Brian Cashman Says Johnny Damon’s Departure ‘Not Yankees’ Fault’

For the general manager of the richest baseball team in the world, in perhaps the most crazed media market in the United States, Brian Cashman somehow avoids controversy with relative ease. So when Cashman says something even a little out of line, it's going to make some headlines.

That's the case this week, as the Yankees' GM spoke to a group of University of New Haven students and addressed the Johnny Damon negotiations that took place this winter, according to the New Haven Register.

His message? The Yankees would have liked Damon to patrol their outfield, and it's not their fault that he won't be.

"My attitude is if this is the place you want to be, you will make it happen," Cashman said. "Johnny Damon professed his love for the Yankees, wanted to be here and was given every chance to be here. He’s not here anymore and I don’t feel that is the Yankees’ fault. [Damon and agent Scott Boras] have to reconcile why they are not here, not me."

Heavy words, but they're not without support. Cashman confirmed in his talk that he offered Damon and Boras a two-year, $14 million offer, but Boras turned it down. Damon's yet to find any team that's willing to pay that much, and he's still without a team for the 2010 season.

"I hope he does not sign for something less than our offer," Cashman said of Damon. "That means he should have been a Yankee and that’s not our fault.”

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