November 02, 2005
The Return Of Lee Maz
From the AP:
Former Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli rejoined the New York Yankees on Wednesday as Joe Torre's bench coach.
Mazzilli was the Yankees' first base and outfield coach from 2000-03, then became manager of the Orioles until he was fired Aug. 4. Mazzilli replaces Joe Girardi, who was hired to manage the Florida Marlins.
Former San Diego and Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa was hired Tuesday as New York's third-base coach, and former Kansas City manager Tony Pena might become first-base coach.
"Each and every one of us has gone through everything that you can kind of experience already," Mazzilli said. "You're somewhat prepared for any actions that arise."
So, Mazzilli will become the fourth bench coach in a four year span for Torre. Zimmer in 2003. Randolph in 2004. Girardi in 2005 and Lee next year.
This past summer, I suggested the thought of the Zimmer Factor (meaning that since he left the Yankees have not reached the World Series).
I hope Maz can break this bad string that's formed since Zim left.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 2, 2005 11:32 PM
I don't know much about Lee Maz as a strategist. "Baseball experts" whoever they are, all said that Girardi is a great baseball thinker and, well, the smartest or the dumbest person on earth can't make an impact if the chief (Torre) isn't taking advice. I expect Lee's impact to be minimal. It's ok, it's just nice to have him home.
I think Maz will be a net gain when you consider that he's effectively replacing Roy White on the staff. Roy, although one of my all-time favorite Yankees, did a bad job of positioning the outfielders...critical when your fielders have very little range to begin with. Just as Sojo didn't do his homework on outfield arms, White rarely moved the outfielders (you will recall Zimmer's moving O'Neill toward CF just before Wetteland's pitch to Polonia in Game 5 of the 1996 WS). Maz appeared to be decent in that aspect of the job.