Yankees Rumors: Tigers could poach NYY hitting coach for managerial job
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees might lose Marcus Thames to a promotion with the Tigers this offseason.
Remember when Yankees fans were trying to determine if hitting coach Marcus Thames was partially responsible for the team’s offensive slide? Ahh, feels like just yesterday.
Clearly, all this roster needed was a little motivation, as they’ve reeled off 10 straight wins, many of them clear bludgeonings, as Thames’ star has continued to rise.
Thames has been a beloved figure in this game ever since he cracked a homer off Randy Johnson in the very first at-bat of his MLB career, mostly making his impact in both the Bronx and Detroit, the city he starred in from 2004-2009, including a World Series run in ’06.
And suddenly, there’s at least a chance that Thames will depart New York for Big D once again this offseason, as he’s reportedly a candidate for the recently-vacated managerial opening following the sudden retirement of Ron Gardenhire.
Under Thames’ tutelage in 2020, the Yankees rank third in MLB in OPS+, putting up a remarkable 121 despite a slapdash lineup for much of the season. He’s working with a star-studded crew, of course, but has done much of his best work uncovering diamonds in the rough to fill gaps — and we can’t say enough about Clint Frazier’s stance tweak prior to the ’20 season.
Unfortunately, Thames is likely to run up against many candidates once the season ends, one of whom probably deserves more than a year out of the game of baseball for karmic retribution.
Ahh, yes. Should we hire a well-respected Yankees coach who’s beloved in Detroit, or a cheating kingpin who hated his own cheating scheme so much he smashed monitors (??) but profited off of it anyway. A manager who was powerless to stop his own bench coach and veteran players. Powerless!
Hinch can’t be spoken to until his suspension expires after the completion of the season, and Thames will be one of many candidates who’ll be in bubbles for the month of October anyway, along with the Cubs’ Will Venable.
This will take a while to resolve itself, but there’s certainly a chance the Yankees will have a high-profile vacancy after the season that they likely didn’t anticipate.