A few things to take from Larry Rothschild’s conference call this afternoon.
Why leave the Cubs?
Rothschild grew up in Chicago and was under contract for another season, but he had already asked GM Jim Hendry for the opportunity to pursue jobs that might let him spend more time with his family in Tampa. “The decision because relatively easy because of that,” he said. “And the opportunity with the Yankees doesn’t come along every day.”
Accept the job. Speak to the media. Then what?
Rothschild said he planned to make phone calls immediately, some to current Yankees pitchers to prepare for the future, some to former Cubs pitchers to thank them for the past. Most pitchers won’t start throwing until late next month, so Rothschild can’t begin working on any physical changes right away, but he seems to like video work and he said he wants to get to work as soon as possible. One bonus: He lives within a mile or two of the Yankees spring training complex, so he’ll be there for anyone who shows up early. “If need be I might make a trip or two to see people,” he said.
Not to name names, but there’s this guy named A.J. Burnett…
Part of the interview process involved watching and evaluating video of three Yankees pitchers: CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and — of course — A.J. Burnett. “Right now I haven’t had the time to really look at everything closely,” Rothschild said. “I have done some homework on it, but I’m not prepared at this time to tell you what we’re going to do as far as going forward with A.J. Those conversations will first come between me and him and then we’ll go from there.”
Style? Philosophy? Personal coaching theories?
“I kind of look at guys individually,” Rothschild said. “I can go through the stuff — first-pitch strikes, what to do 0-2, when to pitching inside, all that stuff — but really it depends on the guy’s stuff, his deception and his delivery, and how you analyze that to work with guys. I think the one thing they have to be able to repeat deliveries. It’s something I harp on a lot. If you can repeat a delivery, you should be able to control the ball to an extent.”
Relationship with Joe Girardi
When Rothschild first arrived in Chicago, the Cubs catcher was a veteran named Joe Girardi. “We were comfortable together,” Rothschild said. “To a pitching coach he was very helpful. The relationship was good at that time and I’ve seen him off and on since.”
As a Chicago guy… Cubs or White Sox as a kid?
Wouldn’t you know it, Rothschild’s dad is a lifelong Yankees fan. “This news put a huge smile on his face,” Rothschild said. As a kid, Rothschild would go specifically to watch the Yankees play when they came through Chicago to play the White Sox.