This season the New York Yankees have had it all go wrong in the blink of an eye. Three fifths of the starting rotation is on the shelf. Some of the older players have looked every bit their age, and the bullpen has been used and abused. The Yankees look like their 2013 selves…and they weren’t a handsome bunch if you’ll remember.
One of the knee jerk answers fans will often come up with when the boat springs a leak is to blame the coaches. Kevin Long has been raked over the coals more than a few times the last few seasons and at times rightly so. These hitters are his responsibility. Now each slugger needs to do their work and share said responsibility, but when the team struggles to score runs the buck stops at K Long. That’s life in the Major Leagues. It is a result based business, and if your guys lack pop, YOU GOTTA GO!
Let’s put Coach Long on the back burner for now shall we? He is not the gentleman I’m looking to focus on this time around. I’d like to see the Yankees hire O’Neill or Tino to oversee the Bomber bats…but that’s a discussion for another time.
What do you say we take a crack at the older chap on the bench? The fella with the glasses that looks a tad out of place and certainly out of touch. The guy that mopes out to the mound to impart wisdom on the pitching staff…that Larry guy who looks JUST LIKE the actor who played Marvin Stanwyk in “Fletch” (Seriously look him up its uncanny!).
Larry Rothschild puzzles me in every way, shape and form. How was he the logical choice when the organization went looking for a new pitching coach? I understand the Chicago Connection with Joe Girardi, but Rothschild was a lousy manager in Tampa Bay. Yes, they were an expansion team and even Piniella had his struggles with the club, but Larry seemed as clueless then as his does now.
And more importantly DOES ANYONE REMEMBER that it was this genius at the wheel of the Prior/Wood machine and helped drive them into the ground?! Larry Rothschild’s resume is far from stellar and yet the Yankees felt he was the man for the job.
I won’t accuse Larry of hurting CC Sabathia's knee or causing Michael Pineda to be a less-than intelligent kid with a glob of pine tar on his neck, but his job as pitching coach has been fairly poor. I’m sure that the front office, GI Joe and Cashman would stand behind their choice and tell me that I wasn’t being fair, but Rothschild just doesn’t instill any confidence in me that he has a clue as to what he is doing. I’ve never heard one Yankee pitcher rave about him (something they did about Mel and Gator by the way). It just seems that he is that substitute chemistry teacher that the students ignore. It’s as if he used to work in government or for a big corporation, made a nice living, retired and now wants a low impact job just to stay busy…hey Larry, THIS AIN’T THAT GIG!!
The Yankees aren’t the Rays when it comes to developing young arms. They have had nobody come to the show and make it the way Andy and Mariano did. We have seen Kennedy, Chamberlain and Hughes come up with a head of steam only to fade away and head off to other clubs. Is that Larry’s fault? No…but he didn’t help. I worry about him messing up the only good thing about New York pitching, namely Masahiro Tanaka. Ask Mark Prior what he thought of Rothschild’s tutelage.
I wish we could wrestle Dave “Rags” Righetti away from the Bay Area Big Guys. Maybe we could send him a highlight package of his No No in 1983…it was on July 4th, the Boss’s birthday. George would want you back home, Rags. I no longer want this trumped up Driver’s Ed teacher holding the reigns on the starters and bullpen!
I am probably being too tough on Larry. The pitchers do the pitching, he doesn’t. Injuries happen and age can creep up on you…but I still think it’s time for a change of pace. I’d like to see a battle tested pitcher step in and lead the Yankee hurlers. Why not Boomer? Can we give Coney a ring? Hell, call El Duque!! They all played with the current manager and know what it takes to pitch on Baseball’s biggest stage.
I want to be sure you understand this is not personal. I don’t know Larry Rothschild and don’t ever want to see someone lose his or her job. I’m a merely throwing out the idea that a coaching change may need to come sooner rather than later. Oh and K Long, I haven’t forgotten about you, sir. You’re skating on thin ice. Believe it. Both Larry and Kevin were given very expensive pieces to this machine. They better learn to help make it work because this in New York. Do your job at a high level or YOU GOTTA GO!
**Larry, the Mighty Mighty BossTones say it better than I can.**