Tagged: Brian Cashman

Questions, Questions, Questions

Posted by: Chris Cue
5:30am Tues, 11/24/09

     If there is one thing that can be said of Baseball’s off season it’s that it’s filled with questions. “What will my team do?”, “Will we pay what is needed to land that guy?”, “Will they try to resign that player?” “Can we trade for so and so?” and on and on and on. There’s plenty of speculation to be sure. Equally as sure is that most of what we read is nothing more than that….speculation. So, at least during this point of the non-playing season, we all have equal ground to work on when it comes to “What I think will happen” types of conversations. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several area’s that may or may not affect the Red Sox and other AL East teams.

      We’ll start out with an article that perked my interest in where the Red Sox and Yankees might stand in the hunt for Doc Halladay’s services. The article (HERE) in today’s Herald by John Tomase states: “The Yankees and Red Sox are expected to be at the forefront of trade
discussions (for Halladay) with rookie general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The Sox have
more to offer, however, because they can dangle potential
front-of-the-rotation starter Clay Buchholz.”

   Now, being the Red Sox homer that I am, I would love to believe that is the case. However, when you step back and attempt to take a non-biased look at the situation, I’m not sure the Sox do have it over the Yankees because of Buchholz. Personally, as of today, I would take Clay over either Joba or Phil Hughes, but just because Clay may be considered a notch above (for now), you have to remember it’s going to be a package of players that lands Halladay….not just a single pitcher. The Jay’s needs for next season if they move Doc are going to be: Starting Pitching, a Catcher and a Short Stop. While the Red Sox can fill the Starting Pitching spot with Clay, we fall a little short in the Catcher and Short Stop positions as far as ML ready players go. Of course, it may not be necessary for either team to fill immediate needs for the Jay’s. It could be a matter of what the Jay’s see as future needs too. It appears to me that both the Sox and Yanks may be a little closer in available talent then Tomase gives credit for. As always, it will boil down to which team is willing to give up the needed talent to land Halladay. Recent history tells me that both Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are rather shy about giving up the kids they develop, but for the opportunity to sign Halladay long term (if the Jay’s provide such a window to negotiate an extension ), we may see more of a willingness then we have in the past to trade some kids. Stay tuned to this one.


     The other curiosity I have also is in regards to Starting Pitching. While the Sox do appear to have a set rotation already in place, there’s no doubt that Theo is going to want to add depth to it in case of injury or flat out ineffectiveness. But will he (or the Yankees) be interested in a front of the rotation starter this off season?

     I started wondering how much next years crop of available Starting Pitchers will
determine what we do and don’t do this year. I think a case could be
made that both the Sox and Yanks made decisions long before last years off season
that allowed each team to be in the Teixeira race when he became available.
So, I’m wondering how much the crop of available starting pitchers next
year will determine what teams do this off season.

Take a look at a few of the names that are slated to become Free Agents next off season

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Josh Beckett
Brandon Webb
and there are a number of 2nd tier guys available too like:
Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez and others

By the way,
not only are all of those guys slated to become Free Agents next year, that list doesn’t include some guys that may be available via trade. For
instance, the Marlins by their recent actions may have opened up the possibility that Josh Johnson
could be available via trade next off season. Of course the Marlin’s didn’t come
right out and say he would be available, but they failed to sign the kid to an extension
and opted to go year to year for his last 2 Arbitration eligible seasons that
they have him under control (2010 & 2011). That would appear to
make him trade bait next off season, so we may be able to throw his name on that list too. We’ll have to see about that
because Marlin’s have been known to hang on to guys and just get draft picks
when they leave instead of trading them. However, it seems safe to assume there is at least a
very good possibility he’ll be shopped.

     That’s a pretty good
crop of potential available starting pitchers next year which is why I’m
wondering if teams may have an eye on that and be a little shy of
locking up someone less desirable long term this year. In other words,
let’s say that neither the Red Sox or Yankees show interest in John Lackey this
off season, I’m thinking that next years available pitchers may have
something to do with it.

Just a thought…..and of course, it adds more questions.

Cheers and Go Baseball!


Hot Stove Predictions – Red Sox

Posted by Chris Cue
8:00 am Sat, 11/21/09

    Hello again! Having recently crawled out from underneath the rock I’ve been hiding, I thought it might be a good time to start talking Hot Stove Baseball. Now that all the free agents are allowed to discuss their future with teams other than the one they played for last season, getting some predictions in now before things start to happen seems like a good way to make a fool of yourself….sooo, being the glutton for punishment that I am, here you go.

    Let’s start off with the Red Sox. I’ll be happy to tick off some of my evil empire friends later with some Yankees predictions, but for now I’ll tackle the hometown team.

    I should mention that I’ll be impressed with myself (from a prediction standpoint) if
even one of these predictions comes to pass….(I don’t have a great track record in this dept. 🙂 With
that in mind, here’s what I think has a good chance of going down.

Red Sox

I think the ground work to resign Bay is already in place. The caveat
to the current situation is nobody is yet sure what else may be out
there for him. As long as years or dollars don’t get too stupid (the
Sox won’t go 5/85
), I think he’ll be back in Boston. I have no
predictions regarding what may go down if that doesn’t happen except to
say I don’t think the Sox will be players to sign Holliday. He has the wrong agent, there is too much
money required, too many years and too many questions about what he may or may
not bring that will keep the Sox out of that race IMO.

2). Even if the
Sox do land Bay, I believe the FO thinks we still need another bat
(thus their pursuit of Tex last year). Therefore, I’m pretty sure that
they will go hard after Gonzalez if Hoyer indeed makes him available.
However, I DON’T think that they will be successful there. I think
there are too many obstacles in the way for that deal to go down. (I could
give a lengthy list but won’t unless asked
) Because there appears to be a lack of
premium players with bats on the trade/FA market coupled with the fact
that the Sox currently have limited spots to put a player like that in,
I think the Sox will turn to another area that could be addressed to
strengthen the team and that’s Pitching.

3). While the Sox
starting rotation appears to be set, we have several issues going
forward that could be addressed now if they choose to do so. Becketts a
FA next year, There are uncertainties with Dice-K and Wakefield’s health
issues are all questions the Sox have to think about now and with an eye on
the future as well. No matter what, the Sox will be signing one or two
insurance pitchers that they hope will have bounce back years (Sheets,
Harden, etc…types
), but I’ll go on record now saying that after their
interest in Gonzalez is shot down, they will go just as hard after Doc
Halladay. Lot’s of moving pieces to that kind of deal too, but in this
case I think the Sox may have a better shot at landing him as opposed
to landing Gonzalez. It may never happen, but I really think the
interest is there and that the Sox will be motivated. The big obstacle
with that one? LOL take a guess……The New York Yankees. I don’t think Cashman
will just roll over and let the Sox get Doc without making them pay big
time. In fact, I think the Yanks may have an even better chance to land
Doc if they should decide to go that route themselves. This could very well be the
big Sox-Yanks battle of the off season…..it at least appears to have
all of that kind of framework in place. We’ll have to see.

Once again (i’m sorry to say), I don’t see the Sox going long term to
fill the SS position. I think there may have been some interest in JJ
Hardy, but since he is now signed I think we’re looking at another stop
gap player. I’d like to think that Gonzo would be back, but from what
Ive read a sticking point may be that he’d like more than just a one year deal. I also think the Sox
would consider Marco Scutaro, but not for the length of time he’s
looking for either. There could be a trade out there that Theo is
looking at, but short of that I think Gonzo will be a Sox player in
2010. I say that only because the SS market doesn’t look like it’s
going to give him a 2 or 3 year contract so he may very well settle for
a 4MM one year deal in Boston….which is something I think they’d

5). Billy Wagner. I don’t think he’ll be back in a setup role.
I believe all the “I may accept arbitration” talk was only a rouse that
attempted to make the Sox gun shy in offing him that. Can’t say as I
blame Wagner or his agent for floating that one. Wagner is a lot more attractive to other teams if draft picks aren’t
involved, but I think the Sox will stick to their guns and offer him
Arb. At that point, he’ll turn it down and wind up closing for someone
at less than he would have made via arbitration…..It’ll be “Varitek
Part 2” if you know what I mean. I think the Sox will be content having
Bard and Oki for setup to Paps. The middle relief guys is where the
action might be. Tough to call who and what goes on there because some
of what we currently have may end up being trading pieces (DelCarmen
& maybe Ramirez
). I’m fairly comfortable saying the back end of the
Sox BP will be Oki, Bard, Papelbon. Absent a trade, DelCarmen &
Ramirez will most likely be back so it’s guys like Wagner and Saito
that will be the possible holes to fill. That’s going to be a challenge
if our BP is once again going to be considered a strength. The glaring
hole I see is absent Masterson, the Sox don’t have a long man. We’re
going to need one.

I have more, but this is already enough hot air. For discussion purposes only, I’ll put my 2 cents in regarding The Yankees later. For now, let the criticisms begin 🙂

Cheers & Go Baseball!


By Chris Cue
February 27, 2009

Imagine for a moment that you work for a company that is known
world-wide. It’s name is virtually one that’s familiar with everyone.
It’s successful, honored by many and it’s brand name alone generates
millions upon millions of dollars every year. As an employee, you are
expected to maintain that companies good name and do nothing to tarnish
it’s image in the public eye. After all, the consequences of poor
behavior by you could cost your company millions of dollars to repair
it’s products reputation and it’s well known brand name.

Now, imagine that you are one of this companies most well known
employees. You too are known by just about everyone. You reached this
fame by proving you are a consistent winner and therefore, your company
has made you their most recognized and highest paid employee. Life is
good right? Sure it is, right up until it’s discovered that you have
used illegal drugs in the past. Drugs that were smuggled into the
country by a relative and used by you. Even though your company did not
have any rules in place at the time forbidding the use of this drug, it
just does not look good in the public eye for you or your companies
name to be associated with this topic. Let’s not even mention that
smuggling, possessing and using this drug is against the law.  

It shouldn’t take a brick falling from the sky and hitting you on the
head to realize, “Uh Oh, I might have a problem.” Whether you meant to
or not, you’ve soiled your companies name and your own right along with
it. Damage control is desperately needed. So, you hire a public
relations firm to help manage this crisis for you. Your willing to pay
them handsomely to provide you with the advice you need to get out of
this pickle. Millions of dollars and both your companies name and your
own are at stake. What do you do? How can you get out of this situation
with the least amount of damage to your employer and yourself? The
public relations firm suggests that you come clean. Own up to the
mistake and take responsibility for your actions. Tell people that what
you did several years ago was dumb. Claim that because of your youth at
the time, you made an irresponsible decision and that since then,
you’ve grown up and changed your ways. Your not dumb any longer. You
hope that your employer will forgive you, that it’s customers won’t be
hesitant to do business with them and that the general public will be
equally as understanding. Everyone makes stupid mistakes and you hope
that people understand that and will find it within themselves to

     A press conference is held. In that meeting with
the press, you use the advice of the public relations firm you hired
and admit it was a stupid thing you did.  You explain that it was a
mistake that won’t happen again because now you are grown up and
understand that stupid things like that are wrong. You say that you
have changed your ways. You hope that you can now be trusted to do the
right things and stay away from those associations of the past.

After the press conference, it’s clear that some people believe you and
some don’t, but the vast majority remain skeptical. Obviously, you
still have some work to do. In time, you hope to convince the skeptic’s
that you were earnest and that you can be trusted. It will be a long
road, but if you keep your nose clean and show that you’ve shed the
problems of the past, time will heal these black marks to your

     Here is where you step off this nightmare.
That’s the end of this hypothetical situation as it relates to a
fantasy world you’ve imagined yourself in. Each of you is now tasked
with looking at that scenario and playing the role of adviser. You need
to decide upon the best advice you would give to someone in that
situation. What do you believe is the best course of action this person
should take that will ultimately end in a positive result?

Most would look at that situation and say to themselves, “There’s not a
lot he can do at this point except prove himself once again. He needs
to show everyone that he’s no longer young and stupid. He’s an adult
now who knows right from wrong and he’s broken away from the people,
places and things that have caused all of this trouble for him.” In
short, most would realize that all that can be done is to show that all
the ties to those people, places and things that got him into this
trouble have now been severed from his life. If given that advice, most
would follow it…..well, that’s what the smart people would do anyway.
Sad to say, there are always the not-so-smart people aren’t there?

Cue up the introduction music for one Alex Rodriguez. Please, join with
everyone and welcome the poster child for the not-so-smart contingent
of today’s society.

     After admitting that Texas was the
place of his poor actions. After telling everyone that his use of
steroids was due to youth and the stupidity that sometimes goes along
with such a tender age. After Alex throws his cousin under the bus by
telling all who would listen that it was his cousin who smuggled the
illegal drugs into the country and injected him with them, what does
Alex do to show that all of that is in the past? Well, we know he is
not in Texas anymore, so the location of his indiscretions has to be in
his past. We also know that Alex is now several years older, so the
hope is he has matured and no longer is susceptible to youthful
stupidity. But what about the so-called cousin? You would think that smart people,
no longer living in Texas, would realize that being seen with this
person today would be counter productive to the image your trying to
repair. Notice the phrase “smart people” was used. Alex
Rodriguez is not “smart people”. No, A-Rod proves to us all that youth
wasn’t the sole reason for not being the sharpest tool in the shed
several years ago.

     After his first Spring Training game,
a game where he is greeted with the expected cheers and jeers of the
fans, Alex does not think twice about who will give him a ride home
that day. Knowing (you would think) that he’ll be hounded by the press
thirsty for more information, Alex arranges for a ride home and thinks
nothing of leading the questioning press corp to the vehicle waiting to
pick him up. To the dismay of many, who do you think is behind the
wheel of that car? It’s none other then his infamous “cousin”. The
cousin he directly implicated with smuggling, possessing and
administering the illegal drugs that got him into all this trouble in
the first place.  The cousin, you would think, he’d like to not be seen
with any longer.

     Well, you can now kiss off the notion that
stupidity rests only at the feet of the young. You can round file the
idea that A-Rod is doing everything he can to be seen as someone
divorced from the negative associations of his past. You can also toss
the thought that he is thinking first and foremost about the Yankees
and his fellow players right out the window. There is no crime here,
but guilty by association carries a heavy hand in the court of public
opinion. What’s even more alarming is the fact that he had to be told that being seen with this guy wasn’t such a bright idea. 

This from a New York Post article by George King III tell us:

As for (Yuri) Sucart (the cousin), Rodriguez was told by the Yankees to keep him away.

“It was addressed and no further comment,” Rodriguez said.

GM Brian Cashman said, “It’s been handled.”

Said manager Joe Girardi: “That situation has been addressed, and I will leave it at that.”

It was addressed? It’s been handled? Why in the name of all that is
common sense, would this need to be addressed or handled in the first
place? Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Screen writers in
Hollywood would think this to be a non-believable story line. 

If this was you and these were your actions after causing damage to
your companies reputation, do you think you would still have a job? Do
you think anyone would believe that youth was the sole cause for your
past indiscretions or do you think that most would look at you as a
being nothing more then a village idiot?

     If Major
League Baseball, the New York Yankees or the fans of the game were
hoping that Alex Rodriguez could put this mess quickly behind them,
then it’s clear that their hopes were placed in the wrong persons
hands. Mr. Rodriguez will be greeted for many years to come with
non-flattering names like “A-Fraud”, “A-Roid” and a host of others, but
perhaps the most appropriate one of all should be “A-Dumb”.

Being generous, that one explains it all….

Pictures That Are Worth Millions….or not

By Chris Cue
February 14, 2009


Brian Cashman counting on works of art from CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett

     I saw that headline on the New York Daily News web site. LOL I’m sorry, but this was the first thing that came to mind…

“Thanks For The Money”
By AJ Burnett

“Blame The Brewers”
By CC Sabathia

I know, I know. That’s a cheap shot…..but it is a little funny isn’t it?