Advertisement

REPORT

Cashman Knows Job Is Precarious

October 21, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

MIAMI — You'll never guess who grew up rooting for the Dodgers: Brian Cashman, the general manager of the New York Yankees. He grew up in Kentucky, so he had no particular allegiance to the Dodgers. However, his parents were die-hard Yankee fans, so he figured he would spite them by cheering for the team they despised.

As the ringmaster in what Jason Giambi calls "the circus of playing in New York," Cashman enjoys no such thing as job security. As the Dodgers' ownership transition crawls forward, incoming owner Frank McCourt could be looking for a general manager at the same time Cashman could be looking for a new job.

Cashman says he plans to fulfill the remaining year of his contract with the Yankees, but mercurial owner George Steinbrenner reacts unpredictably to defeat. Cashman acknowledged that, in a fit of frustration after the Yankees lost the first game of the division series against Minnesota and trailed in the second, Steinbrenner told him he could take a hike and seek employment with the Mets, the crosstown rivals.

If the Florida Marlins win the World Series, the Yankees will have gone three years without a championship.

"When you work for George Steinbrenner, there's no room for second place," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said. "If, in Game 7, a one-run lead in the ninth inning doesn't hold up, it's a failure."

The Yankees have won three World Series championships under Cashman. The $100-million-plus payrolls help, of course, but a nine-figure payroll does not guarantee success, as the Dodgers have proved.

That the architect of multiple championship teams would be subject to repeated harangues by his owner would seem odd anywhere outside New York.

"This is my sixth year, and we've been in the Series five of six years," Cashman said. "The stuff bounces off a little easier when you have facts like that to support the job you're doing. You have to deal with it, and winning helps deal with it.

"God forbid we put a team out there that loses 100 games. I don't know if I'd make it past 50. It's rough enough when you win 100 games."

*

Marlin trivia: The first pitch in franchise history, in 1993, was thrown by ex-Dodger knuckleballer Charlie Hough. Asked what the Marlins had to compare to the fabled ghosts of Yankee Stadium, Florida outfielder Jeff Conine said, "The ghosts of knuckleballs past."

*

Even though the Yankees led the Marlins, 3-0, after one inning and 6-0 after four, Game 2 of the World Series on Sunday night got a solid fast national rating of 12.6 with a 20 share of the audience, according to Nielsen research.

The 12.6 represents a 6% increase over the 11.9 rating for Game 2 last year between the Angels and Giants.

*

Times staff writer Larry Stewart contributed to this report.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|