NY Sports Radio Legend Mike Francesa Rips Yankees GM Brian Cashman

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman feels “offended” when people discuss the team’s lengthy World Series drought. New York radio legend Mike Francesa, at least based on his Twitter account, feels disgusted the five-time World Series champion has resorted to making excuses.

After reaching the World Series six times from 1996 through 2003, the Bronx Bombers have only participated in one Fall Classic since the start of the 2004 season. The Yankees have endured 12 consecutive seasons without winning an American League pennant, and Cashman feels the rival Houston Astros are to blame.

Francesa, on the other hand, doesn’t want to hear it.

Mike Francesa ripped Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Twitter after the latter’s recent interview with The Athletic

In an explosive interview with The Athletic’s Andy McCullough, Cashman addressed the Yankees’ World Series drought and said he’s offended when people bring it up. Why? Cashman cited the Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal, one which may have played a significant result in the Yankees blowing a 3-2 lead in that year’s American League Championship Series.

“The only thing that stopped (us) was something that was so illegal and horrific,” Cashman told McCullough.

Never mind the fact that the Yankees have underperformed over the last two seasons, both of which came following the Astros’ punishment for stealing signs, and were already nearly a decade removed from their previous World Series appearance when they were shut out in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS. No, it’s the Astros who are solely responsible for the Yankees’ inability to win a pennant.

Fast forward five years, and Cashman is still speaking out against the supposed injustice that limited the Yankees to three runs in four road games against the Astros. Francesa, a devoted Yankees fan who has long considered Mickey Mantle one of his heroes, has no time for the longtime general manager’s excuses.

“Cash sounds like a whiner and a loser. He also has a very selective memory. Sounds like the drought, the recent performance and the Mets are getting to him. Surprised. He has usually been tougher than this.”

Mike Francesa

As of publication, Cashman had not responded to Francesa’s comments. It is worth noting that Francesa’s contract with Audacy, who owns the Yankees’ radio rights, expired at the end of 2021.

Francesa’s brutal takedown of Cashman is correct, especially in light of how the 2017 ALCS actually went

Mike Francesa (L) and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Mike Francesa (L) made it clear he has no tolerance for New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s excuses | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM; J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday via Getty Images

Francesa has long had a history of not holding back, a trait that helped him become one of the most influential figures in modern sports media history. He’s certainly on the money here when discussing a general manager who has spent nearly 25 years presiding over baseball’s most lucrative franchise.

At this stage in the game, what does Cashman truly obtain by blaming the Astros for the scandal? Most of the regulars from both teams are no longer with the franchise. In fact, former Astros utility player Marwin Gonzalez, who started in left field in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS, currently plays for the Yankees and could even open the regular season with the big-league club.

Remember: the Yankees scored three runs in four games at Minute Maid Park that postseason. How much of those issues were on the Astros’ sign-stealing, and how much of them came from a lack of clutch hitting? Only one Yankees player, third baseman Chase Headley, hit above .260 in the series. Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner registered four hits in 27 at-bats. Starting center fielder Aaron Hicks went 2-for-27 with eight strikeouts. All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez hit .192 and struck out nine times in 26 at-bats, although he at least added a home run and five RBI.

Major League Baseball punished the Astros in January 2020. Had Cashman made this argument around that time, at least recency bias might have softened the blow of how ridiculous he sounds. But to do so now, nearly five years after the fact, makes no sense.

Cashman needs to start taking accountability for the Yankees’ systemic failures

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in 2022.
How much longer will Brian Cashman be the New York Yankees’ general manager? | J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

Yes, Cashman has won three World Series rings as the Yankees’ general manager. However, he inherited a championship-caliber team ahead of the 1998 season, one that Gene Michael and Bob Watson had carefully built after an underwhelming 1980s and a terrible start to the 1990s.

Since the start of the 2002 season, the Yankees have one World Series title and two AL pennants. The blame there isn’t on the Astros, and it’s not on the Boston Red Sox or the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s on Cashman and the Yankees’ front office for allowing systemic issues, including a poor farm system and a commitment to try solving problems with lucrative contracts rather than player development, to keep the Yankees far away from the World Series.

Cashman and the late George Steinbrenner approached roster management like a video game. Theoretically, a team with multiple 99 overalls, such as Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, should win the title every year. But, that strategy very rarely works in real life, especially in baseball. If it did, the Yankees likely would have reached the World Series every year from 2005-08. Instead, they never made it past the American League Division Series and outright missed the playoffs in 2008.

At some point, Cashman needs to take some accountability for his actions. There aren’t many North American sports franchises that would keep a general manager around after not reaching the championship game/series for 12 straight years.

Instead, the Astros are to blame, at least for now. Who will Cashman blame in a few months when the Yankees lose in the 2022 MLB postseason’s first round?

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