SBD/July 1, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Frank Cashen, Who Led Mets, Orioles To World Series Titles, Dies At Age 88

Cashen focused on building the team through its farm system
Former Mets GM FRANK CASHEN, "the architect of the World Series-winning 1986 Mets," died yesterday at Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md., at the age of 88 after a short illness, according to Jonathan Lehman of the N.Y. POST. Cashen held the position from '80-91 and "was responsible for the trades that brought KEITH HERNANDEZ and GARY CARTER to Shea Stadium and for selecting DWIGHT GOODEN and DARRYL STRAWBERRY in the first round of the draft." Cashen, a Baltimore native, worked as an exec for the Orioles "when they won the World Series" in '66 and '70 (N.Y. POST, 7/1). In N.Y., Richard Goldstein writes Cashen "made shrewd trades, but focused on building farm systems" in his nearly 25 years as a baseball administrator. He joined the Mets in '80, "after they had finished last" in the NL East three straight seasons. He built the '86 team featuring Gooden, Strawberry and MOOKIE WILSON, among others, "from the Mets’ farm system," together with Carter, Hernandez and RON DARLING, "all obtained in trades" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/1). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jared Diamond notes Cashen "faced criticism at the end of his run for dismantling that squad, trading away popular contributors." After Cashen stepped down in '91, the Mets "failed to reach the playoffs again" until '99 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/1). The N.Y. Daily News' John Harper said, "A lot of people, including myself, had some issues with him the way after '86 they tore it apart so quickly, but his legacy will always be he made the right moves to put a championship team on the field." The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman said Cashen's "hands were really all over that organization, even down to the announcers" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 6/30).

LEAVING HIS MARK IN NEW YORK: SNY's Adam Schein said Cashen was "one of the best executives in the history of New York sports." He "understood what it took to win in New York" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 6/30). MLB.com's Marty Noble wrote Cashen was "one of the last genuine general managers in the game, an executive involved in all phases of franchise operation." He "made decisions about marketing, player personnel, ballpark parking, announcers, the food served in the corporate dining room, television and radio contracts, public relations and the length of the infield grass" (MLB.com, 6/30). In N.Y., Belson & Sandomir write Cashen's death was "another reminder of how good the Mets teams in the middle and late 1980s generally were -- and how no Mets club since has come close to approaching the success and swagger" of the '86 championship group. Cashen's "knack for acquiring talent was uncanny" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/1).

TIME WITH ORIOLES
: In Baltimore, Mike Klingaman notes Cashen "led the Orioles for a decade (1966-75)," during which they won four AL pennants and two division championships in addition to two World Series titles. He "recently completed a book highlighting his 25 years in the game." "WINNING IN BOTH LEAGUES: REFLECTIONS FROM BASEBALL'S FRONT OFFICE" is to "be published in September" by the Univ. of Nebraska Press. The Orioles last night "held a moment of silence in Cashen's honor" prior to the team's home game against the Rangers (Baltimore SUN, 7/1).
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