New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that he often went behind manager Joe Torre’s back to try to prevent him from overusing his relievers.
Cashman said Torre or his pitching coach (Mel Stottlemyre or Ron Guidry) would ask the relievers if they felt good enough to pitch. If a pitcher said yes, Torre wouldn’t hesitate to use him.
“You have to understand these players are competitors; they’re never going to say no,” Cashman told the New York Daily News. “It’s just the way they’re wired. So you pay people to know the answer; I’m not paying a pitcher to be the pitching coach, for instance. Or the manager. I’m paying the pitching coach to be the pitching coach. I met with (Scott) Proctor and said, ‘You better stop telling the manager this because the way he manages’—I’m not criticizing Joe, that’s just the way he is—’He wants an honest answer. Just tell him no.’ “
After leaving the Yankees, Proctor had two elbow surgeries, including Tommy John surgery.
Cashman also told the Daily News that he tried to convince Torre that the pitchers weren’t always being honest and shouldn’t be available to pitch so often. However, Torre seldom took that into consideration.
“You have to have the knowledge enough to know that you’ve got to back off this guy, because he won’t be honest with you, he’ll lie to you even if he’s dragging knuckles,” Cashman told the Daily News. “So I met with those individual players and said, ‘You are hurting your career.’ I covered all the bases on my end. There’s no hypocrisy here.”
The Daily News reports Torre responded with a “no comment” when asked for reaction to Cashman’s comments.