Working for The Boss was intense.
Working for his son is dealing with an owner with a broader perspective.
Speaking at Sacred Heart University as part of "A Conversation with Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein" on Tuesday night, Yankees GM Brian Cashman elaborated on what it was like to work for his old boss, the late George Steinbrenner, and the team's new primary owner, Hal Steinbrenner.
"I'm not getting any excessive phone calls and stuff," Cashman joked. "The one thing (about George), he would overreact in every inning. Every inning of every game was Armageddon. He was that way. That was tough to work through, it really was because everything was the short term, here and now, there was no long term, it was what are you doing in this moment and how are you doing, if you are doing well in this moment."
He added: "Things now, working with Hal and the family and I think he has a broader perspective. At the same time, they have the hunger and desire to win and make sure that this franchise stands out as the brand and the preeminent franchise in all of sports. A little different because of broader perspective but the intensity of not winning and applying the right principles to winning, they're all similar."
As the team's GM since 1998, Cashman has seen the team under its different owners, which are very opposite regimes. George Steinbrenner was never afraid to open his mouth and was involved in the day-to-day building of the team, while the much more laid back Hal Steinbrenner, who mostly keeps his thoughts to himself.
Having worked for almost his entire tenure under George Steinbrenner, Cashman admitted that it was difficult to work for The Boss. He described his former boss as intense and talked of how Steinbrenner used to micromanage the team. Cashman said he and Steinbrenner had their fights and called it an interesting dynamic.
The pressure from Steinbrenner even changed the joy of winning for Cashman. The GM said on Tuesday that beating the Mets in the World Series in 2000 was the win he was the most proud of, but not for the obvious reasons. Facing the Mets and an ongoing television contract overshadowed a third straight World Series title and made it more of a relief that the team had emerged victorious in the Subway Series.
"It was one of those things where a lot of times for us, with how The Boss is wired, the jubilation from winning is 'Thank God we didn't lose,'" Cashman said.
"It was all this pressure so when we beat them it was more like this (wipes forehead)," Cashman said. "In 2000, it felt like we just had the entire corporate business plan on the line unless we didn’t deliver and thank God we did."
While Steinbrenner might have been difficult to work for, Cashman was appreciative of Steinbrenner. He said that The Boss was like his second father and if he had to write a self-help book on business, he would use principles that Steinbrenner lived by in his life from his military and football background.
"I learned so much from him," Cashman said.