From Newsday -
Putting together the Yankees’ 2007 coaching staff is on general manager Brian Cashman’s agenda for this week, and there is an expectation within the organization that there will be some change.
Each coach has an expiring contract. Hitting coach Don Mattingly, third-base coach Larry Bowa and first-base coach Tony Peña all appear to be secure, but bench coach Lee Mazzilli appears less so.
Mazzilli and manager Joe Torre are close, but with Torre barely escaping his own dismissal, he likely does not have as much clout in determining his own coaching staff as he did a year ago. Cashman did not return messages yesterday.
Joe Girardi’s availability could be a factor. Girardi, Torre’s bench coach in 2005, is up for the job of Nationals manager. But the lure of getting in line to be considered one of Torre’s potential successors could prove to be too attractive. Steve Mandell, Girardi’s agent, refused to comment.
Peña also is a candidate for the Nationals’ job.
Meanwhile, pitching coach Ron Guidry wants to return for a second year and bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan has the backing of Cashman, who initially hired him as a video scout during the 2005 season.
I know people who know people and those people have told me in the past that Mazzilli has a bit of a Sonny LoSpecchio side to his personality. Nothing evil, mind you. It’s just that, they say, he has that “I’ll tell you what you’re going to do” air about him at times that rubs some people the wrong way.
If true, I could see where the Yankees might want to let Lee talk a walk.
It would be great if they could convince Girardi to take Mazzilli’s spot – and park him there in case Torre needs to be replaced. But, that would leave no one on the staff to coach the outfielders. Where’s Jose Cardenal when you need him?