Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How Long is the Leash on Alan Cockrell?


Ever since the Yankees let their hitting coach Kevin Long hit free agency and head over to the crosstown rival New York Mets the position has been filled by a few names that not many really know. Since the Kevin Long firing in the Bronx the Yankees have watched as Jeff Pentland and Alan Cockrell took the bull by the horns and watched as the duo helped the team to the second highest scoring total in all of Major League Baseball in 2015. 2016 brought new change with Pentland now gone and Cockrell in charge and Marcus Thames as his assistant but despite having much of the same cast of characters the Yankees offense has gone from Bronx Bombers to Bronx Bombless leaving me to wonder just how long the leash for Cockrell truly is in New York.

Before simply blaming the coach and not the players, which is not what I am doing whatsoever, one must keep a few things in mind. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and the core of the Yankees is another year older and another year past their primes so a regression was to be expected but if it works for one it works for the other. At this point in the season Didi Gregorius has been much better in 2016 than he was at this point in 2015 while Beltran looked like Beltran in his prime for much of the 2016 campaign, another big shot in the arm when comparing this year to last year. Starlin Castro has led the Yankees in most offensive categories after the team suffered through Stephen Drew for much of last year and McCann has been McCann and possibly the MVP of the club when you factor in his defense and game calling. So what has changed?

Mark Teixeira is nowhere to be found and continues to refuse to make any adjustments at the plate while also sticking to his “I’m not going to beat the shift I’m simply going to hit over it” mantra. That isn’t exactly working out this season and for much of the season anything Chase Headley has done hasn’t worked out either. We never heard talk of adjustments being made or anything, just excuses, and while Headley had a stretch of about a week where he was hitting well he is seemingly heading back into his old ways. Gardner’s numbers are seemingly down across the board as are Jacoby Ellsbury’s and Alex Rodriguez’s. Rodriguez has an excuse, a pair of injuries and a 40-year old body are expected to slow you down, but Ellsbury, Gardner, Headley and Teixeira do not.


So will the Yankees fire Alan Cockrell if things don’t turn around and should they? Hal has already stuck up for his coaches and blamed the players so the first question is a likely a hard “no” but the second one is a little harder to judge. How much bearing does a coach really have on a veteran team like the Yankees? Very little to none? Am I correct in that assumption? If I am than why even bother firing him? Fire the players. That would be my plan but I guess that’s why I’m sitting here in my office writing about it and not making the decisions, huh?

26 comments:

  1. Funny you mention this. This has been on my mind the last week or so. First I have to say though. For the first time I can remember, I turned the game off in the 7th inning last night. Why? Because I knew the Yankees didn't have a snowball's chance at coming back. Hans likes to say "Look at the back of their baseball card". In this situation, he's absolutely right. The Yankees have 2 players playing to their potential. Beltran and Ellsbury. Everybody else is not only hitting below their potential, but hitting WELL below league average. And that includes Castro. Castro is a career .280 hitter that's hitting .245. Not a good year in my opinion. Just a better year than most on the Yankees. Sooner or later, this goes from being a player problem to a coaching problem. We're literally becoming the laughing stock in baseball.

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  2. Jeff, I disagree with both you and ken. He and others say "Look at the back of their baseball cards", all the time and that is not true at all. Beltran is the only one playing anyway near his card...so far! The year is not over and more may catch fire and play the card but, counting on players to match their cards is silly. Every year is different for each player...they get older, nagging injuries, slow down a bit with the legs and bat speed. No matter how good the coaches are, if the players are not sold on an idea...they won't do it!
    The bottom line is, it is easier to fire the coaches than the players.

    Four or five weeks ago King George would have traded or let go A-Rod, Pineda, Tex and Headley...that is the good part!
    Then rape the minors of all the talent we have for replacements all 30/35+ years old and have a great team...for a year or two...that's the bad part!

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  3. Of course you do Reed. You think everything is just fine in Yankeeland. I could see some validity in you blaming the player if it were one or two players hitting poorly. This is the other way around. When everybody is hitting poorly, that is a result of coaching. Remember a few years back when 3 or 4 players had hamstring injuries at the start of the year? They fired the strength and conditioning coach and BAM, no more hamstring injuries. Don't feed me the line that it's a few stubborn veterans. This is the whole team. Put the blame where it belongs.

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    1. Well, you have your opinion and that is fine, but I also have an opinion that it is the players that try and hit the ball...not the coaches.
      I also said, IF the players won't buy into what the coach is trying to show them...game over! Not saying it is all anyones fault at all, if the players will not try to work with a coach...the coach has to go. Half the job of the coaches is to install confidence in what they are trying to teach.
      There are two coaches, can't they go to the other coach and ask for help? Most of the Vet players know their swing and spot things before a coach can, but it is better to have the help.
      Just for your information Jeff, I do think everything is just ducky! I could not care less about this year!
      This management is playing for 2017-18. IF I and a few other people are wrong in this...I quit this team forever or until there is good Owners!

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    2. I had to break this rant down in a few posts since i used all the characters allowed lol.

      Levin I go by what the numbers say and the averages of a player shows the players ability to hit or pitch, drive in runs, close out ball games. Does the card show every detail, the answer is no, however what Reed fails to understand is that the numbers are the numbers. Does a player have a breakout season and regress back to their numbers the answer again is yes. This is my argument with you all the time about Gardner. You like him, I don't. Is he a 211 hitter the answer is no. To me he is a 250 -265 hitter and that’s what’s his card says he is.

      This problem started many years ago and I believe I am the only one with you agreeing more times than not on the Elf. First I am going to point out the usual excuses I hear on this board for people sticking up for the elf. I am sick and tired of hearing people say we drafted late in the first rd so we couldn't get top talent. That's BS because the Cards seem to do well. The Giants seem to do well and the Roid Sux have done very well winning during Epstein's reign and they drafted quite well.

      Second, it’s not he elf's fault because he is overruled by the Tampa Mafia. There is some merit to that answer, however I think it lies more with the elf's terrible moves, i.e. Pavano, Vasquez not once but twice, Jared Wright, Kevin Brown, Jeff Weaver along with recent moves I have pointed out. Has the guy made some good moves… Yes he has but where is the farm system been? Some of his moves are looking good right now with Eovaldi who I still don't like but the guy is producing and you can't argue with production. Didi is still a dumb ass player but he has hit better than I ever thought and is good with the glove and we haven't seen that at SS in years.


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    3. I don't get the idea of everyone centered on today, today will be tomorrow in a few hours, so why worry about something that is almost over with.
      Get outside the now and think about what comes next, what is the goal of the Yankees...?
      No matter how disappointed we have been about not picking up one or two young guys for the team. Think of the future, we will have a few young guys playing next year and many this year.
      Bird, Judge, "Ace" Acevedo, Severino, Mitchell, Kaprielian, Romine, Sanchez, Torreyes, Hicks, Lindgren, Vicente Campos should be in the mix next year!
      Some that may make it to the bigs is; Brady Lail, Mitchell, Kaprielian, Coshow, Mateo, Fowler just to name a few for next year!

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    4. Hans,

      not to nitpick but some of the deals you mentioned making Cashman look bad were confirmed to be on George. Not that Cashman has been good but he doesn't have a problem giving us plenty to bitch about, no need to throw the Kevin Brown's and Jeff Weaver's that George got on him as well.

      :)

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  4. Third point is that the elf doesn't run the draft. BS he is the President of baseball operations. There is no other baseball mind on the team that he answers to. Does he answer to Tampa...yes he does but I can guarantee you that the Tampa Mafia is not pulling the strings on who gets drafted. The elf is the last elf standing when a baseball decision is made concerning the draft and if he isn't then he should've been canned already because Newman and Oppenheimer at the time were in charge of scouting and drafting and shame on the elf for not hiring better people. A great manager or leader surrounds themselves with top flight people to execute his plan of attack, so for all the people that don't think the elf has a say on the draft think again because he is in charge of this sinking ship. When Oppenheimer was let go or retired we decided to hire a minor league hitting instructor to be in charge of draft. Makes no sense to me that a career minor league instructor should the head man. Why not think a little bit more intelligently and look for someone out of the Giants or Cards player personal department since they have been successful in drafting along with player personal and bring in some young intelligent minds into the front office. No we go with a hitting instructor!!!

    Lastly the day the young Coupon Clipper took over for his dad was the day the organization took a few steps back. He sells 80% of his father’s TV network, but Hal says it isn't about the money. Well if it isn't about the money why sell the majority of the network to Murdoch? The answer is simple...it’s always about the money and anyone that tells you otherwise is a moron, i.e. see Robbie Cano and ask him if 70 million more was the reason he left NY.

    Hal sits behind his desk counting the Benjamin's of schmucks like me who continue to pour our hard earned dollar into his pocket with his unwillingness to produce a better product. I listened to both Michael Kay and Fat Mike Francessa today and all they did was bitch about the Yankee fan who is spoiled. Well I'll give you another BS because when I was growing up I was watching the likes of Horace Clark and Jerry Kenny and Celerino Sanchez and I had to live through the 60's and 70's until the late 70's and back with the 80's teams so I'm not spoiled. I paid a great deal of money to go to Yankee games with my season tickets and if Hal isn't going to put out a top product then I'm not spending to make him any richer than he is.

    Grow some balls Hal and Elf and start unloading the people that can bring us back prospects and let’s eat crow for the next few years to build a young exciting team because let’s face it having this team suck or a bunch of triple A prospects playing in the majors sucking makes no difference. I think if you cut bait now you might get a bigger haul for a guy like Champan who you can use more times than not. Why wait? oh that’s right because we really are going to make a run at the WC!!!

    Sorry for my rant but listening on the radio in my car for 2 hours and then having to read that Reed once again disagrees with me and Levin got me going. Someone needs to take the fall and soon, whether its coaches or front office people.

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  5. A rant that is good is well worth reading, thank you Ken H!
    So much of what was written in that rant is true and some are missing a little history. AS a whole, I can't disagree with much.
    But there are some things left out, like "Stick", was the chief drafting boss, not Oppy and Newman. George nor Hal would give money for the farm system even when it was set aside by George, he used it to improve the fields and build Tampa up to what is today, not players. Cash got Hal on board with building the farm system (I am sure) by convincing Hal that it would be less money than paying for 5 or 6 vets.
    Brian Cashman is the Senior Vice President, General Manager, right? He answers to Randy Lavine President and Lonn Trost Chief Operating Officer.
    Everyone answers to someone, in this case Cashman answers to the Tampa Cabal and Hal, Lavine and Trost are said Cabal.
    One can't stick up for Cashman without knowing the history of the leaders above him. The trades made under orders and those he had shot down by others. We know of a very few he wanted no part of but only some. We know he has been told no high priced players or long contracts.

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    1. Reed the elf does not answer to any of the above mentioned guys in drafting players. Levine, Trost have no clue about drafting nor does the elf so that comment you made isn't entirely correct, especially with the point I was making.

      Second Stick and Watson were the Architects of the teams and drafts and international signings i.e Jeter Posada, Rivera, Petitte to name a few. Stick is associated with the organization, however Oppenheimer and Newman were the architects of the last 10 years.

      Here is another example I will give you. Why is it that Cashman or lets even say allegedly Cashman signed Javy Vasquez to a FA contract. The guy shit the bed so we got rid of him, he gets traded to the Yanks a second time, so tell me did the Elf FU in the initial signing of the player or the Tampa Mafia or did the elf screw-up and bring him back again or did he wet the bed on both cases?

      Or what about when the Tampa Mafia signed Soriano and the elf didn't want to and Rivera blew his knee out who was right in that case? My point to you Reed is that if Cashman is as good as you say he is why is he hanging around when his contracts come due? Wouldn't any driven individual want to see what they can build on there own? I know I would want to be the architect of any team if I was the GM of so that puts me to my last point of if he isn't making the moves then grow some balls and take a job elsewhere and lets see what he's made of? You keep pointing out that Trost and Levine are making baseball decisions and I'm telling you that the majority of this roster and the farm system has the elf handprints all over it.

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    2. Sorry Hans, the records say "Stick" was the man in charge until the last very few years...I think it was 2010/2012, not 100% sure!
      Of course Cashman has most of the people he has on the roster to his discredit/credit, which ever you like to put it. But, let me point out, he didn't get the ok (money) to go after the people he really wanted now did he. So we have our GM hamstrung buy Hal, what should he do, give up and say to hell with it? He went dumpster diving for what ever he could get and a couple of trades which made us better than last year. Granted he traded away a couple of our better players and some of us were not happy about that. But we haven't had enough time to see what we got back. There is not a doubt in anyones mind that we are better with the personnel we have now! They suck right now and deserve the crap thrown their way, this doesn't mean they won't get things turned around...hopefully!

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    3. Reed if you are a Yankee fan you would root for this team to implode and not tease us with a 7 game win streak just to be close. This team needs to be dissolved if it is to move forward to compete against the Roid Sux who have a pretty good core of 23-25 year olds contributing right now. Maybe the Tampa Mafia will see the light and trade Chapman, Beltran, Gardner and McCann to name a few and get back prospects. Keeping Champan till the end is useless as this team isn't winning the WS so getting a sandwich pick is not appealing to me. We should've traded Cano and Robertson when we knew we weren't signing them. That's why the clowns which include your man the Elf and Hal should just clean house. Hal is not cut out to be a team owner because all he cares about is the money he makes. He doesn't care about you Reed, only the money you spend on the Yankees.

      So I just read that Annabelle Sanchez not sure of spelling was moved to the pen after signing a very large contract. Tell me why Pineda or anyone else for that matter shouldn't get demoted or moved to the bench or pen? Answer is simple Reed and I'll point it out one more time for you. The owner and his schmucks don't care about winning they care about what they spent on the player and that dictates them playing. Its all about the money with Hal. See Dave Dombrowksi and see if he gives a shit how much a player signed for. He moved Clay B to the pen the other day. With the Yanks it won't happen until Hal sells or the elf is canned and I would take both both I am delusional in that belief.

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    4. hughes went to the bullpen too. and pineda is performing significantly worse than both of them!

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    5. Ok guys, If any of you think for one moment that Cashman has a hand in anything other than trying to do the best he can with NO help from the owners...you have no idea how hard it is to work as he has the last 20 years. He would spend every dime the Yankees have to get the right team on the field but, not wast it on long contracts for players in their 3o+ years. Thus he would miss out on a few players but cashing in on some younger guys that are on the way up...not out!
      The guy bleeds Yankee Blue!
      I have worked with bosses like Hal but the motive for them was don't rock the boat I want that other star etc. There are ways to get around them if they aren't paying a lot of attention on one.
      But Cashman can't do anything without money, so why is he so bad? How in the hell would the great and vaunted Dave Dombrowksi do without the money to do what he wants...no better!

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    6. Dombrowski cleans the elf clock everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. They have both operated on level playing fields if not more so for the elf. Detroit spent money as does Boston. The elf had George's checkbook at his disposal and some of Hal's. No one is ever going to get through to you Reed. There are obvious things in life like water is wet the sky is blue and the elf is a 2nd rate gm. If the guy had balls he would've left to run another team so he can put his finger print on the roster. He doesn't leave because he knows deep down inside that he was given a great opportunity years ago with George's money and George wanting to win. Hal wants to cash checks not win. Your dead wrong on the elf. The guy traded Prado who is tearing it up in Miami. The guy can play third and second and a decent arm in Phelps. Ya we got Eovaldi and thats it. So that move forces another move in getting Castro when we didn't need Castro. We have Refsnyder who can hit. Give the kid 300 plus at bats and I promise you he will do what Castro does if not better. By trading for Castro you gave up another arm that didn't need to go in Warren. Then he gives up a lefty piece who I guess I'm the only one that sees the guy do his job for two suspects. Reed have you noticed we have shit on the left handed side of the BP outside of Chapman and Miller. All the other lefties crapped themselves. His moves are counter productive that forces another move to be made. Sorry Reed I would rather have Warren and Phelps back along with Prado at third and Ref at 2nd and Wilson in the pen then have Castro and Headley and Eovaldi. No one is going to change your mind and I'm done trying to show you

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    7. Stick Michael gets all the credit for the good he did, or the good he got credit for, and none of the flack for the crap he did and tried to do. That's what happens when you win.

      Michael did not draft Jeter. If you remember a scout came to the Yankees and said draft him. It was Michael I believe who asked if he was going to college and the scout said he was going to Cooperstown.

      What people don't mention is that Michael offered Rivera, Posada and Pettitte in deals and were declined by the other team, not by the Yankees. There were also rumors of Jeter being offered in trades but I don't think those were confirmed. No one mentions these yet everyone brings up Cashman's almost trade of Robinson Cano for Alex Rodriguez.

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    8. I think you have your stories mixed up Burch. Michael vetoed the trades of those individuals. George wanted to trade them and Stick said know. Just fyi on the scout thing since my friend is a scout of the Cardinals they all make recommendations on who to draft. The person in charge of the draft is the decision maker or its a collaborative effort. I think you should check your facts on your Stick info

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    9. I may or the person I read it from may have, either way I know they were all offered in trades. George was likely back from suspension then so I can admit that he may have had his hand in it. Either way they were offered under Stick just like players were offered under Cashman. We have proof of instances where George had the final say and we have proof where Hal has trumped Cashman.

      What's good for one is good for the other is all I was trying to say. No one talks about the non-trades of those guys because the Yankees were winning. If they had lost like this recent string of clubs has it would be an entirely different conversation about Stick, Torre etc.

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    10. Sorry Hans, you are right to think of what could have been without those trades but, we are in the "what is" part of the season.
      One man's bad trade is, another man's good trade. As we, as fans, have no real say about trades or other workings of the team...we have to live with it and adapt.
      I chose to adapt, not bitch about it as we know many do.
      This blog gives us a place to vent our anger and disappointment, not disparage each other...let's all keep that in mind and have fun!

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    11. Reed let's not get to holy here. If you're saying I disbaraged you because I disagree with everything you post and visa versa well too bad. I do recall numerous posts by you blasting me so before we go to church lets think about that? If I'm missing the point on your post then sorry if not too bad

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    12. Sorry Hans, me thinks you took what I wrote the wrong way. I was not trying to make it look like you or anyone else was wrong or anything like that.
      I was just pointing out the facts...we have what we have and must learn to live with it. We all have our own ideas on how to fix things, and one is as good as another I guess...I just like to think in the positive future.
      Hell, if we agreed on most things, how much fun would that be Hans? I think we have come a long way...you and I...we are civil with each other and don't call names etc.! See what I mean, things can change but not the part of me disagreeing with you and visa versa! LOL

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  6. Nobody here can know what goes on behind closed doors with the Yankees. But one thing I am sure of is from history is middle management (GM, Coaches, and manager) always get the short end of the stick.
    So put the blame on Hal and company, not on those that have the job of working with guys that have had better years and make a winning team out of them...GM, Coaches, and manager!

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  7. "Stick" Michael...
    1990-1995, GM
    1996-2002, Vice President of Major League Scouting.
    2003-2008, Vice President and Senior Advisor
    To me, and maybe I am too dumb to understand but someone says 'you get the right people', I have always added, 'in the right place' and go with it!
    In the case of "Stick" George put "Stick" in those jobs and Cashman had to live with it.
    As for trading Rivera, Posada and Pettitte we know George asked Stick to give him a list of players we could trade. The names of Rivera, Posada and Pettitte were on the list but, to Sticks credit he did change his mind and also the Boss agreed not to trade them. So both are right in this case!

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    1. Reed I said that to Burch and he believes otherwise. It was stick who saved those players from being traded. Burch on his June 2, at 7:01 post comments that Stick wanted to trade them. Untrue Burch

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    2. To be honest here Hans, there is or was two different stories about that deal. The one I wrote and the other one (writer unknown) here is the other one it goes something like this;
      George asked who the best players we had on the farm where, Stick gave the list to him omitting Rivera, Posada, Pettitte and someone else. George said the best are not here! He got the full list and "Stick"said he would hold on to them and not trade them at all. George asked: who is most expendable the answer was two of the four and I don't know who it was!
      I have spent hours trying to find the place I first got the information from and have not found it yet.

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    3. I know that Stick didn't want any part of trading them, I was trying to point out to Burch he had his story wrong and believe it or not you and I are on the same page on the sone

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