Sustaining regular season success in October might be more difficult than most Yankees fans realize. Just take it from the Dodgers, who are systemically allergic to translating 100+ win regular seasons into any semblance of a postseason offense.
Therefore, it would make sense for any team -- juggernaut or middling or near-disaster -- to lean on the lessons and expertise of their former players who've done it before. It would be even more helpful if said players had, I don't know, done it three or four or even five times over the course of a short length of time. That level of championship acumen could be particularly fruitful.
The Yankees sent some shockwaves through the commentary-verse (briefly) this season when former Core Four member Andy Pettitte showed up out of nowhere in an advisory role. Later, Aaron Boone clarified that Pettitte had done some semblance of this work before, and had been "invited back" a few spring trainings ago to continue in that capacity essentially whenever he wanted. The lefty chose to make himself more available this summer, and the Yankees naturally obliged. Pitching coach Matt Blake would not be squeezed out in response. Instead, a legend would simply pop by from time to time to counter, endorse, or pitch alternative theories for a frank discussion.
Whether the Yankees want to add any enforcers or innovators from their '90s dynasty to the permanent staff is up for debate (Jorge Posada: Anger Coach?). But this week, as we continue to ruminate, The Athletic (subscription required) submitted plenty of great names for approval this week, as the Yankees look to recapture some of the missing edge they've lost since 2009.
Yankees should bring more World Champions into locker room on coaching staff
"Would the Yankees try to twist the arm of Nick Swisher to bring the energy, positivity and experience he’s invested in the team’s minor leaguers in recent years to join their bench? What about someone like Tino Martinez, who coached in the Cape Cod League this summer? Or even David Cone, who was interviewed for the pitching coach job that went to Matt Blake and has stayed close to the field in his TV roles for ESPN and the YES Network? Scott Brosius is beloved by the fan base and has coached in college and with the Seattle Mariners. Would the retired third baseman be an option? Willie Randolph lives nearby in New Jersey and would likely love a chance to be around the game full-time again."- Brendan Kuty, The Athletic
This isn't nice, but ... are we sure the affable Sean Casey has more to add, mechanically, than Swisher? Perhaps the team could retain Casey and make Swisher a bench coach/vibe coordinator?
Swisher seems like the most viable addition -- he's reportedly been involved in personnel decisions since at least the end of last season -- and Cone is always around the team when he's not prepping for Sunday Night Baseball. Let it be stated here that I've always thought Cone could be an exceptional manager, with the unique ability to blend modern analytics with a bulldog mentality (not to mention he's got a legendary partying past, an extremely relatable thing to have). He lost out on the pitching coach job to Blake a few years back, but belongs in the dugout when ready.
Beyond Cone, the Yankees should bring Randolph around the team more often. Invite Martinez. Invite Brosius. Leave no stone unturned. Of all The Athletic's offseason predictions, this one is by far the least costly and the easiest to execute. You can't have too many cooks in the kitchen if they all have winning DNA. Forget about the budget; I'm rubber-stamping this one yesterday. Figure out how to harness playoff energy before the Dodgers do. We're counting on you.