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February 20, 2007

NY Daily News: Nice guy Brian now in spotlight
by SG

Cashman knows all Rivera's talk about "respect" and possibly having to "move on" is agent-speak, a ploy to fire up fans and media in an attempt to shame the Yankees into prematurely showing Mo the money. Naturally, if the unexpected did happen, and Rivera winds up flying the coop, the media will torch Cashman. He will be the heavy.

He's already playing that role in this Williams saga. Judging by the facts of this case, Cashman constructed a roster designed to facilitate the end of Williams' Yankees career. If Williams was given any hope of making the team, and then did make it, the next step could be Joe Torre playing him regularly. It is not a reach to suggest Cashman was wincing when Torre went public, detailing his recent conversations with Bernie.

If Williams is finished, there will be some tears. Once they stop flowing, Torre will have preserved his St. Joe image. Cashman? In some media quarters he will be characterized as a cold, calculating businessman who finally slammed the door on Williams' illustrious Yankees tenure.

It may be cold and calculated to squeeze Bernie Williams out, but Brian Cashman's job is to put the best team he can on the field, not live in the past. It's the reason most fans would make awful GMs (including yours truly).