All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cashman Speaks...

...and he didn't mince words.

He called out Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon for reporting to spring training out of shape last year. "That's not going to happen this spring," he said.

Yikes. What's he going to do about it? Fire them?

And that was the least of it. Cashman was surprisingly blunt. He had some harsh words about Bernie Williams.

Cashman took a few jabs at Bernie Williams, the popular Yankee whose exit from the team was not on friendly terms. Cashman said that Williams was terrible in 2005, but that he brought Williams back as a farewell in 2006. After Williams had a solid year, he wanted to return for 2007. But Cashman did not sign Williams. Cashman said that Williams’s music career “took away from his play.” Interestingly, Cashman said that Joe Torre, who was then the manager, looked for ways to play Williams in 2006 “ahead of guys who could help us win,” so Cashman did not want that to happen in 2007.

Not exactly a shock. Many thought the non-signing of Bernie in 2007 was a way to "Torre-proof" the roster. But it is surprising that Cashman would say so in public.

(And jeez, 2006 was so frustrating. Torre kept running Bernie out there, even when it was obvious he couldn't handle it any more. The Bubba/Bernie and Aaron Guiel/Bernie right field platoons that immediately turned into all-Bernie, all the time. Torre putting Bernie in as a defensive substitution in CF, and Bernie letting easy fly balls drop in in front of him. Other teams constantly running on Bernie's weak arm...without even looking up. Arrghhh.)

Pete Abe got a chance to ask Bernie for a response:

Told of Cashman’s comments, Williams first said he didn’t want to resond. But then he paused and took a deep breath.

“I don’t think he has any basis to say anything like that,” he said. “Let me put it this way: Questioning a person’s commitment to the team is a very serious accusation, at least in my book.”

I asked whether music was a distraction during the final seasons of his career. “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” he said. “I haven’t really talked to (Cashman) about what he said. But I want to.”

Williams did not attend any Yankee games last season despite several invitations from Joe Torre. He has yet to officially retire, putting the Yankees in an awkward spot in terms of offering him some sort of role.

Poor Bernie. Can't blame him for feeling hurt, but you also can't blame the Yankees for cutting him. Nobody's career lasts forever.

Cashman also said he doesn't want to trade for Santana. He wants to keep Phil Hughes. Again, not a surprise. That's what the grapevine has been reporting for months.

Speaking of Santana, it sounds like some kind of deal will be done soon:

I was told today that next week is a big week in terms of determining if and where Santana will be dealt. Some in the organization feel the Twins can be a factor in a tough AL Central and entertain thoughts of keeping Santana in his walk year and making a run at the postseason.

I still expect Johan to be dealt.

Anything's possible, but I'd say Santana's heading for New York. The only question is whether it's the Yankees or the Mets.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:17 PM


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