One day after Pittsburgh's semi-dull victory over Seattle in Super Bowl eXtra Large, there were actually some Yankee notes today. In what can only be described as a very surprising move, Mel Stottelmyre will be a Yankees spring training instructor and work with all of the pitchers. There was much speculation that Stot would become the M's new pitching coach since he's from the Seattle area. The M's went in another direction with Rafael Chaves and its unknown whether Stot had any another opportunities. For that matter, we don't really know if he he wanted to coach full-time any more.
There's been debate about the degree of success that Mel has had as pitching coach - all of the players swear by him, while many fans don't believe he has helped pitchers of late. While the latter may hold some credence, I think I'll go with what the players think.
Stot decided that 2005 would be his last as Yankees pitching coach. He was tired of the way he, Joe Torre, and his fellow coaches were treated by the "Tampa contingent", most notably, of course, George Steinbrenner. That's what makes today's announcement that much more surprising.
The thought here is that although Ron Guidry has been an annual spring training instructor, he's never been "The Man" when it comes to handling the pitchers. A little mentoring from a seasoned pitching coach like Mel Stottelmyre couldn't hurt.
For The Love of Bengie
Reports out today indicated that Bengie Molina is close to signing a 1 year plus an option contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. GM J.P. Ricciardi has hit the free agent wires like a man on a mission and this could be a very astute pickup. Molina has been downgraded by many this off-season. "He's too slow", "his offense last year was a fluke", "his defense is started to deteriorate". Now, scouts pay much more attention to the game than the average (or above average fan), but no Yankee fan witnessed this supposed deterioration. Molina has killed the Yankees time and time again, in both the regular and post-seasons.
Is Jorge Posada's friendship with Derek Jeter influencing the front office?
The supposed contract will pay $5 million in 2006, with a $7.5 million option for 2007. Are you telling me the Yankees couldn’t have at least matched that? I would rather see Jorge Posada get DH at-bats, especially if it means no $12 million option kicking in, and Molina behind the plate, than have Kelly Stinnett as a backup with an aging Bernie Williams and an inexperienced Andy Phillips gobbling up at-bats. The Yankees are worried about causing problems with Posada, a clubhouse leader, career Yankee, and best friend of captain Derek Jeter, but screw that. You can’t keep letting the lines between the game and the business bleed into one another. You do what it takes to win and Bengie Molina is a winner.