• If Don Zimmer Was A Light Bulb….

    Posted by on February 19th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    ……..it seems that it takes four new coaches to screw in a replacement: Pena, Bowa, Gator and Kerrigan.

    From the Journal News -

    Most major-league managers fill their coaching staffs with old drinking buddies, golf partners and maybe a few younger guys who can throw batting practice.

    In a business where job security is fleeting, it is customary to surround yourself with people who aren’t threats. Let the ambitious find a job at somebody else’s expense.

    Then there is Joe Torre, a man so confident in his status that he added four former managers to his staff this season.

    Third-base coach Larry Bowa, bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan, bench coach Lee Mazzilli and first-base coach Tony Pena all have major-league managerial experience. With the exception of Kerrigan, all hope to manage again.

    “They say you don’t invite the wolf into the henhouse,” Pena said. “But Joe isn’t afraid of the wolf or anything else. He knows who he is.”

    Cashman said he and Torre agreed on all of the moves.

    “It’s great when you have a manager secure enough to want the best people,” Cashman said. “He knows that even if somebody wants to take him out, they can’t do it.”

    I think it’s going to work. Let Torre deal with the media and be the buffer between Stein and the team. Let Bowa, Pena and Kerrigan run the games – which I think is what Zimmer did when he was here.

    Comments on If Don Zimmer Was A Light Bulb….

    1. JohnnyC
      February 19th, 2006 | 12:53 pm

      Though I think you’re right about Zim being the in-game manager when he was here (certainly he called the offensive plays), we’ll never really know. The Yankees’ success in the last decade and the investment that Torre has in continuing to represent that as “his” accomplishment makes that kernel of truth a tough nut to crack. Also, the subtext that the media seems to endorse (i.e., Torre’s the one who wanted these ex-managers on his staff)is likely a convenient fiction. Cashman, or Cashman/Tampa in an instance of concurrence, wanted to “fix” the management of the game and the roster, specifically the bullpen. Torre acquiesced probably because he was well aware of his own complicity in the 5 year drought the Yankees have just gone through. And before anyone rushes to his defense, it should be said that the standards against which Torre’s held are his own, like it or not. I think Torre’s done proving he can manage rings around Dallas Green and Stump Merrill. Depending on your point of view, of course.

    2. DownFromNJ
      February 19th, 2006 | 1:02 pm

      Didn’t both Bowa and Pena win Manager of the Year not that long ago?

    3. Raf
      February 19th, 2006 | 2:21 pm

      Let Bowa, Pena and Kerrigan run the games
      ==========

      Larry Bowa: 418-435, .490
      Tony Pena: 198-285, .410
      Joe Kerrigan: 17-26, .395

    4. February 19th, 2006 | 4:25 pm

      Hey, Raf, what was Torre’s W% before joining the Yankees?

    5. JeremyM
      February 19th, 2006 | 4:47 pm

      I’m totally sold on the idea that Zimmer was the brains behind the operation. Just watch an old game and you’ll see pretty clearly who ran the on-field. Torre does what he does really well. What he doesn’t do well is up for debate as to how not well he does it. (Does that even make sense?)

    6. Raf
      February 19th, 2006 | 6:34 pm

      Hey, Raf, what was Torre’s W% before joining the Yankees?
      ===========

      Here’s a better question; what was the Yankee W% before Torre came on board?

    7. February 19th, 2006 | 9:15 pm

      If you take 1994-95, and apply that W% to a 162-game schedule, the Yankees were a 95-win (season) team when Torre took over. Let’s not pretend that Torre turned the Yankees around. He came in at the perfect time.

    8. Raf
      February 20th, 2006 | 9:53 am

      If you take 1994-95, and apply that W% to a 162-game schedule, the Yankees were a 95-win (season) team when Torre took over. Let’s not pretend that Torre turned the Yankees around. He came in at the perfect time.
      ===============

      Which is my point. Bowa, Pena, Mazzilli & Kerrigan won’t do a better job than Torre, which seems to be implied.

    9. February 20th, 2006 | 10:20 am

      There’s “Torre” and then there was “Torre and Zimmer” no?

    10. Raf
      February 20th, 2006 | 11:17 am

      There’s “Torre” and then there was “Torre and Zimmer” no?
      =================

      Does it really matter? Correlation does not equal causation.

      Over the course of a season, and the postseason for that matter, things will happen to cause you to win or lose a game.

      I checked out game 3 of the ’99 World Series yesterday, noticed that despite “Torre” (since we don’t know whose decisions they were at that point) leaving Pettitte in for maybe too long, Bernie botching a Gerald Williams flyball (could’ve been an out or a double, but wound up a triple), Paul O’Neill not running out a double play ball, they still won the game on a Chad Curtis HR.

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