• Newsday: Maz Out, Donnie Moved

    Posted by on October 26th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    From Newsday (with a hat tip to BaseballThinkFactory.org) -

    Don Mattingly will replace Lee Mazzilli as Yankees bench coach, people with knowledge of the situation told Newsday Thursday.

    The promotion brings Mattingly one important step closer to the manager’s seat and solidifies him as the favorite to be Joe Torre’s successor. Torre’s contract expires after next season.

    Mazzilli’s run as Yankees bench coach ends after only one season. He was the Yankees’ first-base coach from 2000-03 before spending a season and a half as the Baltimore Orioles’ manager.

    General manager Brian Cashman, who spent a second consecutive day in meetings with his professional scouts at Yankee Stadium, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    I would not have made this move.

    Then again, maybe Mattingly sees this as a way to get to Cooperstown someday – via the combo of the almost good enough career and having a few rings as a manager too? Maybe that’s worth the risk of dealing with getting fired someday down the line and dealing with what that brings?

    Comments on Newsday: Maz Out, Donnie Moved

    1. jonm
      October 26th, 2006 | 11:28 pm

      I never really liked Mazzilli and am happy to see that Joe’s guy has been removed. I had a feeling that Mazzilli wasn’t the sharpest guy in the world (still, I do think that he got a raw deal in Baltimore).

      A benefit of this is that this establishes a stable line of succession after Torre. It’s better for the organization that all of the other managers on the coaching staff will not be jockeying for the job. I think that Mattingly does have the ability to be a good manager, but I wish that he had managerial experience in the minor leagues.

    2. October 26th, 2006 | 11:50 pm

      who might be the new hitting coach, and when will we know?

    3. Jen
      October 27th, 2006 | 12:07 am

      Bill Madden is saying that Kevin Long will be promoted to hitting coach. He’s been with Columbus for the past 3 years.

    4. baileywalk
      October 27th, 2006 | 12:49 am

      This is kind of dumb, isn’t it? Everyone raves about working with Donnie. Is anyone going to take the advice of Kevin Long — who, sorry, I never even heard of — over Mattingly? Isn’t Giambi going to be asking Donnie to throw BP to him and hit with him in the cages?

      I’m cool with the idea of Mattingly moving up the food chain (and in all honesty, it doesn’t make a genius to manage an AL team), but I find it hard to believe he could ever stop being the hitting coach.

    5. Raf
      October 27th, 2006 | 9:32 am

      Is anyone going to take the advice of Kevin Long — who, sorry, I never even heard of — over Mattingly?
      ============
      Sure, why not?

      Yanks won’t have a problem hitting and scoring runs whether it’s Mattingly, Chambliss, Long, Down, or Mickey Mouse as their hitting coach.

      In the grand scheme of things, a hitting coach really doesn’t mean much.

    6. baileywalk
      October 27th, 2006 | 11:05 am

      The Yankees’ hitting coach means a lot when you have headcases like Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez — both starved for father figures — who lean on their hitting coaches hard.

      Plus the guys you mention (Chambliss and Downs) were canned because they were blamed for the lack of offense production by the team.

      I think hitting coaches are overrated — because you can shout about A-Rod’s long swing from the rooftops, but only he can change it — but on this team it’s a pretty important position.

    7. Raf
      October 27th, 2006 | 1:43 pm

      Too many things happen on a year to year basis (age, injury, career years, etc) for a hitting coach to have an impact. WRT a team, it’s the same, just have to add roster moves from year to year.

      ARod’s OPS as a Yankee

      2004: .887
      2005: 1.031
      2006: .915

      Giambi’s OPS as a Yankee

      2002: 1.033
      2003: .939
      2004: .721
      2005: .975
      2006: .971

      FWIW, Yanks have always been one of the top 10 offensive clubs since 1995. Lowest was 9th in 1996, and they were 1st in the league in 1997-8, 2002, & 2006.

    8. baileywalk
      October 27th, 2006 | 3:01 pm

      Like I said — I think batting coaches are overrated, but there is a mental side to this, which I mentioned. Guys like A-Rod and Giambi “need” a father figure like Mattingly to pat their asses every once in a while and tell them how good they are. If you read what Giambi says about Mattingly, it was as much about therapy down in the cages as hitting.

    9. Jen
      October 27th, 2006 | 4:39 pm

      I know what you’re saying bailey, but Donnie is still gonna be there. Just because his title is changing doesn’t mean he can’t pat Giambi’s ass when he needs to.

      Off topic: Someone has put together an unofficial 2007 Yankee schedule based on the tentative schedules of other teams. Looks like they’re shaking up the inter-league match ups next year.

      http://www.ianian.com/yankees/2007.html

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