Pineda: Pinstripes Passive-aggressively Pissed in Press

DMZ · April 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Yankees believe the Mariners screwed them in the Pineda deal, or, at the very least, they suspect it and want everyone to know. I would be extremely surprised to see future trades between the teams with the same people on the phone.

I’m going to quote a lot from one Espn article, because you’ll see how the Yankee story and their approach is coming together a week later.

“This is a massive decision gone wrong right now,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. “So all scrutiny is fair.”

Gone wrong? Why put it like this? If trading for Pineda was the correct decision, knowing the health risks of pitchers, then the outcome is bad, but the decision would still be good.

All scrutiny is fair? That’s certainly generous, as Cashman endures a level of criticism that would make normal people break down weep in moments, much driven by professional rabble-rousing figures of the New York sports press who compete outrage-trolling for audiences. Not all scrutiny is fair.

As a whole comment, though, Cashman’s comment leads towards the “all scrutiny is fair” where the assumptions underlying the deal should be looked at. Like whether Pineda was damaged goods.

“Right now, our hopes and dreams for this player are in jeopardy,” Cashman said of Pineda. “Hopefully, someday, our fans will get to see what we expected to see from him for many years to come.”

This also seems weird to me - that now they’re hoping fans will get to see what the Yankees expected. Not what the Yankees hoped. And I understand here there’s a little “we wouldn’t have traded for him if we didn’t expect greatness”.

All of this plays in front of the larger rumor mill, too, and so the Yankees win this semi-absolution:

Cashman has asserted the Yankees had subjected Pineda to an MRI before the trade became official, but doubts linger whether the Mariners and their GM, Jack Zduriencik, knew the 23-year-old right-hander was damaged goods when the Yankees made the deal.

“How can you not ask a question like that?” Cashman said. “It’s a fair question, but I can tell you we did everything possible to be sure Michael Pineda was healthy.”

See, he’s not saying they weren’t sold damaged goods. He even says that’s a good question. What he wants to tell you, though, is the Yankees tried to guard against that. And if they did their due dilligence, either they screwed up, it was unforeseeable, or something really nefarious went on. 

To answer his question, though: you wouldn’t ask that question if you were entirely sure that the other side was totally honest and forthright, and you’d done such thorough examinations that you were as sure as you could possibly be that he was healthy when he came over. And given the detail Cashman’s about to describe, you soon wonder why he’d think anything but “how did he get injured so quickly after joining totally healthy?” would be a waste of time.

Cashman said Pineda passed his Yankees physical within 72 hours of the deal having been agreed upon, a physical that included an MRI.

As he had on Wednesday, Cashman absolved the Mariners and Zduriencik of any blame in the matter.

“The focus should be on me and the New York Yankees, not the Seattle Mariners,” he said. “I’m responsible. I’m the decision-maker.”

Is that absolution? That he, Cashman, made the decision? This almost reads like “it’s my fault, I should have known that an Omega watch at that price on Craigslist was likely to be stolen, and then, sure, when I saw there was still blood on it, that should have tipped me off, but yes, I made the decision, and I intend to cooperate with authorities.”

Then there’s this odd bit:

“I asked him several times through an interpreter if he had ever been in an MRI tube at Seattle,” Cashman said. “Each time, the answer was the same.

“Nunca.”

Never.

Why is Cashman calling out that he asked Pineda repeatedly if he’d been in the tube while with Seattle? That might be a standard question, just a normal double-check, but Cashman asked several times. Why? Is he emphasizing how little he believed the M’s medical records or assurances? Why make the point that Pineda’s repeated response was never?

Then, on the call to Hal Steinbrenner:

Cashman (…) said he could not tell if Steinbrenner also wondered if the Yankees had traded for an injured pitcher.

“He just listened,” Cashman said. “He was obviously disappointed, but if he has the same kind of questions, I couldn’t tell.”

Probably, though. I mean why wouldn’t he? I just said i’s a fair question and How could you not ask a question like that?

At the least, the Yankees are using their skill with the media to keep the rumors going so their fan base puts some portion of the blame on others. And more likely, they’re really pissed about this and trying to be civil while making their displeasure clear to anyone paying attention.

Comments

41 Responses to “Pineda: Pinstripes Passive-aggressively Pissed in Press”

  1. Westside guy on April 28th, 2012 12:06 am

    It’s great to see a new piece by you, DMZ.

    There’s no way Cashman didn’t understand trading for a pitcher is risky – especially a young pitcher that’s had shoulder trouble before. I tend to believe this whole story is just Cashman playing to the ravenous New York media, and will eventually blow over once the reporters have moved on to the next crisis du jour. After all, supposedly the Yankees would never trade with Seattle again after we’d had a last minute change of heart regarding the Cliff Lee trade.

  2. Jake on April 28th, 2012 12:23 am

    Always good to see you write, DMZ.

    It’s just a case of sour grapes. Trading away a young hurler who already had a history of arm trouble, for a terrific hitting prospect (not even talking about Noesi, or Campos), ends up looking like an awful deal for New York. Wah wah wah. Not every trade goes your way, and as M’s fans, we know that all too well.

  3. Marinerman1979 on April 28th, 2012 12:43 am

    Well done…

  4. Milendriel on April 28th, 2012 1:04 am

    Jake: That’s not what sour grapes means.

  5. MrZDevotee on April 28th, 2012 2:47 am

    The funny part in all the NYC rumoring is they totally ignore THE PLAYER involved. The player is left out of the conversation as simply a commodity dealt and traded. But what would be the incentive for a player to keep pushing and stressing their body if they’re injured– especially with baseball’s guaranteed contracts? Or maybe the Mariners duped Michael Pineda too into continuing to work hard and throw hard, knowing he was injured but not telling him? Really? And they made sure it was an injury that wouldn’t show up on any physicals related to the trade? Seriously?

    Any player, looking to earn gazillions of dollars over his career, is not going to risk their livelihood to be part of a “trick” to get another team to trade their best prospect for a guy who’s damaged goods. Pineda would have been getting treated in the offseason, he would have been taking it easy in his workouts. He would have been getting treatment in New York after the trade, if that’s when he was injured… But in his own words, he felt something pop his last outing before this all went down.

    I guess it feels good to speculate that someone else is to blame, instead of acknowledging the bad luck involved. And the two choices are the two GM’s involved– either the one was stupid, or the other was crafty and conniving. But simply put, pitchers get hurt, at a pretty high rate. They put amazing amounts of stress on their bodies.

    Get well, Michael. Prove the doubters wrong.

  6. Typical Idiot Fan on April 28th, 2012 3:03 am

    I love you.

  7. midlandtx on April 28th, 2012 3:04 am

    Congratulations. You have been trolled by Wally Matthews.

    When Matthews and other mediots ask leading and inflammatory questions, e.g. “Are you 100% absolutely certain that Michael was healthy at the time of the trade,” Cashman will give very blunt but truthful answers. And since he’s not a doctor he can only state what he’s seen and heard.

    The article in no way mentions that Cashman’s first comments expressed concern for a very disappointed and frightened player. This is why Matthews, Lupica, Abraham, et al. deserve contempt among Yankee beatwriters.

  8. terry on April 28th, 2012 4:46 am

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2012/03/yankees_michael_pineda_headed.html

    “It’s certainly something he didn’t have when he was in Seattle,” Cashman said. “So there’s no damaged goods here. He’s not damaged goods right now, either.”

  9. GrassRockFish on April 28th, 2012 5:56 am

    Between this and the Cliff Lee thing, I can’t imagine Cashman will ever trade Jesus Montero to us again.

  10. The Nickster on April 28th, 2012 6:14 am

    DMZ! Man, good to see your byline. I was afraid that you were in prison, or dead, or something :-) What you up to these days? Working hard, or… not?

    Great, great piece analyzing what is practically a Politburo situation over in the Big Apple (but with the Yankees and the New York media, isn’t it always?). You nailed it with the point that Brian Cashman has a horribly ridiculous and stressful job, and whatever they pay him, it’s probably not enough given that half the people in NYC probably want to kill him or at least tell him he’s an idiot on most days. He and Joe Torre… man, get a few beers into those guys and just sit back and let the angst, bitterness, and memories flow!

    Anyhoo, yeah, the Yankees are feeling really bad right now, considering Montero is going to be the next Johnny Bench over here in Seattle (am I right? It’s a lock, right??). But them’s the breaks. If there were any whispers that the Ms were secretly trading damaged goods, I know I never heard a thing here in Seattle, and I can listen to sports radio with the best of them. In fact, I remember that me and at least half the Ms fans that spoke out were very scared that we had just traded the next Bob Gibson (or Felix) to the Evil Empire for a young hitter who may or may not pan out. So it was equal risk on both sides.

    I saw Pineda pitch in person last April, in his second or third start of the season. Kid was electric. Blew me away, so to speak. I was like, Holy C**p, where did this come from??? We’ve got a gem here! And then he was gone to NY, and you wondered if we had just made a huge mistake because we had no offense and were forced to pull the trigger on this deal (kind of the reverse of the Bedard-for-Jones trade, it seems).

    So maybe we got a break on this one. It goes both ways in this business, injuries happen, and you move on. And hey, it’s not like the NY Yankees aren’t able to cut their losses, sign some other pitcher to a huge contract with their bottomless pit of money, and recover just fine. My heart does not weep for the Effing Yankees and never will. My heart bleeds for the Ms and their fans, who have suffered a lot of pain the last few years. We deserve to have one go our way for a change!

    Keep writing (for us), Derek!

  11. wabbles on April 28th, 2012 6:22 am

    Two words: Erik Bedard.

  12. ivan on April 28th, 2012 6:22 am

    I’m happier to see Derek writing for USS Mariner again than I am to hear the Yankees whine.

  13. make_dave_proud on April 28th, 2012 6:41 am

    I was in NY this past week, and this story is being manifested by the local media. What the article doesn’t reflect is the tone that Cashman used when making any comments around Seattle, which I would call “dismissive”; the type of response where Cashman seems annoyed with the suggestion and the question is stupid.

    When I first heard the story, my impression was that most Yankee fans and supporters were up in arms, ready to go to Seattle with torches and pitchforks. To my surprise, not the case at all. It seemed like most were really thinking about other pitchers to acquire and not dwelling on the shoulder of the new guy.

    But for those that are conspiratorial, it’s actually really funny. Some commenters and radio callers referred to Phelps-for-Buhner as evidence of the Mariners fleecing of the Yankees. Seriously. A trade in 1988 and another trade 24 years later = master plan to fleece the NYY.

    If you’re ever in the mood for humor, try listening to any radio call-in show on WCBS 880 or WFAN 660.

  14. eddie on April 28th, 2012 6:50 am

    I wondered also about the part where Cashman asked Pineda if he had had an MRI, and how Pineda said never. I think it could be interpreted to mean that if the Mariners had worried about Pineda’s shoulder they would have done an MRI on it, it’s just standard operating procedure for baseball teams, and so because there wasn’t one, the Mariners didn’t think there was any problem.

    I think the Mariners next road trip into NY will be an interesting one, I imagine that the team is going to feel the fans’ wrath.

  15. make_dave_proud on April 28th, 2012 6:51 am

    Here’s an interesting emotional evaluation of the Pineda/Montero trade, from the eyes of a Yankees fan. It’s *really* interesting, given that it was written in January.

    http://ruthianclout.mlblogs.com/2012/01/16/get-real-yankee-fans-michael-pineda-is-not-ken-phelps/

  16. Paul B on April 28th, 2012 6:53 am

    I assume that sometime in the next couple of months, the Yankees will go out and buy a pitcher from some poor team that needs money.

  17. Leroy Stanton on April 28th, 2012 7:12 am

    I’m all for hating the Yankees, but this is reading way too much into it.

  18. groundzero55 on April 28th, 2012 7:16 am

    Roy Oswalt, here’s your opening.

  19. The Nickster on April 28th, 2012 7:28 am

    Make_Dave, thanks for that link. That was a really well written and interesting article, most ESPECIALLY because now you wonder what the writer is thinking… it’s almost like he cursed Pineda by saying that he was gonna be so great this year and make the Yankees’ rotation so strong. Ooops!

  20. Liam on April 28th, 2012 8:32 am

    If Jack Zduriencik knew Pineda was injured and still wanted to trade him, why did he wait until January to do it?

    Shouldn’t he have been aggressively shopped before Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos both took out a potential trade partner for Pineda?

  21. Ichirolling51 on April 28th, 2012 8:47 am

    I love Pineda and all but, I take great satisfaction in screwing the Yankees over!

  22. PackBob on April 28th, 2012 9:04 am

    It would be pretty strange for the Mariners to knowingly trade an injured Pineda to the Yankees since they knew the Yankees would give a full physical. If Zduriencik was shopping Pineda around to a few different teams, it wouldn’t be worth the potential backlash from future trading partners.

    The possible benefit of the trade wouldn’t be worth the alienation of every other GM in baseball.

  23. henryv on April 28th, 2012 9:32 am

    Dear the Yankees and their fans:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Sorry, what?

  24. diderot on April 28th, 2012 10:04 am

    Why do we all cling to this ruse that we didn’t know Pineda was hurt? We’ve all heard the secret tape, so it’s only a matter of time before the Yankees find out:

    Z: Chuck, I know it’s almost the holidays and all, but I’ve got some bad news. Pineda’s arm is shot. It’s almost falling off his body.
    Armstrong: Bummer.
    Z: Bummer? That’s all you’ve got to say?
    A: Well, yeah, too bad, but pitchers get hurt.
    Z: Maybe you don’t understand how much we’ve got invested in this kid…not just talent wise, but he’s the second half of the one-two punch with Felix, right? Isn’t that our whole marketing plan?
    A: Yeah, that’s true, but it’s not the end of the world.
    Z: How can you say that?
    A: You know the old saying, ‘you get money or brains, but not both’?
    Z: And…
    A: Who first springs to mind when I say that?
    Z: Well, Donald Trump, of course.
    A: And where does he live?
    Z: New York.
    A: Do you see where I’m going with this?
    Z: Not really.
    A: OK, remember a guy named Ken Phelps?
    Z: Maybe…a little. Not very good.
    A: Right. And he was a Mariner once.
    Z: Did not know that.
    A: But we traded him. To the Yankees.
    Z: So?
    A: For Jay Buhner.
    Z: No fuckin’ way!
    A: You could look it up.
    Z: Delores–GET ME CASHMAN–NOW!!!

  25. JMHawkins on April 28th, 2012 10:32 am

    A DMZ byline and a recent M’s sweep? Seems like old times…

    Yeah, the NY Media is obnoxious. Fans too. I feel bad for Pineda. Too bad Yankee fans can’t get their just desserts without a kid’s career in jeapordy.

    Just desserts? I remember back in 2002 or thereabouts sitting in the stands at Safeco for a game with the Yankees. Some travelling NY fans were sitting in the row behind me. Next to me was a family with a six year old kid proudly wearing an Ichiro! jersey. One of the Yankee fans asked the kid “You like Ichiro?”

    “He’s my favorite Mariner!” said the kid.

    “Yeah, he’s pretty good.” said the Yankee fan. “He’ll look good in a Yankees uniform someday kid.”

    The Baseball Gods didn’t like that, because Alfonso Soriano (playing 2B for NY back then) hit a line-drive foul ball that nearly took the jerk’s head off.

    Oh, Milendriel:

    Jake: That’s not what sour grapes means.

    Aesop wrote his fable a long, long time ago. Words and phrases shift meaning from time to time. “Sour Grapes” is as likely to mean “sore loser” now as it is to means rationalizing your failures. Interesting to speculate about how that shift may have occured. Sore losers probably complained about sour grapes enough that the two became synonymous.

  26. tylerv on April 28th, 2012 11:08 am

    It didn’t seem to me that Cashman was deflecting blame at all. I think you’re reading into this too much. They did trade for him expecting a #2 off the bat, but that was their evaluation. Pineda coming in to camp “overweight”? Maybe they could have been more careful with him themselves. Maybe they broke him.

  27. Mariners101.com on April 28th, 2012 11:31 am

    After seeing Pineda fall off last season the way he did, then the kind of shape he came into Yankee camp in, it wasn’t too hard to see something like this coming. I believe too the trade happend on Friday the 13th as well.

    I wish the best for Pineda but I can’t help but enjoy watching the Yankees suffering over this latest bit of news. Reading what Cashman had to say about all of it makes me smile.

  28. Westside guy on April 28th, 2012 11:40 am

    That piece from mlbblogs.com contained wisdom – it’d still be smart to wait around five years before evaluating this trade. I know the Yanks were looking to Pineda this year; but 2012 is certainly not why they acquired him.

    Pineda still has a decent chance of becoming exactly what they hoped for when they made the trade. Montero may have a better shot; but he’s not there yet, either – and he could be one hard slide away from an injury. Or a pride of lions might see him lumbering towards first after a hit, mistake him for an old water buffalo and take him down.

  29. FelixFanChris420 on April 28th, 2012 11:43 am

    What I don’t understand is how the labrum tear didn’t show up when the Yankees gave him he first MRI that came back as tendonitis? Is it a different kind of MRI to look at different parts? Does the machine or patient need to be positioned differently to see a labrum tear versus tendon inflamation? Did the Yanks doc’s just miss it?

  30. spankystout on April 28th, 2012 12:06 pm

    As I see it: Blame Pineda the most. He kept his mouth shut too long. Then the team doctors who cleared Pineda, and then maybe the GM. But I do have a hard time blaming Cashman, when he was fed bad information. “Garbage-in, garbage-out.”

  31. Axtell on April 28th, 2012 12:17 pm

    The fault with this doesn’t lay in the media, it’s on Cashman for fueling the speculation.

    What Cashman *should* have said, if he truly felt that he was the one responsible, was:

    “This trade was MY call, and as an organization we did everything in our power to insure the pitcher we were trading for was in excellent health. At no point in our evaluation did anything surface which would indicate a problem. All scrutiny of this trade lays of my feet which is fair. In no way, shape, or form do I feel the Mariners hid anything.”

    That would have squashed it, but instead he twists words around so the media (and their repulsive fans) can spin it as somehow there’s no way the mighty yankees could have made this bad a deal. It’s the mariners’ fault!

    It’s a disgusting story that’s only getting airtime because of the awful east coast bias that exists at ESPN.

  32. djw on April 28th, 2012 12:23 pm

    What I don’t understand is how the labrum tear didn’t show up when the Yankees gave him he first MRI

    The Occam’s razor answer would be that he hadn’t torn it yet.

  33. FelixFanChris420 on April 28th, 2012 12:36 pm

    @djw, did he ever start throwing again after he was shut down with the tendonitis?

  34. Breadbaker on April 28th, 2012 1:44 pm

    Two words: Erik Bedard.

    Exactly. I mean, how did that Tino Martinez deal work out for the Yankees?

  35. Liam on April 28th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Remember the previous Montero trade–the one that fell apart because David Adams had a sprain that turned out to be a broken ankle? No one talked about the Yankees trying to con the Mariners, instead it was all about how the M’s reneged when they got a better deal from Texas.

  36. The_Waco_Kid on April 28th, 2012 4:23 pm

    lol, thanks for checkin in, DMZ!

  37. stevemotivateir on April 28th, 2012 5:27 pm

    Yankee fans have been furious with Cashman since the trade was made. They weren’t happy with him before the trade either. This is just damage control. Cashman’s trying to pass the heat from Yankee fans on to the Mariners management. He’s saying one thing, insinuating another, so he has an answer/excuse for everyone. This shows how unprofessional he is. He should just keep his mouth shut and stand behind Pineda. Funny thing is, it’s all for nothing. Yankee fans wont care. They’ll just assume he got duked because he’s an idiot.

  38. seattlesonsofbaseball on April 28th, 2012 9:55 pm

    There is no fan base or organization that whines like the Yankees. They can buy pretty much whoever they want, and when something goes awry… like a high profile trade of a talented young arm (YOUNG being the keyword) for a talented position player that doesn’t work, they scream “foul play” and want justice. THIS IS JUSTICE! The fact they are allowed to take advantage of a B.S. model with the ridiculous salary cap MLB has and they just traded their young hitting star for a now broken down pitcher IS Poetic Justice. I truthfully feel sad for Pineda, because he didn’t deserve this and the scrutiny he’ll receive on his way back from injury will be just as nasty. I hope he can get through it well.

  39. Mathball on April 29th, 2012 9:28 am

    Actually, I think what Cashman did here was smart. He had a pitcher show up overweight and then was throwing slower than normal. The NY press was eating Pineda up. So when Pineda gets hurt, without directly pointing a finger at the Mariners, he takes all the heat off of Pineda and onto a team thousands of miles away.

    This story will be forgotten in a couple of months, when A-Rod does something to gain the ire of the NY press.

    The proof will be when we make another trade with NY within a year or two. Now if we can’t make any trade of worth for a couple of years to any team, then there is more to this than we think.

  40. Esquared on April 29th, 2012 6:52 pm

    “I think it could be interpreted to mean that if the Mariners had worried about Pineda’s shoulder they would have done an MRI on it, it’s just standard operating procedure for baseball teams,”

    I completely agree with this eddie. Why would the Mariners have any reason to give him an MRI if they had no reason to believe one was necessary? Cashman’s logic with this comment is totally contradictory. Healthy pitchers do not need MRIs.

  41. Kazinski on April 30th, 2012 12:30 pm

    I’m sure the Yankee’s fans are thinking Jack is so smart he knew Pineda’s shoulder had a tear, so the last thing he was going to do is give him an MRI.

    And of course they next thing they’re going to be screaming for is to fire Cashman and hire Jack.

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