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11/16/10 8:50 PM EST
Yanks diligent in search for pitching coach
Club using extensive video analysis to find right candidate
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Yankees will not choose their next pitching coach in some corner office in New York or Tampa, Fla., nor in some ordinary hotel conference room. They will do so at home, in the Bronx, in front of a bank of video monitors at Yankee Stadium. As part of the process to find the club's next pitching coach, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi have been presenting candidates with identical six-hour blocks of game film, grilling them both about their own pitchers and opposing teams' hitters. They want to see if the candidates have the same eye for pitching that they do, if the candidates can spot the same strengths and inconsistencies that they can. There will be no need for second-round interviews, because the Yankees have exhausted each candidate with intensive two-day sessions. In that manner, they hope they will come to the best possible decision regarding a replacement for Dave Eiland, whom the team dismissed as pitching coach last month. "It's like a simulator," Cashman said Tuesday at the General Managers Meetings. "I'm getting what I need: information." Through their video-intensive interview process, the team has safeguarded itself against smooth talkers and strong interviewers. The Yankees care about personality, yes, but they care more about ability. And because they rely so heavily on video throughout the season, the Yankees want to hire a pitching coach who boasts the same eye for detail. If they believe one of their pitchers has a slight mechanical flaw, for example, they want to make sure their new coach can spot it, too. If they think an opposing hitter has proven vulnerable to low-and-outside sliders, they want their new pitching coach to reach the same conclusion. In short, the Yankees developed this interview process to find a candidate who agrees with the philosophies they already have in place. They want someone who quite literally sees the same way they do. "There could be some wrong answers if what they see and what we see are radically different," Cashman said. "It's interesting to compare the same videos that they're all seeing to their answers, and also to what we're seeing." Cashman wouldn't put a timeline on the interview process, nor would he announce any details regarding the candidates. But he is confident that the Yankees will eventually find the right candidate, simply because he is confident the club has developed a strong interview process. "If the process is good," Cashman said, "the results should be good." And because he and Girardi usually agree on personnel decisions, there shouldn't be much contention. "I wouldn't allow him to hire someone that I didn't want," Cashman said, "but I wouldn't hire someone and force him on [Girardi] if he didn't want him. I've always been that way, whether it was Joe Torre or Joe Girardi. It would never work that way. It's a collaborative effort."