Ron Guidry, the taut, electrifying left-hander who was my favorite pitcher as a kid, was named as the Yankees’ new pitching coach on Friday. Joe Kerrigan will man the bullpen and presumably show Gator the ropes (as well as care for Randy Johnson, who he coached in the minor leagues back in the 1980s). According to The Daily News:
“It’s not a secret that pitchers don’t throw a lot of complete games anymore,” Guidry said. “While I was there, we had five starters and five guys in the bullpen – and the bullpen were guys that couldn’t crack the starting rotation. … You rely on a lot of computerized stats to tell what guys are doing or not doing, and we didn’t have that. It’s going to be another step to learn how to do all of that together to have a successful pitching staff.”
Of course, Guidry might be able to help the Yanks’ bullpen in another way, too. He and free agent reliever B.J. Ryan both attended the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and the Yanks surely will use Guidry in their recruiting of Ryan.
I have no idea whether or not Guidry is well-suited for the job or if he’ll becine an effective coach. But he is a fan favorite in New York and was a terrific Yankee so he’ll be given the benefit of the doubt to start. Just wait until the first losing streak when Gator gets some of what Mel Stottlemyre put up with…but then again, there is no doubt that he’ll be ready for that.