Pineda: Pinstripes Passive-aggressively Pissed in Press
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.
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.