Tag Archives: Meacham

Peavy wants NL; Another coach axed; Exploring options.

I see a report from ESPN that Jake Peavy has given the Padres five teams he would approve a trade to. All five are NL teams. See my comment in a previous post about the DH and why the NL would appeal to pitchers. Why would any pitcher leave the NL to come to the AL?

One comment I read from Manny Ramirez is funny, in which he downgraded the NL and wants to go back to the competition of the AL.

Forget about Alvaro Espinoza replacing Bobby Meacham as 3B coach. Espy, who coached 3b for AAA SWB, got the axe yesterday. Espy of course, played with the Yanks 1988-1991, and was their starting SS from 1989-1991. The good-field, no-hit, never walk (OPS+ 80, 50 and 73 in his three years as the Yankees full-time SS) Espinoza hit .254 (OPS+ 66) in a career that spanned 1984-86, 88-91, and 93-97 with the Twins, Yanks, Indians, Mets and Mariners. He saw one WS, with the 1995 Indians.

George King writes that if the Yanks can’t get Bowa back (which I don’t believe they will) that the Yanks could get someone who replaced Espinoza on the Yankees—Mike Gallego. (Funny in how that works, as Espy basically replaced the .236, 73 OPS+ Meacham, with Wayne Tolleson and Raffy Santana in the mix as well, and later Spike Owen). I always liked Gallego when he played. He was a guy who got the most out of his ability (although, like Espy, Gallego was another good-field, no-hit SS). Hopefully Gallego, a heads-up player, would do the same for Cano. Gallego got in three WS with the A’s, 1 title, playing for LaRussa from 1988-1990. He came to the Yanks in 1992 and was with them from 1992-1994. His best year with the Yanks (and in his career) was 1993, when he went .283-10-54 (OPS+ 112). He went back to the A’s in 1995, and back to LaRussa when he finished his career in 1996 and 1997 with the Cardinals, playing in the 1996 postseason. He only hit .239 in his career, with an OPS+ of 81.

Two people I always have felt the Yanks should go after as far as coaching (if they want to) were David Cone and Robbie Alomar. Cone threw a variety of pitches, and is well-spoken—both attributes I believe could help him as a pitching coach. 194 wins, a winning pct. of over 60%, a CYA. Twice a 20-game winner. Knows NY through the Mets and Yanks. 3.46 ERA (ERA+ 120). Five WS rings, four with the Yanks, one with Toronto. Eighteen postseason starts, 3 more relief appearances, 8-3, 3.80. He may be too comfy in the booth, however.

As for Robbie, his father Sandy has been a long-time coach, and Robbie was considered by his peers to be one of the headiest players in the majors. A five-tool guy. For a 2b, good power. Great on defense. Great speed. .300 hitter. Hopefully he would bring a good rapport with the Latin American players. .300, over 2700 hits, 210 HR, 474 SB, ALCS MVP, 2 WS titles, .313 postseason average with 20 SB. 116 OPS+. 10 Gold Gloves. 4 Silver Sluggers. Cone probably won’t make the HOF, Robbie should be a shoo-in. Who better for Robbie Cano to learn from? One the best 2b ever.

Gut feeling. Not what I want, but what my gut tells me. The Yanks get AJ, not CC (King reports that he told people in Milwaukee that he isn’t keen on playing in NY and that his top preference is the Dodgers. LA upgrades from Lowe to CC?). King reports that at the end of the month that the Yanks expect to hear from Mussina that he will retire. If so, that opens the door for Lowe. Lowe does come with questions. His age. 35. I would probably go two years with an option (Lowe is asking three years and would prefer to stay in LA, but LA may want that “upgrade”). The fact he would be returning to the AL East. That NL/AL difference is huge. Since going to LA, Lowe’s ERA’s have all been below 4.00. His last two years in Boston however, 2003 and 2004, saw ERAs of 4.47 and 5.42. He is a horse, having gone 200 or more IP five times since 2002, but beware.

King reports that they have an interest in Ben Sheets. Again, beware. Like AJ, there are injury issues. The Yanks have to be very careful in choosing between AJ and Sheets should they not get CC. A.J. Burnett will be 32 in January. Sheets is 30. Both are similar in their 162 g. average. Burnett? 13-12, 3.81, ERA + 111. Sheets, who hasn’t pitched in the AL as Burnett has, 13-12, 3.72, ERA+ 116. Since 2002, when he became a full-time starter, Lowe has averaged 15-11, 208 IP and an ERA of 3.79.

Gut feeling? If Moose doesn’t return, the Yanks get AJ and Lowe. The gut says that they don’t get Teixeira. They platoon at 1B or make a trade. What kind of platoon at 1B? I don’t think it would be Miranda and Shelley Duncan. I feel as if they would want an established vet. Miranda’s defense is not the best, but they may want to give Miranda (26 next April) a shot. He hit .287-12-52 in 99 games for SWB this year, 4 for 10 in a brief September callup and so far is 12 for 20 in the Arizona Fall League. If he fails, what kind of backup/platoon player could then go full-time? Probably not Shelley, 10 for 57 (.175-1-6, OPS+ 44) in limited time with the Yanks this year. Duncan is 29, but you wonder if he is a “AAAA” player. Having two guys at 1b with little experience in a platoon isn’t advantageous. You would want to give someone a shot but have someone else with experience “just in case.” One person out there who might lighten up the clubhouse, provide righty pop (and piss off Red Sox Nation) is Mr. Cowboy Up himself, Kevin Millar. If the Yanks spend their financial resources on two starting pitchers, and can’t get CC or Teix (Boras wants $200M over 10 years for Teixeira), a platoon of Miranda/Millar could make economic sense. Millar wouldn’t be there long, and Miranda could be a stopgap until someone needs to be moved to 1b (Posada?) or someone is ready (Montero?). Millar only hit .234 last year, and is 37. But could he be considered for a one year deal? He did have 20 HR, 72 RBI and drew 71 walks. OPS+ just an 89. Disappointing. Splits vs. lefties/righties, no significant difference. Am I worried about his dropoff the past couple of years? Yes. But as a platoon who could step in if Miranda fails, maybe he is worth a look.

Cashman has stated his desire for a “1B to play 1B”. I’m not sold on converted SS Rich Aurilia to play 1B. Aurilia hit .283-10-52 (OPS+ 95) for the Giants this year, switching between 1b and 3B. At least Millar knows the AL and knows the AL East. As for age, Aurilia is three weeks older than Millar. I had interest in Nomar for 1b a year or two ago, but not now.

Of course, the Yanks could still trade for Kotchman.

Would I like Teix? Of course. He would slot in perfectly with his bat and glove. The money and length of contract are troublesome for a team that already has six players making $106.1M for 2009, and the youngest of those players turns 34 next July. The addition of one or two free agent pitchers would take that up. Say they get AJ and Lowe. Now you are talking eight players, probably $136M for the 8, with AJ at 32 being the youngest of the eight. Teixeira is just 28, has a 162 g. ave. of .290-36-121, OPS+ 134. Two gold gloves to date. I’d love to have him. Hope the Yanks get him. My gut just doesn’t feel as if it will happen. I hope I’m wrong.

So then what? Rotation of AJ/Wang/Joba/Lowe/Andy? ….. Hughes starts at AAA? Aceves either at AAA or long man? Giese long man? Rasner at AAA or trade or DFA? Coke lefty reliever along with Mo, Bruney, Melancon?, Veras or Edwar, Marte? Let’s see. The five starters I mention. One year deal for Andy, Hughes replaces him in 2010 (but starts AAA in 2009 and does get MLB experience)? Can’t forget Kennedy as well (but maybe trade bait?). Seven relievers. Mo, Coke, Marte, Bruney, Aceves or Giese, there is five. Melancon could make six. Veras or Edwar make seven. Hey, what about David Robertson? Remember Albaladejo?

There are more moves to come. Rasner, Britton, Giese, Edwar or Veras….these are guys that could go (along with hopefully Igawa?). A rotation that makes Igawa completely forgotten about and irrelevant can only be welcomed. That bullpen surplus should be used to make trades with. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if some of those bullpen guys go in order to shore up other needs. So let’s say

AJ/Wang/Joba/Lowe/Andy with a lineup of

Damon LF .303-17-71-29-121
Jeter SS .300-11-69-11-105
Matsui DH .294-9-45-0-111 (missed 60 games)
Alex 3b .302-35-103-18-153
Posada C .268-3-22-0-106 (missed 2/3 of year)
Nady RF .268-12-470-1-108 in 59 games as NYY
Cano 2B .271-14-72-2-88
Miranda/Millar 1b Miranda 10 MLB AB, Millar .234-20-72, 88 OPS+ with O’s.
Gardner CF .228-0-16-13-55 in 127 AB.

Hmm…Interesting rotation with a good backup in Hughes if one of the five goes down. The losses of Abreu (.296-20-100-22-122) and Giambi (.247-32-96, 130) would hurt. But it is a lot of money off the books to go after the pitching of Lowe and AJ. The lineup has weak spots—lots of them—and Teix would definitely be missed here. Cano would have to rebound. That is paramount, as is a comeback by Godzilla. Not to mention the development of Miranda and Gardner. …. and I didn’t even mention Posada’s comeback…and Jeter?

There is a lot of work to do. Of course I would like CC or Teixiera. I am just looking at what is there without them and what is there if my gut proves to be correct—that both CC and Teix don’t come to NY. As seen, there could be pitching options without CC. As far as 1b options without Teix (or for that matter, Giambi), that’s another story. Of course with Giambi, it would have to be a buy out the option, then offer a one year deal with a big cut. Not that I want Jason back or think the Yanks would get him back, but without Teix, which option do the Yanks pursue? Trade (and give up who?)? Go with a platoon? or try to squeeze one more out of the big G? Your thoughts?

God forbid Posada not be able to catch and would have to go to first. That’s a subject and idea for a different post, one that with time, could be forthcoming.

Meacham a goner.

Thanks to reader Mike F. for this link to an article in the Newark Star Ledger that states that third base coach Bobby Meacham is a goner.

But don’t expect Larry Bowa back. His recent comments make it clear that he is happy with Torre and where he is.

Don’t expect Randolph either. See what I wrote about the “Sword of Damacles”, which Randolph is to Girardi even without being on his staff.

So who? All I can say is that I would guess that Luis Sojo and Alvaro Espinoza (3B coach at SWB) could be in the mix.

Top free agents now watching.

CC, AJ, Teix. Now out, watching and waiting. Not to mention salivating over the deals they will receive.

Joel Sherman has the positives and negatives of Teixeira. Would I love to have him? Of course. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Baltimore will push for him. The Angels probably want him back. The salary, the years, the fact that aging players may need 1b/dh for themselves. Check out Sherman’s article.

In another article, Kevin Kernan mentions Dice-K “still doesn’t like to challenge hitters and makes every start a tortuous, constant full-count affair.” Well, yeah. He also went 15-12, 4.40 ERA+ 108 last year and followed it with an 18-3, 2.90 ERA+ 158 this year. Think anyone in Red Sox Nation is complaining?

How come the Yanks get the Dr. Jekyll good Angels in the postseason but the Red Sox, even when banged up, get Mr. Hyde?

King, George A. III confirms the expectation I and others have—that CC wants to go to CA. Meaning the Yanks decide on AJ. King states that the Orioles will go after CC and AJ hard. King also states that the Yanks could finalize their coaching situation by the end of the week. I and many other Yankee fans would like Meacham’s head, that’s for sure.

Mo gets his surgery today.

Pregame thoughts before Yanks-Twins Series.

It poured this morning. Thunderstorms galore. Reminded me of the old Carpenters classic “Rainy Days and Mondays.”

How I wish Bob Costas was baseball commissioner instead of Olympics host.

Wrong way sign
Since 2003, the Yanks direction is all wrong.

Not a good trend:
2003 Lost WS.
2004 Lost ALCS
2005 Lost in ALDS, 5 games. Eastern champ.
2006 Lost in ALDS, 4 games. Eastern champ.
2007 Lost in ALDS, 4 games, wild card.
2008 Currently in 3rd.

Player A: 127 AB. .244-0-13-4 SB OPS + 73. 15 walks, 17 K. 49 games at 1b, 8 at 3B, 5 at 2B, 1 in LF, 1 at SS. 2 errors.

Player B: 146 AB. .253-5-19-0 SB. OPS+ 81. 4 walks. 43 K. 32 at 1B, 14 at 3B, 8 SS, 3 at 2B. 3 errors.

Player A makes more contact. No power, but can steal a base. He can also bunt. Far better defensively than Player B (on judgment and seeing the two players, not just the stats). Righty bat.

Player B has more power but can’t bunt, doesn’t have the speed, and his defense is a bit questionable. Switch hitter.

Player A is Miggy Cairo. Player B is Wilson Betemit. Your thoughts? Miggy can’t hit a HR, but as far as doing the little things…

Think Miggy would have had the multi-bouncing bleeder that won yesterday’s game? Instead of going to the bag(?) like Betemit did? Wilson Betemit, defensive replacement—as much an oxymoron as Wilson Betemit, good Pinch-hitter. I defended Betemit last year, but no more. I’m as down on him as I am with the Melkman.

8 1/2 out. 4 back of Boston. I think the Yanks better start thinking and hoping WC, and should it come down to it, the Yanks close in Fenway.

Christmas wish list:

Mark Teixeira for 1B, replacing the Big G, whose option won’t be renewed and who will be 38 in January. If not him, someone else for 1B. Don’t know if they move Jorge there….or go after an Adam Dunn as plan B for 1B if they can’t land Teixeira? As for Dunn, he was traded to the Diamondbacks today.

C.C. to join Wang and Joba for a Big 3. Plan B? Ben Sheets, A. J. Burnett…. but someone to compliment Wang and Joba. With Hughes and whoever you want from Andy/Moose (see below.)

A better utility infielder than Betemit. I like Wigginton, but he doesn’t play SS in case something happens to Derek. Which makes me wonder, why hasn’t Ransom had a look? He’s played SS, 2B, LF, 1B and LF in his career. The average at SWB is just .258. He has 111 K’s. He also has 48 walks. Not great, but compared to Betemit… He does have 22 HR and 70 RBI. I think I’d rather see him than Betemit right now.

Pudge back on a one-year deal. You don’t know what Posada will give you off the injury, or for that matter when he’ll be back. The minimum recovery time for Jorge is 6 months. What if it’s longer? What if Jorge isn’t the same? You need insurance. Should Jorge then be Ok, you have three catchers, can deal one and would be dealing from a position of strength. Signing Pudge for 2009 is a win-win situation in my book.

A CF to replace Melky. Alex Angove, our Welsh friend, writes:

Baldelli? The Rays love his make up. Crawford went to the DL yesterday so the rays brought up Baldelli and he’s gonna play around 3-4 times a week. I was watching the Tampa game sometime last week, and they were interviewing their GM. He said that they want to keep him and he also said that Baldelli’s not able to play CF anymore (and to do so would probably increase the chances of him getting injured) so they’ll use him in right and at DH going forward.

If we could get him, I’d be very happy because he could supplement Damon, Matsui, Nady at the corner positions (unsure if they bring back Abreu) but i doubt this is gonna happen. Their GM wasn’t even trying to do his poker face, he was practically gushing over him. But if he’s a free agent, who knows what will happen?

My take is that I wanted Baldelli to replace Melky. I’m not looking at the corner positions, but a CF. If he can’t play CF, then pass. But if he can… anyway, I’m looking to upgrade from Melky, even if it’s a one-year deal until Austin Jackson hopefully is ready. If Gardner improves and gets another shot and proves himself, fine. If Christian proves himself, fine. But the Melkman’s definitely in trouble. Fine 4th OF, but CF has to be updated as far as an everyday basis. Another guy I have liked is David DeJesus. From Brooklyn and Rutgers. Will be 29 in December. .297-10-56-10, OPS+ 112 for KC. .284 career hitter, OPS+ 103. Lefty bat, can play LF or CF (I’d want him in CF). I don’t know what it would take to get him in a trade, but Jackson’s off-limits.

One more thing on Baldelli. He missed 124 games of 2007 with a hamstring injury. He missed all of this year until yesterday due to a mitochondrial disorder, which causes slower muscle recovery and causes fatigue. Probably why CF is out? Probably why more time at DH? I’m not a doctor, so I can’t speculate, but…

Also on my Christmas list? Randolph to replace Meacham as 3rd base coach. Would Girardi be comfortable with it? Or would he feel as if had to look over his shoulder as far as Willie being a possible replacement in the manager’s chair?

Tough calls: Abreu. He leads the team in RBI, but do you go Nady in RF, Damon in LF and Matsui DH next year? If so, where does Abreu go? Also, Moose and Pettitte, do you bring both back? Only one of them? None of them? If one and not the other, who stays and who goes? Very tough calls here.

I like the OPS+ stat as you may have noticed, but it, of course, doesn’t tell the whole story. OPS+ has to be combined with BA with RISP. Alex OPS+ 164. BA with RISP (from Pete Abraham’s blog) .239. Giambi OPS+ 141. BA with RISP? .204. Ouch.

Also from Pete Abraham: Joba will start his throwing program on Wednesday. Only four out of the wild card, the Yanks bring him back. They’ll also have to ask themselves at what point may it be necessary to concede and then shut him down.

Great note from Phil Mushnick: A new ESPN promo for the Little League WS includes a shot of a 12-year old striking a HR pose. Great. Preening pre-teen sluggers. The coach should get his butt kicked if he doesn’t talk to or reprimand the kid for that. But you know what? They probably won’t because if they do, then the parents will get on the coach. It’s sad that it’s come to this.

According to a blurb I saw in the Post, Springsteen and company will be the next SB halftime show.

Hire Willie! A Post for Mike F.

Reader Mike F. has, justifiably so, been a frequent critic of Bobby Meacham’s 3rd base coaching.

Pete Abraham has a great article about how bad Meacham has been. It kind of reminds you of the play he and Dale Berra were involved in back in 1985.

Anyway, two observations.

The first is that we now have quantitative evidence as to how bad Meacham has been as 3rd base coach.

The second? Willie Randolph is available.

3-19-08 Yanks 12, Pirates 9. Hughes struggles.

I was out tonight, so first off, thanks to Mike and Jason for their comments and commentary. Also to Josh “the Yankee Truth” Imboden, who sent me (via AIM) his comments. The Yanks won 12-9, and I’m waiting for the boxscore (which, as we know, doesn’t tell us everything). In the IM’s I got from Josh, he’s still looking for a 3rd pitch from Phil to go with the fastball and curve. He did love the bunt that Gardner put down that was thrown into RF. Jason commented on it as well on the previous post. Like me, Josh is intrigued by what Gardner can bring to the team speed-wise.

There was comments about a gale-force wind blowing out, but still, the gopher balls allowed by Phil tonight are bothersome. This is something we’ll have to get used to with the youngsters. Inconsistency. Patience will be necessary.

In checking the comments made by Mike and Jason, regarding Hughes, he needs to locate that fastball. Command, command, command. Locating it sets up all the other pitches. Seeing Matsui get a double early, and the way he’s hit, make me think that we have no worries about him making opening day.

Yes, Betemit is struggling. When he makes contact, he’s lethal, but he doesn’t make contact enough. I do think he is a better option than Woodward, but the K’s are too high and at 26, he has to realize his potential soon.

As Jason pointed out, at one point Abreu was at .483 for the spring. Maybe A-Rod is right when he pointed out that he thought Bobby was going to have a huge year. Good point by Jason about the A-Rod/Jeter relationship. Much like the B.S. that was written about Maris and Mantle in 1961. Never mind that Roger and Mickey shared a Queens apartment with Bob Cerv.

Thanks Jason! Mike chips in asking about Meacham, and I have to agree. The Yanks will miss Bowa this year. Bowa was (and is) the best 3b coach in baseball. Meacham is best remembered for…um…Carlton Fisk/Dale Berra…and Gene Michael as 3b coach. Need I say more? Ouch. Of course us old-timers remember one of the greatest 3B coaches ever….Frank Crosetti.

Thanks, guys! In looking at the boxscore and going by the comments, I see that Gardner went 1-4, but that speed made a difference on that one play. Abreu and Alex continue great springs with 2 hits apiece. Matsui’s 2 hits make me feel as if he is ready for opening day (if only at DH) and won’t need to be Dl’d. Giambi had 2 hits as well. Posada, who’s had a pedestrian spring, had a HR, 3 hits and 3 RBI. I am pretty confident in the offense right now.

Did you notice that the Yanks got 4 in the 8th to win? Down 9-7, HRs by Nick Green and Chad Moeller off of Byung Yung Kim win the game for the Yanks. Anyone for a 2001 flashback? He must absolutely have nightmares of Yankee uniforms.

I see Ensberg made an error on a pickoff. I’m not confident with him at 1b. I’m just not.

Looking at the pitching boxscore, a rough night for Hughes. 4 IP, 7 R (6 ER) on 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 Ks and 3 HR. Ugh. I want to see a rebound next time out. Traber also hit a bit of a blip, giving up 2 runs, although both were unearned. 3 errors tonight by the Yanks in what was a sloppy game. Hawkins, it appears, had a nice inning. Igawa continues to be an enigma. He gets the win, and has a scoreless inning, but with 2 hits and a walk. In other words, Maalox time. Ohlendorf gives up a hit and a walk, but no runs in his inning. Edwar gives up a hit, but no runs and Ks two.

Matt Morris and Byung Yung Kim were downright awful for Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the one guy I’d LOVE to have, Damaso Marte (who some people elsewhere never heard of….cough, cough) pitched a scoreless inning for the Buccos, giving up one hit. Do I covet him? Yes. But at the expense of say, Tabata? No. Oh well. BTW, I see Kevin Thompson went 0-1 with a walk for the Pirates and is at .313. I wish him the best. I did like him a lot at Trenton and Scranton.

Girardi has some thinking to do. The stars did well tonight. (Abreu, Alex, Giambi, Matsui, Posada). The game was won by some scrubs most likely going to Scranton. The pitching? No one distinguished themselves, save for maybe Hawkins, who is on the team anyway. Hughes last two outings have been a significant step backward from what was, up until then, a solid spring. Pitchers go through “dead arm” periods and I wonder if Phil hit is. It may be a good point to go on Hughes’ webblog tomorrow and see what he says. Igawa remains an enigma, and the others, while giving up no runs, weren’t dominant. That race for the last bullpen remains open.

As for tomorrow, I’ll definitely be watching. ESPN tomorrow afternoon

Once again, my thanks to Jason, Josh and Mike!

3/14/08 MLB suspends Duncan, Cabrera, Gomes. Girardi, Meacham & Long fined.

Shelley Duncan has been suspended for the first three games of the season, and fined. Johnny Gomes got two games and a fine. Melky Cabrera, who apparently popped Evan Longoria during the brawl, got three games and a fine. Girardi, Meacham and Long got fines but no suspensions.

Just a hunch, but with the suspension of Melky, I think Brett Gardner starts the year with the Yankees.

Coaching staff set?

From Pete Abraham of the Lower Hudson Journal:
(My notes are in italics).

This is not yet official, but it appears the coaching staff will shake out this way:

Outside of Pena, no big names….maybe translates (with Girardi) into a more scrappy, teaching Yankees? Also, young LOOK AT THE AGES! (translates well to kids as opposed to 67 year old Torre?) Girardi is 43.

Pitching: Dave Eiland (41, 12-27, 5.74 with Yanks, Padres, Devil Rays, had youngsters in minors, now here)

Hitting: Kevin Long (41 at end of year) never made majors, hit .264 in KC minor leagues

Bench: Rob Thomson (a bit of a surprise here; Thomson, 44, was the major league field coordinator last season and has been with the Yankees in various jobs for 18 years. He was responsible for advance scouting last season and did a lot of the preparation work for Torre. He is a very sharp guy who deserves the promotion. Thomson was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round of the 1985 draft. He played catcher and third base in the Tigers’ minor league system until 1988, when he became a minor league coach for the team (I have no record of his minor league career on baseball-reference). In 1990, Thomson joined the Yankees organization as a third base coach for the team’s Class-A affiliate in Fort Lauderdale. He moved into the front office in 1998 as a Field Coordinator, and became Director of Player Development in 2000. Prior to the 2003 season, he was named Vice-President of Minor League Development, and was named to the Major League coaching staff in November of the same year.)

Third base: Bobby Meacham (former Yankee SS. 47. 1983-1988 NYY, full-time SS in 1985 when he hit .218-1-47, 25 sb. .236 career hitter).

First base/catching: Tony Pena (50, five-time All Star, Managed KC. Thought he’d be bench coach)

Bullpen: Mike Harkey (41) 36-36 for Cubs, Rockies, Angels, A’s, Dodgers) 4.49.

Eiland was the AAA pitching coach last season. Long got a three-year deal worth $1 million, which is a lot for a coach (keep him from Torre?). Harkey and Meacham were with Girardi with the Marlins in 2006.

It’s too early to say whether the staff will be better or worse than what they had last season. There is certainly less experience (and more youth). I don’t know Meacham or Harkey but Eiland, Thomson and Long are hard workers and Pena is tremendous at what he does.

One thing to note. I see a lot of people on blogs today bemoaning the lack of a big name coach. Most of the time, big names couldn’t coach or manage well. What came NATURAL to them, they couldn’t teach. For example, Ted Williams managed the Senators and Rangers (after they left DC for Texas) from 1969-1972. One of the greatest hitters of all time had a team that hit .217 for him one year.

Meanwhile, Walter Alston played in one major league game. Sparky Anderson had one year (.218 with no HR) as the starting 2b for the 1959 Phils. That was it. LaRussa hit .199. Martin .257. McCarthy and Earl Weaver never played in the majors.