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October 24, 2005

Star Ledger: Yanks make a pitch to Guidry
by SG

NEW YORK -- Ron Guidry's attorney yesterday confirmed the Yankees have approached him about becoming pitching coach.

"There are talks going on, and I think that's all we really want to say at this point," Reggie Ringuet said.

Guidry, the 1978 Cy Young Award-winner while with the Yankees, has been serving as a spring-training instructor. But Ringuet said now that Guidry's youngest child is out of high school, he is willing to consider spending the seven or eight months away from home required by a full-time position.

"He does have interest in this job," Ringuet said. "If he's ever going to do this, this is the time. If the Yankees afford him the opportunity, he'll take a good, hard look at it."

The Yankees are close to signing Larry Bowa as third-base coach and are believed to be interested in bringing back Lee Mazzilli as bench coach.

Moving on from the failed overture to Leo Mazzone, and with Don Cooper not an option since he is signed through 2006 and his team is two wins away from the World Series championship, the Yankees have apparently chosen Ron Guidry as their candidate for pitching coach.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. Gator was one of my favorite Yankees growing up, and if not for a delayed start to his career he'd have a worthy case for being a borderline Hall of Famer. That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be a good pitching coach. Mazzone never appeared in the majors. Neither did Ray Miller, another universally praised pitching coach.

Joe Torre has supposedly endorsed Guidry, which is unusual. For a guy who prefers experience over talent, Guidry, who has never served as a pitching coach on any level, would seem to be a less than desireable option. The sum of his experience is spending some time with pitchers as a spring-training instructor.

That's not to say that Guidry won't do a good job. We just don't know. I just think that it's a risk, and could pay off big, or blow up spectacularly.

The Larry Bowa rumors are interesting. Universally derided as a bad manager, it's pretty universally acknowledged that he was one of the best third base coaches in baseball. We all know that Luis Sojo was over-aggressive, but Bowa has built a reputation for good instincts and I think this will be fine. I don't worry about his famed temper or shaky player evaluation skills, since they won't be much of a factor in his role as a third base coach.

We should know this week if Brian Cashman is returning. Salary is apparently not the issue, but control is. If he gets the greater authority that he is seeking, I think it will be a good thing. If he walks, then I am concerned that this means that the dysfunction prevalent in the Yankee organization that is preventing them from achieving what they are capable will continue, and probably get worse.

Once all this coaching and front office stuff gets sorted, then we should start to see the plans for the players transpire. I really want B.J. Ryan to be signed, perhaps more than anyone else.