By Sweeny Murti
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The Brian Cashman Unplugged Tour 2010-11 continues.

Thursday Cashman was locked and loaded, ready to answer those who thought A) Pedro Feliciano was hurt before the Yankees signed him, and B) Cashman was a hypocrite for saying the Mets “abused” Feliciano when the Yankees burned out many relievers under Cashman’s watch, namely Scott Proctor.

Here is the April 14th stop on the Cashman Unplugged Tour:

Later, Cashman went to amplify his remarks about talking to Scott Proctor and begging him to stop telling Joe Torre he was good to pitch when he wasn’t.  Cashman said that Proctor was reluctant to ever give the impression he was quitting on his teammates.

Torre had nothing to go on other than the answer Proctor would give him when he looked him in the eye and said, “Can you go tonight?” Cashman said he tried to tell Torre that his players were never going to tell an old school Hall of Fame manager they weren’t available; they were never going to tell the Godfather they couldn’t perform a favor for him.  The end result was surgery for the player.

It was out of this type of bullpen handling that the Joba Rules were invented in August 2007. Brian Cashman laid out the rules, and I’m certain in a very calculating manner made sure the media and fans knew the rules.  Call it preventive medicine.

Plenty of criticism has been directed at Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman for the bullpen rules, most pitchers not allowed to pitch more than two days in a row or three out of four.  But the conga line of pitchers (Steve Karsay, Paul Quantrill, Tanyon Sturtze, and Proctor) that went from the bullpen to the operating room was evidence enough for these guys to try something different.  For the most part they have been successful at keeping their relievers healthy.

Now, the Yankees are careful to say that Feliciano’s injury happened in spring training.  They knew the risks before they signed him.  They don’t consider him damaged goods prior to signing; pitchers get hurt and that’s part of it.  And while the pitch that finally tore Feliciano’s shoulder capsule happened in March 2011, the Yankees seem to have made it pretty clear they believe the 266 appearances from 2008-2010 had a little something to do with it in the end.

Think of it like this–the scene in Tommy Boy when Chris Farley bends back the door of David Spade’s convertible at the gas station pump.  When Spade comes back to the car and tries to open the door, it falls right off.  Farley feigns surprise and asks Spade, “What’d you do?”

Now picture the Mets, seeing the news that Feliciano might be done for year, maybe longer, looking at the Yankees and asking, “What’d you do?”

Sweeny Murti

Are the Mets to blame for Feliciano’s injury? Sound off in the comments below…

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