Brian Cashman, A-Rod, and what it takes to tell a player to STFU

USA Today Sports

Alex Rodriguez made Brian Cashman say a naughty word. Is there anyone else on the team who could do that?

Everyone has a HOT TAKE on Brian Cashman telling Alex Rodriguez to "Shut the **** up," it seems. I want a HOT TAKE, too, guys. I'll nail mine down in two bullet points:

  • Bosses should never publicly tell their employees to STFU
  • A-Rod's Twitter account does not exist so he can share his private thoughts. It exists to share Alex Rodriguez propaganda and infomercials. Letting people know he was cleared to play by someone other than the team doctor was a calculated PR move.

Cashman was wrong, A-Rod is a caricature.

But this is instructive. Cashman has a STFU limit for his players. There are tweets and comments that can send him over the edge and make him lose his cool in front of reporters. We kind of knew this already because of the Nick Swisher era.

Nick Swisher: HEY BRIAN REMEMBER THOSE BUDWEISER COMMERCIALS WITH THE WAAAASSSSSSUP

Swisher: THEY SHOULD DO THOSE AGAIN

Swisher: HEY BRIAN … WAASSSSSSSUUUUUUUP

Swisher: WAAASSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP

Swisher: WAAAAAAAASSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP

Swisher: OR THE ONE WITH THE FROGS

Swisher: BUD WISE ERRRR

Swisher: BUD

Swisher: WISE

Swisher: ERRRRRRRR

Swisher: BUD

Swisher: WISE

Swisher: ERRRRRRRR

Swisher: HEY BRIAN

Swisher: WAASSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLALLALALUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP

Brian Cashman: Hey, Nick, come here, I have to tell you something …

If we know that Cashman has a STFU limit, wouldn't that mean there's a limit for all his players?

Pretend we could take control of Derek Jeter like something out of Being John Malkovich. He says what we want him to say. He tweets what we want him to tweet. Is there a way to construct a New Derek Jeter that would eventually make Cashman give him the STFU treatment?

Anything wildly offensive is immediately out. A Jeter tweet like "i support daniel tosh's right to make rape jokes because this is a free country" would make Cashman stammer in disbelief before he excused himself from the room. There wouldn't be anger. In private, sure. But anything that horrible coming from Jeter would be so out of character that anger wouldn't be the initial response. Plus, everyone would think "hacked" two seconds after the tweet.

A monomaniacal focus on the same topic, Jose Canseco-style, could do it. But you'd have to build up to it.

@DerekJeterNYY
Still in shock about this Aaron Hernandez thing. Can't wrap my mind around it. He had it all.

@DerekJeterNYY
Can't help but think that if they couldn't find the body, he'd be in the clear.

@DerekJeterNYY
There are all sorts of places you could get rid of a body.

@DerekJeterNYY
Woodchipper

@DerekJeterNYY
A deep lake

@DerekJeterNYY
Tar pits

@DerekJeterNYY
Abandoned building

@DerekJeterNYY
Marlins park lol

@DerekJeterNYY
buckets of acid like breaking bad

After the fifth or sixth one, spread out over a couple of days, maybe Cashman would snap. Something political would do it too.

@DerekJeterNYY
(something surprisingly left- or right-wing)

@DerekJeterNYY
(Nasty response) RT (something from the opposite side of the political spectrum)

@DerekJeterNYY
(Opinion about Obama and guns)

@DerekJeterNYY
(Something about the moon landings being faked)

But you see the problem. Jeter wouldn't do any of that. Even if you could Being John Malkovich your way into his brain, there's no way any of this would be believable. Cashman would send him for an MRI to search for a brain malady before he snapped at him. Not just because Jeter is New York's favorite son and demigod. But because he's smarter at the Internet (doesn't even have a Twitter account) and smarter at public relations and smarter at life.

Try to construct a similar scenario for Robinson Cano or Mark Teixeira. Maybe something from Cano about the Yankees lowballing him in contract negotiations, or Mark Teixeira obsessively tweeting about how the nude scene from Hair was his favorite moment in any of the 295 musicals he's seen. It's more likely that Cashman would say something pithy if it was warranted, but it's hard to imagine the exasperation of a STFU leaking out.

No, this is proof of A-Rod's special status as a Yankees pain. It takes years to build up to STFU.

Step 1: Leak information during the World Series that you're opting out of your contract

Step 2: Sign the biggest deal in the history of professional sports

Step 3: Get embroiled in a steroid scandal

Step 4: Get embroiled in another one

Step 5: Get hurt (this step could come before or after Step 4)

Step 6: Tweet about how well your rehab is going so the Yankees don't even think about shutting you down for the year because of insurance

Six steps to getting the STFU treatment from Brian Cashman. Which means that Cashman doesn't have a STFU limit for all his players. Just for A-Rod. I'm pretty sure we all have a STFU limit for A-Rod, and a lot of us passed it right before he signed with the Rangers. It's just odd to see it expressed by a GM who usually plays his cards a little closer to the vest.

That's how special A-Rod is. He could have tweeted about how much sugar he likes in his coffee, and it still could have sent Cashman over the edge. He's a gift, everybody. An expensive, expensive gift.

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