Before casting aspersions on anyone else's evil empire, make sure your own house is in order. This is the lesson to be drawn from the departure of Theo Epstein from the Boston Red Sox. As they have so many times, the Red Sox have handed the Yankees an unearned victory.
...The Boston contretemps makes for a pointed contrast to the way that George Steinbrenner was able to focus these last few weeks and understand that his management structure had become unstructured, his general manager unmanned, his manager isolated, tired, and nervous. Rather than bringing in his baleful broom (1978 Lou Piniella model), he reshuffled the deck and put things into a rational order. Whether things stay that way is anyone's guess given history, probably not but as long as the order is maintained through the winter, when all the important decisions are made, it won't matter as much if things become disordered in May. The important thing was, whatever his disagreements with Joe Torre and Brian Cashman, whatever the Tampa Grumblers were whispering in his ear, the owner was able to put those things aside and weigh whether Cashman and Torre were employees worth retaining. Deciding in the affirmative, Steinbrenner committed himself to making it work.
"The Red Sox are in utter chaos right now, a GM said in what felt like a summation. "The Red Sox have chased the Yankees for so long, and now they have caught them, they are as chaotic as the Yankees."
..."We had the appearance of complete chaos aft the 1995 season, when Buck [Showalter] left, and Stick [Gene Michael] was re-assigned, and we made a bunch of unpopular moves," [Brian] Cashman said. "And from those ashes something else rose in 1996 (a world championship). So we need to be very cautious. Boston lost a great executive in Theo, but that ownership group already has shown what it is capable of by hiring Theo. For the Yankees to take advantage, we better soley concentrate on our problems."
The Yankee coaching staff just got a bit hotter as the team officially announced Larry Bowa as its new third base coach. Tony Pena is expected to replace Luis Sojo at first, and Ron Guidry is the front-runner to become the new pitching coach (with Joe Kerrigan operating out of the bullpen). It is anticipated that Lee Maz will be Joe Torre's bench coach as well.