Yankees Rumors & News
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It has become almost a certainty that the Yankees will be missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and there will obviously be changes to the roster, but what about the coaching staff?

Hank Steinbrenner made a statement recently to let everyone know that manager Joe Girardi will return for another season. It also appears that they are interested in seeing general manager Brian Cashman return, but this is the Yankees and obviously somebody has to go. Who will it be?

It is almost certain to be at least one member of the coaching staff and perhaps more than that. So who are the culprits most likely to be let go? Girardi acknowledged that there could be a staff change when he talked to the Journal News, but he was reluctant to name any names.

“I don’t anticipate anyone being a scapegoat,” Girardi said. “But, I mean, I think we all understand the pressures of working in New York.”

Here is a list of the current coaching staff:

Bench coach: Rob Thompson
Pitching coach: Dave Eiland
Hitting Coach: Kevin Long
First base coach: Tony Pena
Third base coach: Bobby Meachem
Bullpen Coach: Mike Harkey

The most obvious name here to be in some hot water would be the hitting coach Kevin Long because the Yankee offense was supposed to be the strong point of this 2008 campaign. Instead it has been a big weakness. This might be an obvious choice, but he could be staying on. First, of all if he is to be condemned for this year he should also be rewarded for last season and be given one more chance before he’s fired. Second, he’s already got Girardi on his side.

“I don’t worry about that,” Girardi said. “In conversations, it has not come up. I know K-Long works very hard. Obviously one year is going to be more successful than the next, but you don’t forget how to be a hitting coach. Last year, the offense was tremendous.”

Dave Eiland could also be among those let go as the rotation has pretty much been in shambles all season long. Not all of that is his fault though, but he was brought in specifically to monitor the young starters Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain and two out of the three have yet to win a single game this season.

You might be able to credit him with Mike Mussina‘s resurgence, but he loses points for Andy Pettitte‘s season as he has struggled but maintains that he is healthy and feels like he is throwing well. So the two pretty much cancel each other out. So Eiland’s job is definitely in jeopardy.

First base coach Tony Pena has not really ever received negative criticism. The players seem to like playing for him and the Yankees liked him enough to interview him for their manager position last off-season so it could be safe to say he’ll be back.

Bullpen coach Mike Harkey has done well with a bullpen that outside of Mariano Rivera and half a season of Joba Chamberlain really had nothing and turned it into the fifth best pen in the AL and also managed to get some decent appearances out of Kyle Farnsworth. I think that deserves another shot.

Between Rob Thompson and Bobby Meachem it gets interesting because former Yankee third base coach and bench coach Willie Randolph is without a job. I say it’s interesting because not much has been said about Thompson all season and outside of a little bit of fan criticism early in the season not much has been said about Meachem either.

If I had to guess I’d say that Meachem is more likely to be removed, but he was one of the guys Girardi brought in so he might seek to protect him. Thompson also has Randolph’s old role that he walked away from to take over as manager of the Mets.

This is a hard call and these will be two coaches to keep an eye on. Steinbrenner may want to hand pick somebody to use as next years bench coach to have a backup around in case they decide to keep Girardi’s leash short in ’09.

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