Monday, October 29, 2007

Peter Abe and YankeeGM talk Mazzone

This is an Exchange between YankeeGM and Peter Abe of lohud fame.

YankeeGM writes
Peter,I am an avid Yankees fan and NEVER in my 30 years of being such have I ever seen such a blatant disregard for the long-term good of the team than I amwitnessing RIGHT NOW. It can be said that the single most important person available to the Yankeefranchise for the next 15 years is currently unemployed, available and NOONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT!!!

The success of the team for the next 10-20 years is to be predicated uponwhat? The success of the banner crop of youngsters the Yanks plan to trotout to the mound next season and the season after.

Hughes, Joba, Kennedy,Horne, Ohlendorf, Sanchez etc. hold the Yankee future in their young andinexperienced hands. We have the ability to hire the man most suited toinsure that we get maximum return for Cash's patience and draft success -and again, no one is mentioning him!We have GOT to go and get Leo Mazzone as pitching coach.Regardless of who is selected as manager (Donnie or JG), hiring Leo aspitching coach will give him the best support possible, will give our youngtroops the best chance to succeed, and insure that every pitcher we signgoing forward doesn't take an immediate step backward from their careerstats (see Farnsworth, Weaver, Vazquez and many others!).

Hiring Leo might actually mean that a pitcher could come to the Yankees and actually get BETTER!!! Perish the thought!

I have begun a campaign to at least get people talking about hiring Leo. IF enough people want it we can make it happen!

Peter Responds
I'm not so sure of that. Mazzone is good at fixing older pitchers but what has he really done with prospects? There are questions about how hard he worked for the Orioles, too. I don't think he's a slam dunk for anybody at this stage.

YankeeGM Responds
While I had not heard of the under-motivated charge, I could completelyunderstand if he was not all that into being in Balt after they fired hisbest friend.As to what Leo has done with young pitchers, Smoltz was 23, Glavine 24,Avery 21, Maddux 27, Jason Schmidt 23, Millwood 22, Marquis 22, Merker 23when they began working with Leo. It's not just his training for the pitchesthey throw, but also the throwing program that we need him for. Of the 7pitchers I list above (and there are many more), only Schmidt and Avery hadany significant injury issues (and Avery's issue was more talent thaninjury!). The rest have been horses. Horses around and into their 40's! Notto mention all of the pitchers that had their significantly best years underLeo, only to fall apart when they left (see Wright, Neagle, Chen, Wohlers,O. Perez, Lightenberg Farnsworth etc...)The main point is that Leo knows...he knows how to get the most out of eachpitcher. He knows how to train them so they have long, injury avoidingcareers. He knows how to effectively teach that outside part of the platethat is so foreign to most of baseball today (hell, Tom Glavine has won 300games based almost exclusively on Leo teaching him how to exploit theouter-half). Put it this way - how many times have you seen a pitcher leave Leo and getbetter? NEVER! How many pitchers have gone to Leo and been far better thanthey ever were before? A lot!Conversely, how many times have the Yankees brought in a pitcher only to seethem perform SIGNIFICANTLY below career numbers and then return to normalnumbers after being banished? How many guys with 'great stuff' have wetraded for only to be sending them to the Rockies or Padres the year after? The Yankee pitchers I listed before are already good - we need someone tomake sure that they get better and ultimately, great. We need to make surethey do so for a long time - There's too much at stake right now...a coachlike Leo can make the difference between Hughes/Joba et al being a very good#2/3 or being that elusive, shutdown ace we have missed these last 7seasons. I have no doubt that Leo is THAT important, and he is available. We gotta go get him!.

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