Brian Cashman didn't overturn any tables. He didn't even raise his voice. But in a team meeting last month, the Yankees general manager got his message across -- and it has worked.
Cashman met with the Yankees on May 22, just before they played the second game of a three-game series against the Royals.
The Yankees had lost three straight and six of their previous eight. Cashman's message that night was he believed in the players in the room, they were better than they had played and he was not looking to make any trades to change the team.
The Yankees were 21-21 at the time of the meeting. After Monday night's 6-2 victory over the Braves, the Yankees are 20-4 since Cashman's speech and are now 16 games over .500.
"It was pretty much a no-panic meeting," catcher Russell Martin said. "He said, 'We know what we have here. We just have to go out there and get it done,' and we've been doing it. We've just got to keep doing it."
Cashman declined to speak about the meeting or to even confirm that it occurred. But people in the room that day said Cashman, who rarely addresses the team, helped a struggling group relax. A few players also spoke during the meeting.
Chances are the Yankees would have played better with or without the words from Cashman, but it is hard not to see it as a turning point in the season, whether it is a coincidence or not.
Cashman's words may not have inspired the pitching turnaround that has spearheaded this improvement, but they had a calming effect.
"It was good," second baseman Robinson Cano said. "It's nice to hear that from your GM. He took the time to come down and tell us that he believed in us and he knew everyone in here can do things.
"As a team, he said he knew we could go far. That's when things started turning around. Sometimes it's good if somebody steps up and says something. It was good the way he did it."
The Yankees rattled off five straight wins and have lost only one series since. Cashman delivered a similar speech in 2009 when the team was struggling, and they went on to win the World Series.