WFAN’s Mike Francesa interviewed Yankee GM Brian Cashman yesterday on his afternoon drive radio show. As always Brian was verbose, and made some interesting statements as well as clearing up some things in and around Yankee land. Here’s the link, I transcribed the parts I found most interesting:
On Derek Jeter-
Francesa-”..you were very straightforward about making this a cut and dried negotiation..did he take umbrage with anything you said?”
Cashman-”Yes. I think he did, understandably. And I took umbrage with being in the position to have to respond to the commentary that came out from their perspective.. ”
Francesa-”So you were annoyed with his agent”
Cashman-”Well, no Casey is terrific. Believe me, Casey and I go way back. Bottom line is, when you have the New York Yankees and you’ve got Derek Jeter, and its the media capitol of the world, all the eyes are watching, what you say, what you think, what you do. It’s bound to be combustible, and it was. Obviously I responded to the ‘baffling’ comments and ‘worth more than just statistics’ and ‘modern day Babe Ruth’ and I went on behalf of the Yankee and responded to that. They went and responded on the behalf of Derek with what they felt was..’sources’ and stuff like that.”
He went on to say that he and Derek have talked, had an honest exchange and there are no longer any hard feelings.
On AJ Burnett-
Francesa-”..if you can share, what was your conversation like with Burnett?”
Cashman-”It was good. Obviously he had the disappointing year. He knows that, we know that. Our job is to attack areas of weakness and he’s physically ready to go. I’ll give you one nugget, he called Larry Rothschild directly. We hired Larry Rothschild to be our pitching coach and the first phone call he received was from AJ Burnett” It reminded me of Robinson Cano years ago when he reached out to Larry Bowa and said ‘can you help me?’ So that was a good sign….Larry’s going to work with him, early in the winter and prior to Spring Training and work on some mechanical stuff and I think you’ll see an Burnett like the one we saw prior to this year.
On Jorge Posada-
Francesa-”..he’s a proud athlete, but he’s getting older. You expect him to protect his turf, but at what expense to the team. What’s your conversation like with him?”
Cashman-”It was good. I met with him when he had the knee surgery.. over at the hospital…it was a good conversation. I just told him direct and straight that our intention is to have him DH and do of that, at that role. And I want him to prepare as a Catcher still, just in case, because the best laid plans can go south on you. I want him to be in a position to be available, as needed, but more as a 3rd Catcher for us. We’ll take his offensive abilities and stick them at the DH spot.”
Francesa-”Was he comfortable with that?”
Cashman-”He didn’t fight it. He’s done so much over time I think he was prepared for it, to be honest.”
On the 2011 Catcher-
Francesa-”So what’s your game plan with your catching right now?”
Cashman-”We’ve got some young kids that are going to take a shot at it, between Cervelli, Montero, Romine, and were certainly exploring outside opportunities at the same time. “
Francesa-”In your mind, would you be surprised if a Montero or Romine was ready this year?”
Cashman-”Not surprised at all. There’s no doubt that we’ve been told that we have guys that are in-house that are ready, but at the same time you have to respect the difficulty of that position. I remember how long it took for us to break in Jorge Posada when we had an aging Joe Girardi here, as well as a Jim Leyritz to help give cover as Posada grew into the position. It’s such a difficult, unique position.We just want to be careful as we transition and bring the youth up. It’s not as easy as just running Robinson Cano up at second base, and sink or swim. Or Brett Gardner in Left Field, and sink or swim. Or Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen or Phil Hughes in the back of the rotation.
The Catcher’s job is unique to itself. He’s the field general. He’s responsible for those 12 (pitchers) he’s got to have the advance report, he has to be able to communicate and retain all that information, recognize all the ‘tells’ and what each pitchers mechanical issues are, in game. It’s such a responsibility that we just have to be careful with it. We have, in these young players, some of the best catching coming in the game. No question. Is it ready in 2011? We’ll find out. “
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