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Brian Cashman workout day quotes
10/11/2004 3:32 PM ET
Q. Brian, Joe was here and he said that he's not sure if Mariano will be here tomorrow. Do you have anything further than that?

BRIAN CASHMAN: No. I mean, it's a little uncertain. Ultimately his first priority as we all know is to the family, and when he left, we just told him, take the time you need, as long as it takes. What's happening here is secondary to that. I know without question he intends to take care of that first priority as he should, and then after that, he'll come and join us.

It's possible he'll be here for tomorrow night. We don't want to -- we're not going to expect it. But I think his plan is to try to be here for tomorrow night, but whether that happens or not remains to be seen. He needs to take care of his family first and foremost right now. You know, we'll assist him on the travel. We've been in touch, I've talked to his agent, Fernando Cuzza, has a private plane as his disposal when he wants to come up.

But again we are feeling for Mo right now, the whole Yankee family is, who is obviously terrible news when we found out right after the game in Minnesota. So, you know we just want to do all we can for him right now and whatever happens other than that is not as important.

Q. Is it George's plane?

BRIAN CASHMAN: Well, the Yankees are arranging a plane for him. So we have a plane that we have arranged. And again, when Mo's ready, that side of it will be facilitated.

Q. With all due respect to what he's going through down there, in your talks with Fernando, do you have an itinerary, do you know what time the funerals are, what time he has suggested that he might be able to get on a plane and go or have the conversations not extended to that point?

BRIAN CASHMAN: I think he intends to take care of the family issue. The funeral, as to my understanding is tomorrow.

I think when appropriate, he intends to fly out and be here for the series. Whether that will be in time for tomorrow night, I'd rather not say. I think that ultimately it will be dictated on how events are unwinding down there.

It is a difficult time for his family, so you know, I think how things are -- how he feels, how things are going through, how his wife is doing, how his family members are doing, ultimately it will be his choice when. I know he intends to try to be here for tomorrow's game. But does he have to be here for tomorrow's game? No.

Q. Your team has been through a lot of death, tragedy during the World Series. No. 1, what's the component that allows them to deal with it, and given that there are kids involved this time, is the tragedy more acute?

BRIAN CASHMAN: It's hard for me to answer.

I mean, is the question directed about how Mo will handle it?

Q. How does the team handle it?

BRIAN CASHMAN: Like any family. You just try to support somebody the best you possibly can. Unfortunately most instances in this case, it can only be in words.

You know, whether it's a hug or whether it's sympathy, or however you want to express it, how you deal with it, but unfortunately, when you have times like this, that's about as much as you can do. You make sure you make people aware of how much you care about them and that you're there for them, and keep him in your prayers. It's a tough time for that family what they are going to be going through.

So I'm not really sure how I can answer it and how he'll be. Time will tell. But, it's obviously a difficult time.

Q. Is it your understanding that he will try to get here for tomorrow's game but will definitely be here by Wednesday or is that a question?

BRIAN CASHMAN: I believe we'll -- I think we'll see him here tomorrow night but we're not expecting it. It sounds like that's what's going to happen, but we'll see. You know, my understanding is the funeral is tomorrow. And he has asked, we had offered and he's asked if the plane to be available so we'll see how it transpires.

Q. Can you describe the scene of when you found out and having to tell Mariano how it occurred?

BRIAN CASHMAN: I don't know where the information first came from. I came down after our win; purposely stayed away because I didn't want to get wet. So I stayed out of the clubhouse for a while and was doing an interview outside of the clubhouse and then our assistant general manager, Jean Afterman, told me something was going on and I needed to go into Joe's office. I got briefed right when I walked in that an accident had occurred and didn't have the details, and we were waiting for Clara to come down and talk to Mo. That was it. When Clara got the news, I don't know.

Q. Do you know if the funeral tomorrow, is it a morning funeral or early afternoon funeral? And how long is the flight time from Panama; could he logistically make it?

BRIAN CASHMAN: Out of respect for Mo, he had asked before I left for Minnesota that we not say anything. As many of you know, I was asked a number of questions about what was going on. Clearly there was something going on, because our post-game wasn't as joyful for the people that knew, and obviously people picked up on that. And Mo had asked not to have it out. He didn't want it, the information, out. So I had respected that. But clearly something like this isn't going to stay quiet.

But because of that, I need to keep the details of the funeral, the time, etc., private just out of respect for him. But it's my understanding tomorrow, and we'll see what time it is, and we have things lined up. And again Mariano, when he feels he's ready, and he knows we've told him, take the time you need.

People remember here, I think it was 1996 that we played short on our roster for a few days with Luis Sojo. We went down and played two games in a National League ballpark with one of our utility players not available for us because it's the right thing to do. We extended that option to Mo, as well.

So he's where he needs to be right now and it's possible he'll be here for tomorrow night's game, but right now, we'll plan otherwise. And if he's here, that's great; and if he's not, we've still got a game to play.

Q. A lot of excitement about this series, but it's somewhat of a blow to Bud's plan for parity as far as the two teams with the highest payroll are here. How much do you think payroll, I know you get asked this every year about how payroll, explains why these two teams are here in the ALCS?

BRIAN CASHMAN: Obviously I get this question a lot, given our payroll. I've been GM here for seven years.

I think there's a number of example of teams with high payrolls that don't translate into success. Clearly we have more choices. Sometimes that's not a good thing. You know, sometimes other organizations have less choices or are forced to go with some of their youth, and that youth turns out to play a huge impact for those organizations who otherwise may have gone in a different direction.

But we have more choices, and no doubt about that and the Red Sox have more choices, no doubt about that. I think Boston likes to pretend they are not in the same market as the Yankees but I think they really are. They are a mirror image of us in terms of financial and aggressiveness and desire to win. I think with this new ownership group, they have assembled up there, we are a lot more similar.

In terms of your question regarding Bud's plan, I tell you what, the competition is tougher and tougher. I think the Minnesota Twins showed that. I think that series we just got by was a lot closer than a four-game set. We won obviously three of the four games, but that was a tooth-and-nail series. Clearly I think his plan has worked. You know, a lot of the teams have had a chance to do more than they would have otherwise. And although Boston, I think Boston and the Yankees are standing here for obviously the opportunity that we have because of our money, but I think we've made some very good choices along the way, as well.

So, you know, I guess, in short I think his plan is working, but ultimately, the two teams in the American League are facing each other in this series are the two best teams. Period. That's the way it should have been. And thankfully we both played to our abilities to get here because that doesn't always happen.

Q. How involved were your talks in the off-season for Curt Schilling, was there any point you thought you might get him?

BRIAN CASHMAN: I had conversations with Arizona, with Joe Garagiola, there's no doubt about that. The initial asking price was extremely high. Then it came down a little bit, but there was also a period of time that Curt came out publicly I think while we were out there -- I believe it was in Phoenix because our GM meetings were out in Scottsdale for Phoenix at that time. And Curt came out publicly and talked about not wanting to go anywhere but Philadelphia or New York. I think he also publicly said he would not go to Boston.

I think in terms of our discussions with Arizona, they didn't get very far ultimately, because Boston had swooped in and made a deal to convince Curt to go to Boston. I think that was something that was unanticipated, at least by me, when a player comes out publicly and says he won't go somewhere, I never expected really Boston to come out and try to make a play and convince him otherwise. So that was something that was unexpected.

So we went with the youth of Javy Vazquez and ultimately wound up with Kevin Brown for Jeff Weaver to replace the quality starters we lost in the free agency side of it. So that's kind of how it went.

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