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A clash over the coaches?

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On Sunday and again on Monday, Joe Girardi said he did not anticipate making any changes to his coaching staff before 2009. The question seemed to surprise him.

Brian Cashman got the same question yesterday and said it was something they had to discuss during the coming organizational meetings.

That could well mean nothing happens. Cashman very rarely gives yes or no answers to anything at this time of the year. Or it could mean that the GM and the manager will be having a very serious discussion sometime soon.

Pitching coach Dave Eiland is safe. I also think the Yankees still have faith in hitting coach Kevin Long, albeit a little less than they used to.

The question will revolve around third base coach Bobby Meacham. He was one of Girardi’s choices for the staff last fall and he had a rocky first season, making a bunch of mistakes with runners. But the bigger problem – as George King of the Post wrote today – may be that Girardi leaned more on Meacham than his other coaches for advice.

One way or another, and I have written this before, the Yankees need somebody who will be more of a presence around the players.

I know some people want Willie Randolph to come back. But his ego is unlikely to allow that. He also can sit around for a year and collect his paycheck from the Mets. Paul O’Neill wants nothing to do with doing more games for YES that he already does, he’s certainly not making a six-month commitment to be away from his family.

Tino Martinez? Luis Sojo? Somebody from outside? There are a lot of possibilities.