Those of a particular vintage will recall an articles-of-succession-challenged Alexander Haig reassuring the American public, “I’m in charge” shortly after John Hinkley Jr.’s unsuccessful attempt at winning a date with Jodie Foster. Since the passing of George Steinbrenner, Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s channeling of the late Secretary of State/General has occurred with increasing regularity, though never in a manner as blatant as last night’s all-too-pubic burial of veteran catcher Jorge Posada.
Posada, whose 2011 production is so paltry even Derek Jeter thinks he’s washed up, took considerable umbrage at being dropped to 9th in the batting order before Saturday’s contest versus Boston. Whether the backstop needed to “clear his head” or as his wife claimed via Facebook and Twitter, he was suffering from back issues, Cashman made it perfectly clear this is a P.R. battle Jorge has no chance of winning, William of Captain’s Blog‘s argues, “letting Posada and his agent know you were going to air some dirty laundry isn’t exactly a good justification for doing it in the first place.”
As Posada alluded, Cashman has transformed himself over the past year. Once thought to be a quiet, almost secretive general manager, who was a master at saying nothing by saying a lot, Cashman is now front and center amid every controversy, freely disseminating information that probably would better left unsaid. Although this transition has been a boon for the media, it doesn’t seem as if it has gone over too well with the players.
The first sign of Cashman’s new outspokenness occurred when the general manager challenged Derek Jeter with several pointed barbs during the shortstop’s contract renegotiations. Then, when the organization signed reliever Rafael Soriano against his best wishes, Cashman freely talked about his opposition to the move…during the introductory press conference. Off the cuff comments about Pedro Feliciano’s usage with the Mets also fanned some flames before the season, but all three of those incidents don’t compare to the embarrassment he caused the entire organization tonight.