(Ahh the bad old days. Courtesy of the AP)
I ended last week's speculative post on what might be going on behind the scenes in the Yankee front office by saying, "Let's see how Cash handles the next big injury situation with the media and then we might be onto something." After the bomb he dropped yesterday in regards to Alex Rodriguez's tweet about being cleared to play, I think it's now safe to say that we're onto something.
“You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]. Alex should just shut the fuck up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”
I'm a Cash guy through and through, and I'll usually go to bat for him on pretty much anything, but this was absolutely inexcusable on his part and way out of line. All A-Rod's tweet really boils down to was him saying he was excited about getting closer to returning and Cash ran over him with the bus at full speed for it, backed over him about a half dozen times, and then circled the block just so he could build up enough to momentum to run him over one more time. It was way out of character for Cash, even compared to the stuff he said about Kevin Long last week, and it was wrong and downright childish.
The worst part about it is that Cash said this stuff to Andrew Marchand, the MSM's king of pot stirring, fake controversy, and cheap pageviews. That makes it pretty obvious that Cash and probably the entire front office wanted this message delivered to as many eyes and ears as possible. If I'm tying this to a larger conspiracy theory - and believe me, I am - this seems like a blatant attempt by the front office to smear A-Rod and publicly shame him into retiring early so the team can get out from under his remaining contract. The media is always chomping at the "let's gang up on A-Rod" bit and the anti-A-Rod spin is already starting to come out in waves from the rest of the Yankee MSM. Between the injuries, the declining production, the Biogenesis stuff, and now this, I'm sure Cash, Levine, and the Steinbrenners are all sitting in their offices with their fingers crossed that A-Rod will decide he's had enough of getting beaten up and hang 'em up after this season. If they can go on the media offensive and try to hasten that endgame, even better for them, right?
Cash's statement yesterday would have been out of line in response to anything A-Rod could have said. The fact that it was in response to something ultimately harmless and positive in nature makes it even more ridiculous and I guarantee that would not have been the response had the player in question not been A-Rod. Make no mistake, Alex Rodriguez did nothing wrong here. Nothing. Cash was completely in the wrong and completely unprofessional in his response and it's just one more layer to add to the confusing and head-scratching year he's had talking to the media.
I don't know what Cash's motivation was for saying what he said yesterday and I don't know if this was him saying this or him being the mouthpiece for somebody else higher up. Regardless, the whole thing stinks and is brutally reminiscent of the smear jobs the Boston front office puts on any former player or coach they run out of town. If this really is part of a bigger plan by the Yankee front office to force A-Rod out the door, it's shameful, petty, and flat out cruel. With what he's been stirring up every time he opens his mouth lately, Cash might want to think about taking a bit of his own advice and shut the fuck up for a while.