During a four-game series against the White Sox in Chicago last May, Yankees general manager and senior vice president Brian Cashman took a side trip to Halas Hall.
Cashman and members of his front office toured the Bears training facility in north suburban Lake Forest and met with general manager Ryan Poles.
"I was blown away by the person, by the intellect," Cashman said last Saturday during a radio interview on Inside the Clubhouse on 670 The Score in Chicago. "We shared a lot of conversations about experiences, and a lot of different things they use in training, and what we do, and data, and how you incorporate it and how you go [about] hiring people."
Cashman, who has guided the Yankees to four World Series championships and six American League pennants since his arrival in 1998, is confident that Poles has the Bears headed in the right direction.
"I would say if you're a Bears fan, you should believe that the future is extremely bright," Cashman said. "They've got a great one in the general manager, and I know that the former Big Ten commissioner (Kevin Warren) is now their president. I certainly like what the Bears are doing, and I think there's nothing but a positive in their future. It was a great experience for us with the Yankees to get to know them better and see the direction they're going.
"The one thing I would say is [Poles] is not afraid. He's not afraid to make very difficult decisions, and that's a true sign of great leadership there."
Cashman revealed that the visit was set up by a Yankees staff member who had previously worked with Poles.
"Part of my growth and on behalf of our organization our growth is we try to collaborate with other teams," Cashman said. "It's really vitally important for us. We recognize we don't have everything figured out and we love to collaborate with people within our industry but [also] outside our industry, whether it's colleges or pro sports."