Game Time: The Lost Speech Of Yankee GM Brian Cashman
So the Yankees are World Champions. Yippee. Between watching Kobe tear out the Rockets' collective heart last night, and then having to flip over to Fox to watch Alex Rodriguez' post-game celebration (rehearsed in the mirror no fewer than 100 times, no doubt), November 4, 2009, will live in infamy as one of the darkest sports days of the year.
I will admit that I did watch most of the Yankees' post-game celebration, if for no other reason than post-game celebrations are a virtual smorgasbord of train-wreck interviews and unintentional comedy (see Buss, Joey). I mean, who doesn't love the canned answers of A-Roid, which are topped only by the canned answers (via translator!) of Hideki Matsui?
Conspicuous by his absence at the on field celebration, at least in the parts I saw, was Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. He may have shown up at some point, and if he did I apologize, but admittedly I was making bathroom runs every 45 seconds to go throw up again.
Cashman is one of the most intriguing people in baseball to me, not because he's particularly charismatic (or charismatic at all) but mostly because every time they show him in the owner's box at games he has a look on his face like he's simultaneously battling food poisoning and watching animal porn. I keep thinking someone needs to remind the guy that he is getting paid seven figures to construct a baseball team with the virtually bottomless checkbook of a senile old man. On the "job quality" scale, with 1 being "guy who empties portalets" and 10 being "a Maloof Brother," I would say Cashman's job is a solid 8.5. And yet aesthetically, the guy is one step above a skeleton.
Some of you may be wondering what Cashman would have said, if he'd been given the microphone. What would the man who had the guile and smarts to -- well, spend a shitload of George Steinbrenner's money -- have said to America?
Fortunately, my web of sources is vast, and it includes a flight attendant on the Yankees' charter flights. She's a little Swedish number named Svetlana, and she managed to find a rough copy of Cashman's championship acceptance speech in the seat pocket in front of Cashman's seat on the flight home from Philadelphia. (For those wondering, the speech had pink blotches of dripped Pepto Bismol all over the page, and Svetlana also found two empty bottles of Advil.)
So, without further ado, the deep thoughts of Brian Cashman on winning a World Series:
Baseball is a difficult business. A lot of people don't know the blood, sweat and tears that go into constructing a champion via shrewd trades and growing players "from the farm up." Most people in my position spend days, weeks, months trying to find a way to do more with less through advanced scouting practices and sabermetrics. However, I am not one of those people. In fact, I have a word for those people --- "suckers." My philosophy? I say why spend all that time trying to construct a champion with trades and your minor-league system when with the mere stroke of a pen you can bring in C.C. Sabathia for $161 million, and in the process pay him about $50 million more than anyone else would have?
So with that in mind, first, I'd like to thank the Cleveland Indians for breaking in C.C. Sabathia in his formative years and teaching him how to pitch. I know it sucks not being able to afford to keep him...or Cliff Lee...or Manny Ramirez...or, well...anyone. Sorry. Also, I'd be remiss not to thank the Milwaukee Brewers for teaching C.C. how to pitch on three days rest for months at a time. You see, the back end of our rotation is just a handful of hacky $5 million a year guys (or as we in Yankeeland like to call them, "minimum salary guys"), so having C.C. going on three days rest throughout the post season was key.
I'd also like to thank the Texas Rangers for giving Mark Teixiera his first chance in the big leagues. He was a can't-miss prospect from jump, and they gave him a place to begin to realize his potential. When he came into the league, we knew it would be a long wait before we could throw $180 million at him, but it was definitely worth it...even if Melky Cabrera hit 100 points better than Mark in the postseason. Totally worth it.
Next, I'd like to thank Alex Rodriguez' cousin for introducing Alex to performance-enhancing drugs, which eventually led to Alex being outed in the preseason for failing a drug test in 2003. You see, this all backfired on Major League Baseball, because I'm not sure if you saw, but all of Alex's teammates were totally by his side when he was being persecuted by the media, and it didn't kill us so it only made us stronger and stuff...we all love Alex. Especially Jeter.
Speaking of performance enhancers, I couldn't be prouder of Andy Pettitte. I mean, can you imagine how much ass he would kick if he decided to take PED's to actually enhance performance and not just that one time to help heal his injuries?? (God apparently didn't want to heal those injuries, so Andy needed the good stuff.)
I know I'm leaving a lot of people out and it's because really, we have too many $13-million-a-year guys to thank. But this title has been a long time coming...nine years, to be exact....(REMINDER: START TO CRY HERE). This trophy (REMINDER: HOLD UP TROPHY HERE) is not just for these guys, but it's for great Yankee fiscal tragedies come and gone...
-- It's for Mike Mussina, maybe the most enjoyable $109 million I've ever spent.
-- It's for Jason Giambi, who put up an MVP year in Oakland in 2001, then came over here for $115 million, and magically started to get stomach viruses and physically turned into David Arquette.
-- It's for Jose Contreras. Maybe we gave up on you a little early, but hope you didn't spend all $32 million in one place.
-- It's for Javier Vazquez, who for $9 million a year became the 2004 version of Ed Whitson, but he had a bunch of really funny fart jokes.
-- It's for Kevin Brown, two years at $31.5 million for a guy who couldn't stop the bleeding in the 2004 playoffs was precisely what we had in mind. And your bubbly demeanor was just a bonus.
-- It's for Carlaret Wrightvano, that's my pet name for the deadly combo of Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright, because given the fact that we spent a combined $60 million on both of you and got about four starts total, you can't mention one without the other.
-- It's for the Big Unit, Randy Johnson, who for two years and $30-plus million was an average pitcher, but really, really good at belting cameramen on the street. I mean, like REALLY good.
-- It's for Bobby Abreu, another two year, $30-plus million well spent. Not as good as K Brown or the Unit, but fatter. And fat people are kind of cool.
-- And finally, last but not least, it's for Roger Clemens. Maybe $18.7 million for three months of mediocre pitching in 2007 was steep, but if it never happened, we'd never have Suzyn Waldman's "GOODNESS GRACIOUS ROGAH IS IN GEORGE'S BAWX!!!" soundbite. And the world would be just a little sadder.
-- And finally finally, this title is for you, the great Yankee fans, because without you spending $825 for a loge seat and $14 for a beer, we would never be able to pay A.J. Burnett $16 million for a 13-9 record.
When you have the highest payroll in baseball by $50 million, it feels great to win a World Series every nine years. We'll see you all in 2018!! Thank you!!!
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