• Lee Maz Out?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2006 · Comments (19)

    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?

    Comments on Lee Maz Out?

    1. October 24th, 2006 | 12:58 am

      I would LOVE to see Girardi back with the Yanks. I believe 2007 will be Torre’s last, so as the bench coach, he would slide nicely into the manager’s spot for 08. i only hope donnie wouldn’t feel slighted for being passed over for the manager’s spot – maybe they could talk to him first. no worry about guidry because he’s only been there a year.

    2. RICH
      October 24th, 2006 | 5:00 am

      The “people who know people” – What have they been right about and what have they been wrong about?

      It’s a warm feeling when unnamed people are willing to drag people through the mud.

    3. MJ
      October 24th, 2006 | 9:25 am

      I liked Girardi as a player and I was happy when he got his first shot to coach with the team in 2005 but I’d rather let him find another job. There’s something about him that rubs me the wrong way at this point and I wouldn’t want his naked ambition for Joe’s seat getting in the way of the team. A lame duck manager + a head strong and hungry deputy = potential ugliness.

    4. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 9:32 am

      There’s something about him that rubs me the wrong way at this point and I wouldn’t want his naked ambition for Joe’s seat getting in the way of the team. A lame duck manager + a head strong and hungry deputy = potential ugliness.
      =========
      You could make an argument that any of the other coaches could attempt to pull a stunt like that.

      To me, it doesn’t make a difference one way or the other whether Girardi gets the bench job, and I suppose it won’t make much of a difference to the Yanks.

      It will be interesting, however, if Girardi gets the Yankee job. With the work he did with the Marlins, it seems to me that he is ideal for a younger club. But, you never know with these things. Best of luck to him wherever he lands.

    5. October 24th, 2006 | 9:41 am

      ~~~It’s a warm feeling when unnamed people are willing to drag people through the mud.~~~

      Rich – I know the names – someone I know well knows someone on the team very well. If I named names, my friend would get in trouble. So, why would I do that to a friend?

      You can either choose to trust me on this, or discount it, that’s fine. But, that won’t change what I know my friend, who I trust, told me.

    6. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 10:19 am

      I know who it is! It’s Miss Benita Buttrell, isn’t it?
      :D

    7. rbj
      October 24th, 2006 | 10:33 am

      I’ll take your word for it Steve.

      I don’t know about Girardi, for me he needs a bit more experience. I wouldn’t mind seeing Willie Randolph take over for Joe (not that it’s going to happen). He’s been able to take a NY team to the NLCS — without two of his top 3 starters. He’s got some NL experience (helpful when pulling a double switch in the WS in NL parks). He’s won as a player and coach. Plus he understands the NY media and market.

    8. October 24th, 2006 | 10:41 am

      Willie will probably be the Yankees manager after the person who takes over for Torre. I can’t see the Mets letting him go now.

    9. Joel
      October 24th, 2006 | 10:44 am

      All of this will be moot after the Yanks win the title in 2007. Joe will re-up for three more years and manage until age 70.

    10. baileywalk
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:19 am

      My God, are you trying to ruin my day, Joel? If Torre reups after this season, I’ll pull my hair out one strand at a time. Love him or hate him, it’s time for the team to move on. This is two years in a row where George had every right to fire Torre and didn’t so he could “go out with respect.” They can’t keep him around anymore. It’s over. His first five years were about magical winning; his last six years have been about blunders.

      I wouldn’t be too upset if Maz was gone. He reminds me a little too much of all the coffee-and-cake Mob-wannabe guys who used to hang outside the bookie joints and clubs when I was a kid.

      Girardi is a hard-ass, but he got a bunch of rookies to play for him, and I was impressed watching him run his team. I saw a lot of the Marlins this year and I like Girardi a lot. If the Marlins had a bullpen, they might have won the Wild Card.

      The Marlins owner and GM basically smeared Girardi by saying he was a control freak and they sort of childishly got upset that Girardi was getting credit for the young kids on the team. The whole thing seemed too immature to believe the mud being slung around.

      I’d take Girardi in a second, because unlike Torre he’s prepared, he’s not maddeningly illogical, and his team shows up for him.

    11. Jen
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:36 am

      Girardi removed himself from consideration for the Nationals job.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/23/AR2006102301089.html

    12. jonm
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:45 am

      This is vindictive of me I know, but I would like to see Mazzilli fired merely because he is close to Joe. Torre needs to be sent some message for the terrible managing job that he did at the end of the year and, if Maz bears the cost of that, so be it.

    13. RICH
      October 24th, 2006 | 12:31 pm

      jonm,

      Jeter’s close to Torre. Should they release him to send a message?

      I hope you never get replaced on a job to send a message, rather than based on your performance.

    14. jonm
      October 24th, 2006 | 12:49 pm

      RICH,
      I assume that Mazzilli’s performance is average. I’ve never heard anything noteworthy about him helping the Yankees win in any way. If his “performance” is based on him being Joe’s buddy, then I hope he goes. Stottlemyre was held on for too long because he was Joe’s guy; based on how some ex-Yankees have been pitching, that looks like a big mistake.

    15. Joel
      October 24th, 2006 | 12:59 pm

      We had two bad days in Detroit, so let’s blow up the coaching staff! I mean we only had the best record in baseball and won a tough division by 10 games. Let’s face it, any schmuck can win 9 divisions in a row in this city, with this owner, managing a collection of high-priced egomaniacs and primadonnas.

    16. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 1:27 pm

      Stottlemyre was held on for too long because he was Joe’s guy; based on how some ex-Yankees have been pitching, that looks like a big mistake.
      ==========
      Like who? Weaver? He sucked as a Dodger, Angel and a Cardinal.

      Rogers? Had one good year, one bad year in NY.

      Contreras? Same; one good and one bad year in NY.

    17. jonm
      October 24th, 2006 | 1:39 pm

      Raf,

      I’ll give you Weaver. He’s a head case and you can’t blame Stottlemyre for him. What links the other two is that the Yanks dumped them after their bad years. Rogers and Contreras had potential to be good; Stottlemyre couldn’t get that potential out of them and other teams were rewarded (partially) because of his failures.

      Name one pitcher who credits Stottlemyre for helping to make him better. I can’t think of a single one.

    18. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 1:59 pm

      What links the other two is that the Yanks dumped them after their bad years. Rogers and Contreras had potential to be good; Stottlemyre couldn’t get that potential out of them and other teams were rewarded (partially) because of his failures.
      ====================
      The Yanks gave up on them too soon.

      Rogers’ 1996 was in line with his career at that point. 1997 wasn’t. Instead of keeping him around for 1998, they moved him. Contreras had a good 2003 splitting between the rotation and the bullpen. He had a bad year in 2004 with both the Yanks and the White Sox. Instead of keeping him around and seeing what they could’ve done with him, they moved him in midseason. How is that Stottlemyre’s fault? The Yanks pulled the trigger on those moves too soon. They got it in their heads that they couldn’t pitch in NY, despite evidence to the contrary; they already had succeeded in NY.

    19. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 2:06 pm

      FWIW; team ERA before & after Stottlemyre

      1995: 4.56
      1996: 4.65
      1997: 3.84*
      1998: 3.82*
      1999: 4.13
      2000: 4.76
      2001: 4.02
      2002: 3.87
      2003: 4.02
      2004: 4.69
      2005: 4.52
      2006: 4.41

      * = Best in AL

      Personally, I think Stot was overrated, but I say that about a good number of pitching coaches…

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