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Brian Cashman blasts ‘unprofessional’ doctor who said Mariano Rivera could return this season

Ever since Mariano Rivera tore his ACL on May 3 in a freak batting practice accident, the Yankees have contended that their star closer will not be able to return this season. The team is so adamant that Rivera won’t return to the mound in 2012 that Yankees GM Brian Cashman brutally called out a physical therapist of Rivera’s that said otherwise.

Cashman was being interviewed on MLB Network Radio when he took aim at Dr. Keith Pyne, the therapist quoted in the media as saying Rivera could return to pitching for the team by season’s end.

“His physical therapist that he’s working with, I thought was unprofessional and went public with things,” Cashman said, as per the New York Daily News. “I mean, medical personnel should be quiet.”

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Brian Cashman used a Jeremy Lin reference to motivate Yankees at camp

Jeremy Lin has already become more than just a basketball superstar. He’s a global icon. In Taiwain, his 85-year-old grandmother has to avoid the paparazzi when she goes out to watch Lin’s games. At the Shake Shack in New York City, Lin has a milkshake named after him. At Yankees training camp, the Harvard graduate is used as a motivation tool.

“I invoked (Lin’s) name today in front of everyone when we had our team meeting with our pitchers and catchers,” Brian Cashman said Monday during an interview with the Michael Kay Show. “You always try to point to, ‘Why can’t this be you?’ You say, ‘Hey, look what’s going on in New York with Linsanity.’ We have a number of players in camp that want to be something. They believe they can impact this club.

“We have 34 pitchers and eight catchers currently in camp. And part of my speech to the whole team was (about) Nova last year. Did anybody think he was going to be a 16-game winner, pitch in the front of our rotation and in one of our playoff games? (Lin is) an example of hope for a lot of people. For different forms and fashions.”

And there you have it. If Lin somehow was not convinced that he has made it, he should be now. When the general manager of an organization that has won 27 championships believes you might be able to inspire his players at spring training, you know you’re something special. If Lin didn’t discover that when his jersey sold for $40,000 on eBay, it should be clear to him after hearing Cashman’s interview.

Fist pound to Big League Stew for the story

Brian Cashman Challenges Bobby Valentine to Rappel Down the Side of a 22-Story Building

It has been a tremendously busy few weeks for Bobby Valentine, who was finally introduced as the next manager of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.  Brian Cashman wants to make it busier.  Now that Valentine has become opponent No. 1, Cashman decided to issue the first public challenge to the new leader of the BoSox.  The event: rappelling.

According to the NY Daily News, there is an annual tradition in Valentine’s hometown of Stamford, Conn. called “Heights of Lights” that involves rappelling down the side of a 22-story building among other standard holiday traditions.  Cashman, an annual participant, has challenged Stamford’s own to join him.

“I publicly challenge Bobby Valentine to join me on the building,” Cashman said Friday morning while he was practicing for the event. “Landmark Square, first week of December. Be there. 2012.”

Cashman also added the standard opponent’s praise of Valentine, saying that he is not thrilled to see him in the opposing dugout because he knows what he is capable of.  Before long, the two of them — along with Ben Cherington and Joe Girardi — will be engaging in offseason battles to acquire new players and playing mind games along the way.  But for right now, nothing says “I’m the bigger man” like making your way down a 22-story building with a harness and some rope.

Fist pound to the USA Today’s Game On! for sharing the story.

Brian Cashman: Yankees Faked Interest in Carl Crawford to Drive Up Price

The practice of pretending you are interested in a free agent simply to force the competition to pay more for them is nothing new for MLB general managers. That type of thing happens all the time and is an inherent part of the off-season schedule. However, a GM beating their chest about it does not happen that frequently.

As we all know and Carl Crawford recently acknowledged, the Red Sox’s biggest free agent acquisition since Manny Ramirez has been a year one bust.  Nobody expected Crawford to be hitting .259 with only 11 homers and 55 RBI with a handful of games remaining in the season.  With the way Brian Cashman is talking, you might expect him to claim he knew this would happen.

“I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. “The outfield wasn’t an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, ‘I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.’”

You’re the man, Brian.  As Hardball Talk pointed out, this is an extremely easy statement for Cashman to make at the end of a horrific season from Crawford.  If he were hitting .320 and in the hunt for A.L. MVP, would the Yankees GM be boasting about faking interest?  Chances are he would say something along the lines of, “we did our due diligence on Crawford and it just didn’t work out.”  Driving up the price is all part of the game during the off-season, but bragging about it doesn’t make you look any wiser after a guy flops.

C.C. Sabathia Lost 30 Pounds? Brian Cashman Doesn’t Buy It

You know how when people lose weight other people tell them how great they look and it makes them feel even better? Brian Cashman is not one of those other people. Either that or Buster Olney’s sources lie to him.  Olney recently Tweeted that a source told him C.C. Sabathia lost 30 pounds this offseason and looks great.  Cashman said that’s a load of b.s.

According to Hardball Talk, Cashman told ESPN that he has seen Sabathia in person and there’s no way he lost 30 pounds. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “I saw him at the B.A.T. dinner and he didn’t look like he lost 30 pounds to me. Maybe half that amount. We haven’t weighed him so I don’t now where that number comes from.”

It should be noted that Cashman went on to talk about how Sabathia is a tremendous athlete and has done a good job of keeping the weight under control, but am I the only one getting the impression that the Yankees GM is becoming bitter?  The Yankees are still an obvious contender, but Cashman missed out on Cliff Lee and did nothing noteworthy to bolster the starting rotation this winter.  When New York brought in one of the top relievers on the market, Cashman was quick to note that he wasn’t in favor of the signing.

Maybe he’s sick of the big market spotlight and wants to try his hand at a small market team.  Maybe we’re reading too much into it.  Either way, it hasn’t been an offseason to brag about for Brian Cashman.

Brian Cashman to Rafael Soriano: I Didn’t Want You Here

Yankees GM Brian Cashman did not want to bring Rafael Soriano on board as the team’s set-up man for Mariano Rivera.  How do we know that?  Maybe because he said it.  Nothing says “welcome” like a nice, honest “I didn’t want you here.”

New York had to do something.  They watched the arch rival Red Sox overhaul their roster this offseason and invest millions into two of the game’s best young talents.  Meanwhile, the Yankees have one proven front-line starter — C.C. Sabathia — to accompany the erratic A.J. Burnett and talented but raw Phil Hughes.  They’ve even extended a mind-boggling $10 million offer to Carl Pavano, because that worked so well the first time (he ended up re-signing with the Twins).

So Brian Cashman Hal Steinbrenner went out and signed one of the top relievers on the market in Soriano.  According to Hardball Talk, Cashman was very candid about the signing, simply stating that it wasn’t his call.

I didn’t recommend it … I’m charged with obviously winning a championship. I’m charged with building a farm system. I’m charged with getting the payroll down, and this certainly will help us try to win a championship. There’s no doubt about that, so that’s in the plus column, but I didn’t recommend it, just because I didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have, and we had a lot of debate about that … My plan would be patience and waiting. They obviously acted. And we are better, there’s no doubt about it.”

In other words: welcome to the Bronx, Soriano.  If I had my way, you wouldn’t be here.

Brian Cashman Jokes About A.J. Burnett’s Black Eye

Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett conjured up memories of Miguel Cabrera when he showed up for his start on Friday night sporting a shiner. The flaky but talented pitcher went seven innings of three-run ball taking a no decision against the Orioles as the Yanks won 4-3.

Given Burnett’s inconsistencies this year (he’s 10-13 with a 5.08 ERA), GM Brian Cashman was unfazed by the black eye. Cashman said prior to Saturday’s game that Burnett “should’ve gotten it earlier. He pitched real well with it. I’m not worried about shiners. The guy was great. If he’s great with a shiner, go get another one. Maybe a couple of other guys on our staff could use one.”

Burnett flew ahead to Baltimore with his wife during the week so he was not with the team when they traveled to Maryland. There’s no word on how A.J. got the shiner, but knowing him there was some funny business involved. Remember a few months ago Burnett had to leave a start early after cutting his palms slamming the doors to the Yankees’ clubhouse. Burnett initially lied about how that happened, so we should not expect to get the truth of the situation.

Heck, maybe Cashman is right — as long as he pitches well with it what difference does it make? He’s still going to be considered a bust with the Yanks and that’s all that matters to me. Let’s be real though, the Yankees have a strong suspicion what happened here and have to be fed up with Burnett at this point. It’s their fault for pouring major money into a flake like him.

Photo Credit: bronxbaseballdaily