2008 Yankees Coaching Staff

Joe Girardi’s (unofficial) 2008 coaching staff (according to Peter Abraham over over at LoHud) has been released.

Pitching Coach: Dave Eiland

Hitting Coach: Kevin Long

Bench Coach: Rob Thomson

Third base Coach: Bobby Meacham

First base Coach/Catchers Coach: Tony Pena

Bullpen Coach: Mike Harkey


Eiland, former pitching coach at Scranton/Wilkes Barre, has worked with the young Yankee pitchers before.  This should give those young Yankee arms a level of comfort.  Kevin Long has had success in that role with the Yankees, there was no need for a change there.  Bobby Meacham, the first base coach during the recent Milton Bradley incident, is a former Yankee and was on Girardi’s staff in Florida.  Tony Pena, former manager of the year and someone that revolutionized the catching position can only be an asset to your staff.  I am sure his relationship with the players was also taken into consideration, especially his friendship with a certain switch hitting free agent catcher.  Mike Harkey, a former Major League pitcher and good friend of Girardi’s from his days with the Cubs also comes as no surprise.  To me the only (slight) surprise is Thomson.  He played minor league baseball with the Tigers and has some coaching experience at the minor league level.  He has always been well thought of in Yankee circles, but I am just surprised that Girardi didn’t call on someone with more experience, especially for the position of bench coach.  (Yes, I know Mattingly was Torre’s bench coach, but only after spending time as the hitting coach)  One big name left off the list was Girardi’s good friend and former water cooler abuser,  Paul O’Neill.  According to reports earlier today on ESPN.com, O’Neill was mentioned as a possible coaching candidate.  Overall though this seems like a pretty solid staff, if this is how it ends up.            

"I expect to be playing in the fall classic next October. I think that’s everyone’s expectation" – Joe Girardi. 

Nothing wrong with a little confidence.         

13 comments… add one
  • I saw it mentioned somewhere that O’Neill had no interest in un-retiring, so that may be why he’s not on there. I was actually hoping to see Bowa back in some capacity – whether back as 3rd base coach or bench coach. It’ll be a shame to see him go.

    yankeemonkey October 31, 2007, 9:53 am
  • Still fearing 13, John? ;)
    The $$ amount is kind of high. I mean, compared to Torre everyone’s low, but should this Joe be one of the highest paid without doing anything yet?

    Lar October 31, 2007, 9:53 am
  • Tito loves that contract…

    SF October 31, 2007, 10:04 am
  • To me the Girardi contract is indicative of just how little power the Yanks have in contract talks with the players they want to re-sign. Whether it’s their fault or not, the off-season has been a pr nightmare for the Yanks. Initial reports had the contract as 4.5 mil for 3 years, but Girardi had a good amount of leverage (how bad would it have looked if the negotiations broke off?) and got 3 mil more in the last day. The agents of Mo and Jorge must be thrilled.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 10:19 am
  • Nick, I understand what you say, but I also disagree slightly. Girardi was offered the Dodgers managerial post AFTER Torre rejected the Yankees deal. In other words, Girardi was more sought after than Torre and when offered a choice, he chose the Yankees. All NY did was match what he was reportedly to get from LA.
    And I don’t think NY comes off bad in PR-terms for the A-Rod issue. I think at least as many people think it reflects worse on A-Rod than the team than vice versa. And if the Yankees stick to their position of not opting back in to discussion with A-Rod, they will have established their seriousness in holding the line even when dealing with top talent.
    I think it is safe to say that every person in this game has more respect for Mariano Rivera than for A-Rod and his recent visit to Tampa bodes well there. If the Yankees manage to seal him up without his going on the free-agency market, with their management position filled with a former maanger-of-the-year, and without coming back to A-Rod begging, I think they emerge from an incredibly eventful week pretty strong both substantively and in terms of PR.

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 11:13 am
  • And I don’t think NY comes off bad in PR-terms for the A-Rod issue.
    Agreed. Only A-Rod and Boras have come off looking bad. Who thinks the Yankees did anything wrong here? On the other hand, Hank Steinbrenner doesn’t do the Yankees a favor when he rails on A-Rod with stuff like “does he want to go into the Hall of Fame a Yankee or a Toledo Mud Hen”, relegating every other team in the Majors to minor league status. That, like Schilling’s talk, is just plain arrogant.

    SF October 31, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Anyone reading the firehose of quotes coming out of Steinbrenner’s office could only conclude that he comes off as the biggest wanker involved with professional sports. He’s Mark Cuban, minus the intelligence, wit, charm, track record, and passion.

    attackgerbil October 31, 2007, 11:34 am
  • He’s Mark Cuban, minus the intelligence, wit, charm, track record, and passion.
    And the rockin’ dancing abilities.

    SF October 31, 2007, 11:35 am
  • My worry is that he’s James Dolan without the blues singing skills.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 11:38 am
  • The Toledo Mud-Hens remarks made me laugh but I of course see how it would annoy pretty much every other team in the league.
    On the other hand, I have much less of an issue with everything HS has said in the past two weeks than it seems many others (including YFs) have. I like a confident and even over-confident owner with huge resources. I like them having the sense that theirs is the best team in the world and it is a privilege to play there. I think for as much as it annoys competetiors, it reinforces a sense of identity for the team and organization that it is and should be the gold standard and if it isn’t performing that way consistently, then changes have to be made.
    The only thing I really mind is when owners either don’t place winning as the top priotity or when they get an over-inflated sense of their baseball knowledge, trumping all those in the organization that actually have that knowledge.
    It is too early to tell on either of these points, but nothing HS has said or done leads me to believe he is going down either of the two undesirable paths. He stuck with Cashman’s statement on A-Rod, he said he would defer to the baseball experts’ views on the manager and then went along with a choice that his father very likely wouldn’t have made (GS never liked Girardi much and clearly had Mattingly in the manager’s on-deck circle for years), and he has so far bolstered more than undercut Cashman in interviews with the media.
    All of this may be BS posturing by him and “the real” HS may turn out to be more into saving money then spending to win, may end up overturning Cashman, Michaels, et al in favor of ill-advised moves rather than heeding their views, and may come out in April publicly attacking Girardi.
    But so far, I have no problem with anything he has said or done as far as it effects the Yankees. To the extent that some of his actions or statements annoy the rest of the league, I find them so far more funny than anything else.

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 11:42 am
  • “the real” HS may turn out to be more into saving money then spending to win, may end up overturning Cashman, Michaels, et al in favor of ill-advised moves rather than heeding their views, and may come out in April publicly attacking Girardi.
    We can always hope. :-)

    Paul SF October 31, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • “We can always hope. :-)”
    Typical sentiment from a Mud Hens fan… (joking!)

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • Hey, no reason knocking Mud Hens (and their fans)!

    yankeemonkey October 31, 2007, 12:45 pm

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