To kick-off the third annual lecture series, Manhattan College’s Student Activities led off with an impressive heavy hitter. The lecturer happened to be a little known person who just so happens to be one of the most powerful men in New York sports: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
So What about This Guy?
His most recent contract extension of three-years over $9-million expires once the season is over. When approached by “Newsday” following what was seen as a “lukewarm endorsement” coming from principal owner of the Yankees Hal Steinbrenner, Cashman was quoted as saying, “It’s the process.”
In a one-on-one interview with The Quadrangle, Cashman talked about his future with the team he has been apart of since 1986.
“I’ve never done one of my deals until it concluded no matter, a matter a fact it has kind of been my rule I put it in play years back,” said Cashman. “When players would come to me wanting to do their deals before they expire, if I can work at the end of my deals so can you.”
How Did Student Activities get Cashman?
Student Activities has worked on bringing Cashman to MC ever since last spring. John Bennett, the director of student activities, said the main reason for inviting Cashman was to keep to a “New York City based” lecture series theme.
“[Cashman] has been with the Yankees for so long, and so many students know who he is,” said Bennett. “So for him to be here in the middle of the playoff push right now is pretty phenomenal.”
On the student’s side of things, amidst the anticipation and excitement of Cashman’s arrival no one could think of why he decided to come to MC, but in all honesty did not care. How many times does a high-profile person like a Cashman visit anywhere?
One notable group of students to attend the lecture was the Manhattan baseball team. Mikey Miranda spoke on the team’s behalf.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Miranda. “I would say a big percentage of the baseball team there dream is to make it to the big team, and especially a team like the Yankees. To meet a general manager like him, it’s ridiculous.”
Cashman admittedly has no connections of any kind to MC. He said he has “never been on this campus before, and I really like to meet people I’ve never met and go places I’ve never been.”
His simple answer, “I was invited.”
“I’ve been 17 years as a GM, and this is just up the street,” said Cashman.
Bye, Bye Captain
During Cashman’s lecture, he was asked questions about the Yankees to what his job consists of. One question asked in particular regarding the team that was and still is on everybody’s mind is the future without captain Derek Jeter once he retires at season’s end.
“The one thing about the Yankees is always another great player,” Cashman said. “It’s just the nature of the beast. The nature of the Yankees and the history of the Yankees is we always try to find and gravitate to the world’s greatest players.”
He then went on to list a litany of names well known to Yankee fans to expound upon “the nature of the Yankees.”
Phil Rizzuto led to Jeter; Don Mattingly led to Tino Martinez; Jason Giambi to Mark Texiera; Reggie Jackson to Dave Winfield; Yogi Berra to Jorge Posada; and Mickey Mantle led to Bernie Williams.
“It’s just the way it works out,” said Cashman. “[Masahiro] Tanaka is an example of that. Whether it’s pulling them down from Tokyo or trading for a player from Venezuela like we just did for [Martin] Prado. We’re just always trying to find whether it’s locally like [Delin] Betances or as far as Japan or importing a guy like [Orlando] ‘El Duque’ [Hernandez] from Cuba.”
Staff Writer Anthony Capote contributed to this article.