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.