He’s been the general manager of the New York Yankees since 1998. Brian Cashman knows what he’s talking about when it comes to baseball, and Monday, he stopped in Stamford to talk about the sport as part of the City’s Civility In America Speaker Series.
“Civility in baseball; there is and there isn’t, just like life, you see it, sometimes it’s hard to find” says Cashman. “But in a sport that’s got so much competition with money on the line, where you have heroes and goats, winners and losers, sometimes civility can get lost.”
Cashman says it’s become even easier to lose that civility in today’s society, where uncivil acts are often given too much attention.
“We’ve gravitated away from team results to individual results, and then the social media certainly has made it worse because everybody’s now created instead of the ‘You’re a New York Yankee’, all these players are individual brands at the same time. Sp it’s things that, again, kind of pull and tug on civility.”
Cashman says overall Yankees players represent the uniform with respect and pride. One of those players, he says says, is Mariano Rivera.
“He wins with class and dignity and respect for his opponent, that’s civility. When he loses, he loses with class and dignity and respect for his opponent by recognizing that he wasn’t as good as his opponent that day/”
Cashman recalled many other ways the team demonstrated civility. After the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, the Yankees watched the Sox celebrate the victory before playing them on opening day in 2005.
“There we were as they were receiving their World Series rings, unfolding the World Championship Flag, the celebration of their championship for the first time in forever, right before our eyes.” Says Cashman. “I think our team demonstrated great civility in standing as an entire unit in front of that dugout for the entire ceremony and paying our respects.”
Cashman says it’s important for people to celebrate these examples of civility, instead of over glorifying controversy. And he says players should continue to lead by example.
“They’re heroes to a lot of people whether they’re younger or old,” he says. “How they conduct their business is important and how they reflect on society is important and their position can be utilized for good.”