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Yankees takeaways from Brian Cashman, including state of team and reaction to MLB foreign substance memo

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with reporters on Tuesday after prior to first pitch of the team’s matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cashman talked on a variety of issues, including the Yankees being ‘fully engaged’ as buyers heading towards the deadline as well as where his confidence level stands in manager Aaron Boone.

Here are some other key takeaways from what Cashman had to say Tuesday:

On the state of the team
“Frustrated. Certainly didn’t expect to be in this position at this stage. Thankful, obviously, there’s a lot of season left, so obviously there’s some chance to fix it, and that’s obviously on me to find ways to fix it, but yeah, I never would have expected us to be sitting here, dealing with some of the issues we’re dealing with. It’s been frustrating I know for our fans, but it’s obviously been just as frustrating for us to try to deal with and navigate, and we’re still dealing with it and navigating it.

“I promise you and I promise our fanbase we’re going to do everything in our power to right the ship.”

On Gerrit Cole’s response to being asked about using Spider Tack
“I know when Gerrit was asked a question in response to that, I thought Gerrit handled himself in a really strong way and a high-character way. It was uncomfortable commentary I think from my seat watching him, but he was strong enough not to make a mistake …

“He didn’t obviously duck, either, the question, and take it down a wrong potential path. He just talked about the generalities of it. So when he was pressed on the issue at hand, I thought he was really strong about how he handled it.”

On MLB’s Tuesday memo regarding foreign substances
“Ultimately, what I think about the memorandum from Major League Baseball is the leadership of the game now is obviously trying to address a rule that’s been on the books but not by their design.

“Major League Baseball is obviously trying to find common ground for all players involved and equal footing. They’ve spent some time evaluating, discussing, and this is what they’re coming through with and giving everybody a warning ahead of time with ‘This is what’s going to happen,’ and so like anything else, you put a rule on the books, enforce it. Tell everybody what the rules are and enforce it. That’s it. Those who choose to break the rules, they’re going to have to pay the penalty. It’s as simple as that.

“Let me know what the rules are, let our players know what the rules are, let our managers know what the rules are, and obviously then the consequences will be what they obviously state they will be, and that’s that.”

On whether he’s addressed the team as a whole during recent struggles
“I have not talked to the team. I have talked to our players individually throughout. That’s the one thing, I know as tough as it’s been to watch, and it’s been tough to watch. Obviously waiting, pushing, grinding, questioning, all of the above, I can promise you our manager, our coaches, our front office, our ownership has been fully invested into trying to find a way to jolt this team back into where it belongs, the consistency it’s able of. It’s been some sleepless nights with that, it really has. I’ve been here before, but when you’re in it it’s really difficult to deal with and try to understand. Slumps in sports can happen, no doubt about it. You deal with it on multiple occasions, but this one’s gone on long enough and far too long.”

On why the team hasn’t been able to correct their issues
“We have what it takes in this clubhouse already. That’s the real question that I don’t have an answer for, why we are where we’re at today, but we don’t intend to be here in the future, doing the same conversation despite it going on as long as it has.

“Talk is cheap. No one really cares about all the hard work, all the good intentions. All they care about and understandably so is the results. And the results have just failed so far, and we need to obviously get on that winning track and get our numbers where they belong in that win column and become relevant again, because right now we have not been that relevant powerhouse in the American League, we’ve been everything but.”