Brian Cashman Admits Idiocy

It’s rare that the Yankees do or say something that makes them appear inept. It’s even rarer when the Yanks do or say something that makes the Mets look smart.

But the planets must have aligned with the moons or something this past weekend, because for once, the Yankees looked like fools and the Mets geniuses — perhaps it is a sign of things to come?

In case you missed it, Yankees GM Brian Cashman had this to say about his LOOGY Pedro Feliciano, who was recently placed on the DL with a strained rotator cuff:

“He was abused,” Cashman said. “It’s a thin market when you’re looking for lefties, and he’s one of the better ones out there. But you don’t typically go after a guy who’s been used like that.

“The use pattern was abusive.”

"In answer to your question regarding Feliciano ... yes, I AM an idiot"

Um, yeah, he was. We called him “Perpetual Pedro” and “Everyday Pedro”, among other things, because he pitched, well, perpetually … like, almost every day. As was pointed out on this site last fall, Feliciano appeared in 92 games in 2010, with 43 of those appearances coming on back-to-back days. We wondered if Feliciano was overused several times during the season. Frankly, I was stunned not to see Feliciano’s arm fly off late last summer.

Unfortunately, the Yankees spend all of their extra dough on player contracts, so they don’t have enough to pay for extravagances like an interwebs connection. As a result, Cashman was unable to fire up one of those computer-thingys that all the kids are using these days to “google search” the number of games Feliciano appeared in last year (and 2009, 2008, 2007, etc.). A mystery, really, that NOT ONE of Cashman’s interns has a New York Public Library card — because from what I understand, the NYPL has a few kah-pew-ters that are hooked up to the information highway, for free! Though, I guess it’s possible that google (and ESPN, and MLB.com, and Baseball-Reference, and the other 25,000 websites that display MLB stats) is blocked by the library’s firewall.

Because if only Brian Cashman KNEW that Feliciano appeared in 344 games over the last 4 years, he would have never made that trade with the Mets to get him.

Oh wait, it wasn’t a trade, was it? Boy, it’s hard to remember things as you get older. Turns out the Yankees signed Feliciano as a free agent. So, it’s … um … their own problem if he has physical problems.

(By the way, these are the same Yankees that allowed Joe Torre to make Scott Proctor the poster boy for bullpen abuse … as astutely pointed out by MetsToday reader “wohjr” in the comments recently.)

In response to Cashman’s remarks, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen had this to say:

“[The Yankees] didn’t know that when they signed him? … He volunteered for the baseball every day. He was asked whether he was able to pitch. He said ‘yes’ every day — every day — and wanted to pitch more than we even pitched him.”

“I feel badly that [Cashman] feels that way,” Warthen added. “That was part of the reason we decided to not re-sign [Feliciano] — because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years.”

Huh … so the Mets factored in their own abuse of Feliciano when considering whether or not to re-sign him. And the Yankees glazed over it.

Perhaps times are changing in New York … it feels like 1983 all over again.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. metsilverman.com April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    I’m sure this can be cleared up with a new edict: “The Pedro Rules.” And the Yankees can baby him like they did that husky Nebraska kid sitting next to him in the bullpen, yelling and gesticulating while playing Nintendo.
  2. Ryan April 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    I’m sorry, I will play devil’s advocate. I’m not prepared to believe that Dan Warthen outsmarted Brian Cashman here (as intelligent as Coach Dan looks in those new frameless rims, he’s still Dan “You Want The Ball?” Warthen). Warthen shouldn’t be laughing about it, his collegiate approach can’t be making inroads with the MLBPA for an organization that can hardly be considered a player favorite. Most teams cover overuse up, not parade it out in the open. I imagine the Mets are in hot water about their poor management of players’ health.

    Quotes out of the Yankee front office are directed towards many different levels and as much as Mets fans are hungry for signs of “catching up” with the Yanks, they ought to rein in the euphoric feelings of an opening series win over the Fish and grasp the reality of the situation.

    The Yanks are in the recent business of swallowing lefties off the market, I’m sure they read the Baseball Reference page on PF and said, “hey, it’s more likely that Feliciano gets injured than repeats performance.” Someone said “hey”, I’m sure.

    Torre was vilified (among other reasons) for his exceedingly unimaginative reliance on Scott Proctor – not for Proctor’s skill but for his loyalty. Torre had his boys. You should also recall that Torre essentially took Proctor to LA with him, again, as a Torre stooge.

    Hope I’m not peeing on anyone’s pop tarts.

    • Joe April 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm
      Is that last sentence a new things the kids say these days?
    • Joe Janish April 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm
      My pop tarts had a distinctive “wang” to them this morning. 🙂

      I know and you know that the REAL reason the Mets didn’t re-sign Feliciano was because they didn’t have the money to do so. But it is in fashion for Mets fans to pat ourselves on the back and talk about how smart the front office is. Did you not notice that two of the three new front office people have Ivy League degrees? Jeez Louise, Ryan, give us an hour to bask in the glory of feeling superior to the Yankees, will ya?

      • JIm April 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm
        “I know and you know that the REAL reason the Mets didn’t re-sign Feliciano was because they didn’t have the money to do so.”

        I don’t think that is entirely true; the Mets did offer him arbitration. I feel confident that, had the Yankees not signed Feliciano to a two year deal, he would have accepted arbitration (estimates were that he would get a $4MM deal, more than I think he would get from a team not named The Yankees).

        There is no doubt them Mets are playing it cheap, but I think they were more concerned about giving him a two year deal with all the abuse, then with paying him for one year.

  3. Tom April 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    If the Mets abused feliciano, i believe that rape would be the most appropriate term for what the Yankees did to Joba.
  4. Ryan April 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm
    The experiment with the Joba Rules (which I was never a fan of, mind you, you don’t weaken one strong role to make another just adequate) to develop him as a starter still yielded a 12-7 record with 206 Ks in 221 IPs and a 4.18 ERA in 43 starts, facing some of the toughest teams in baseball in the Rays (pre-2011) and Red Sox (Manny Era). He attained 114 OPS+ which (I read) means that he was objectively above-average as a starter.

    So what happened? The Yanks eventually hired back Andy Pettitte and signed Sabathia and Burnett, filling out their rotation, and finally came to their senses with Joba. Better to have one inning of cheese than five innings of meatballs.

    The results? Joba Chamberlain will make $1.4M this year as a 25-year-old seventh inning guy in the AL East. He still averages better than a strikeout per inning and has touched 95mph on the gun in his earliest appearance this year, to mix in with his hard slider (which he has always had) and his tight curve (which he learned as a starter). He was on the opening day 25-man roster for the fourth consecutive year.

    Rape?

    In four years’ time, Jenrry Mejia would very likely be in the same place or better – if only it all boiled down to talent and drive. But it doesn’t. There are development plans to consider. It’ll take four years to make a Joba/Jenrry comparison relevant, granted.

  5. Mic April 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    Regardless of whether correct or not i dont think Warthen should have carte blanche to make a response like that…if he did.
    • Joe Janish April 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm
      Warthen had a big mouth last year with the cowboys in charge, and nothing seems to have changed with the new regime — which I find mildly fascinating. What other pitching coach in MLB is quoted as often? And what other MLB pitching coach that IS quoted, says something other than the typical and approved one-liners?

      On the one hand, it’s nice that the media has a go-to guy for quotes. On the other hand, Warthen often comes off sounding less than professional. He has a very cavalier way about him that I wouldn’t think meshes with the new management, and I’m curious to see if his statements and opinions will continue to be seen in the tabloids going forward.

  6. Brandon April 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    METS – 1, YANKEES 0 (2011 only)
  7. Blit April 5, 2011 at 9:41 am
    Agreed with Joe’s 9:58 p.m. comment where he says that Warthen has a big mouth and sometimes comes off as unprofessional – Exhibit A is him calling John Maine a “habitual liar” last year.

    I actually believe Warthen when he later said that he misspoke and that he simply meant that he couldn’t count on Maine to state the actual state of his health. But still, he doesn’t seem to know how to adhere to standard “stock” responses.