When the Yanks begin their organizational meetings later this month
, and possibly discuss the coaching staff, one man needs to be removed from the equation. Bobby Meacham.
This isn't scapegoating. This isn't blaming Meacham for the Yankees' failure to reach the post season. This is just a fair, honest assessment of the job the guy did this year. He was not a good third base coach, not even close. Again and again he was too aggressive. Then, when he got a slew of runners gunned out at the plate, he became overly cautious. That's the thing about being a third base coach, you either have it, or you don't. You have to be able to watch the runner, the ball and the fielder, and make quick decisions. He can't do it. I don't think it's something you can learn, either. You either have it or you don't.
As for the rest of the coaches, I really don't care. If I had my druthers, Girardi would be gone. Again, not because wholy responsible for missing the playoffs, but because I see him as an ineffectual leader who made questionable managerial decisions throughout the season, especially in the higher pressure games. Not to mention the fact that it looked like his team quit on him in the middle of the playoff run.
One thing I will give him credit for is judicious use of the bullpen. In a season when the Yanks had little stability in their rotation, Girardi managed to spread the work around in the pen. Rivera led the pen with 64 games and 70.2 innings. No other reliever on the roster topped 60 innings of work. A drastic departure from the last regime.
In 2007 Torre killed Vizcaino (75.3 IP), Farnsworth (60 IP), and Proctor for half a season (45 IP). The year previous Proctor threw 102 innings, Villone 80.3 and Farnsworth 66. In 2005 Gordon threw over 80 and Sturtze threw 78. Of course all the pitchers in the Yankee pen will have an extra month or so to rest their arms up this season. Still, we may look back on this year and thank Girardi for being gentle with the young bullpen arms if one or two of them develop into something special.