffed at the notion that Cashman would move his kids out of Connecticut and his wife away from her twin sister to be the general manager of the Pirates or some other small-market team. Never mind that people have moved their families for a lot less compelling reasons and that there are a lot worse places to live then Pittsburgh (I had a fantastic time there when the Yankees played that interleague series against the Pirates a few years ago--it's a great town). Personally, I would have been embarrassed to write such an obvious, ass-kissing column, but then again I'm not the one being fed "exclusives" with Hal Steinbrenner that will surely sell some extra newspapers.

What I found most interesting about the Post story was that Hal took the responsibility for the vicious public attack against Derek Jeter during the contract talks, with Hal saying he has some of the old man in him. No doubt it sounded like something that George Steinbrenner would say and do. But I again take exception with the notion that Jeter’s agent started the fight, especially since Hal himself was the one who first opened his mouth about the negotiations getting “messy.” Hal claims to be such an astute businessman, which makes it hard for me to understand how he thought publicly bashing his iconic shortstop and one of the team’s most marketable players was in the ballclub’s best interest.

But Hal was smart enough to realize that the Cashman story was getting away from him and decided to put an end to it. It’s not going to work because all the other papers and the blogs that don’t toe the company line are going to keep the story alive, at least until a bigger controversy comes along to take its place.

No comments:

Post a Comment