The New York Yankees’ decision to retain Larry Rothschild as their pitching coach for the 2018 season flies in the face of the public reasoning Brian Cashman’s fed us about the dismissal of Joe Girardi.
New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman owes an explanation describing Larry Rothschild, 68, regarding his “connectivity” with his pitching staff. Because at least on the surface, it can’t be imagined that Rothschild has much in common with Jordan Montgomery, Chad Green (who’s being mentioned as a starter next season), or the next group of kids coming up, including Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams.
In all fairness, Larry Rothschild could be the best communicator among coaches in the big leagues, but if he is, the Yankees have succeeded in keeping it a secret for a decade. NJ.com apparently buys into the Yankees faith in Rothschild, pointing out:
“He’s managed to help starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (torn right UCL) avoid Tommy John surgery for three years. The Yankees also like the work he’s done with Luis Severino, who could be in for a top-three Cy Young finish.”
Except this was the same publication that hailed the efforts and communicative skills of Hall of Famer and former Yankees nemesis, Pedro Martinez, for his work with Severino. And with regards to Tanaka, as far as I know, Larry Rothschild is not a medical doctor.
Brian Cashman made a statement about the direction he wanted to take the Yankees when he fired Joe Girardi. And just as clearly, Girardi was a “Good Man In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time.” No harm, no foul.
Something seems off, though
But there’s something about this thing with Rothschild that seems “off,” and it stems from Cashman’s reasoning that the Yankees needed a “new fit” as a manager, and especially someone who could “relate” to players better than Girardi was able to.
And no matter how you slice it, Cashman was inferencing the Generation Gap between the Yankees’ coaching staff, including Girardi and Larry Rothschild, and the Baby Bombers, who see the game they play as fun and not a pressure-filled “job.”
Now, juxtapose that thought against the last time you’ve seen Larry Rothschild smiling during a Yankees telecast. And then imagine the idea of Rothschild doing a 21st Century hand or butt slap with Dellin Betances as he comes off the mound with a hold, setting the stage for Aroldis Chapman and a Yankees win.
As opposed to, let’s say, David Cone or Al Leiter as the Yankees pitching coach in the same situation.
Again, no harm, no foul
Larry Rothschild is not likely to hurt the Yankees and their pitching staff, and just as he did last season when he “led” them to a very credible 3.72 ERA as a staff, he’ll hold down the fort for the organization.
And with the influx of a new manager who could very well be someone with no previous managerial experience, perhaps Brian Cashman didn’t want to rock the boat too much, and the retention of Rothschild maintains some form of stability in a year filled with change.
But it still rubs a little only because Joe Girardi is sitting out there jobless because he didn’t fit the mold of the 2018 Yankees, while Larry Rothschild is still there even though he’s a far stretch to fit that same mold.
It’s the business of baseball, folks. And sometimes, one plus one doesn’t make two.