You know the hot stove’s been firing on high when the Yankees can restock their coaching staff, A-Rod can get bitched out over his poker-playing (an old story), and the Giambino can win a man-of-the-year award—and these events barely make headlines. But here we are. We’ll skip to the important stuff:
-Tony Pena signs on as Yanks first-base coach, catching guru, and designated espanol translator for Robi Cano. (How do you say “What the heck are you swinging at?”)
-Maz is now the consigliere. This has to be bad news. Girardi, apparently, was a preparation nut and a stats guru, and if he and Torre didn’t always use those numbers in SABR-appoved fashion, well, at least they were thinking about things in a rational way, and they had the numbers at hand to work with. We sincerely hope that doesn’t change. Also, Maz will always be a Met. So that’s not so good.
-Gator as pitching coach. This has disaster written all over it. Guidry, however much we loved him, has basically zero experience. The Yanks are an awfully expensive car for a student driver. Moreover, Gator’s whole attitude as a player was “I can’t wait for the season to be over so I can go hunting.” So we wonder how long this honeymoon is gonna last. Finally, and most improtantly, Gator was always a fastball/slider pitcher, which means his points of emphasis (control of the slider….) are likely to be the same as Mel’s. But wouoldn’t it be nice to have someone who would push the use of offspeed pitching? We don’t know enough about Joe Kerrigan, the presumptive bullpen man, to know what his philosophy is, but it would be nice if it were to contrast with Gator’s.