Yanks Find Scapegoat: Meacham Canned

Just as I thought the Yankees were going to let this past season become acceptable, with no heads hitting the chopping block (note the sarcasm), the New York Yankees elected to not bring third base coach Bobby Meacham back in 2009.

Well if it’s one person’s fault on the coaching staff, it is definitely Meacham (again, note the sarcasm).  As you habitual Backwards K readers may recall, I wrote a post towards the end of the season which suggested that manager Joe Girardi was to blame for the team’s struggles in ’08, however, the Yanks apparently thought differently and so Meacham takes the fall for the Bombers not making the playoffs.

I will say this… and that is usually when the Steinbrenners are unhappy (lately, as opposed to the 1970s and 1980s) with the way the season is going or has gone, it’s a base coach or some other coach that is the scapegoat. I can recall a bullpen coach getting fired midway through the season in a recent year.

Realistically, Bobby Meacham is in no way responsible for the Yankees ’08 season and he isn’t to blame.  With the year they Yanks had, a coach had to go just for showmanship sake, more than anything.

This firing does open the door to a couple possibilities for Meacham’s replacement:

  • Luis Sojo: firstbase coach and thirdbase coach for Joe Torre for several years after he retired as a player.
  • Willie Randolph: former LONGTIME thirdbase coach for the Yanks under Torre and former Met manager.  We know how much the Yanks love Randolph and they collect former managers (see: Tony Pena, Joe Kerrigan, Larry Bowa on the same Torre staff…)
  • Paul O’Neill: Yeah, that’s right.  When Girardi was hired, he was on some radio show saying he was calling about coaching positions.  You move Pena to third and stick O’Neill at first… I mean what does a firstbase coach actually do, anyway?  You like him coaching the outfielders on proper techniques of air batting practice when you get bored, and his fire.  You think Robinson Cano wouldn’t cower in fear if Paul O’Neill told him he needed to play harder?  He would be running out ground balls TWICE just so the water cooler wouldn’t get thrown at him.

Girardi, if he has control over his coaches – which I’m not really sure about anyway, will likely select someone that I’ve never heard of that served as some sort of roving organizational instructor with tenure, but if the Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman have a voice, which I think they do, look for someone who wore the pinstripes at some point and don’t count out my boy O’Neill as a darkhorse.


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