Coaches Corner – 7/9/13

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by Yankee Todd,

A hot shot rookie.

Lighting up the scoreboard and taking all the highlights on the news!

The talk of the town.

Could he break every record known to man?

Is he a once in a life time type player?

Are we talking about the Dodgers all world rookie Yasiel Puig?

Of course not.

I am describing Kevin Maas, the former Yankee farm hand, who gripped Yankee Nation and gave my brother and I hope in one summer long ago.

We bought a million rookie cards hoping that one day, while Maas was being enshrined into Cooperstown, we would be able to retire comfortably.

Is Yasiel Puig the next Kevin Maas, I seriously doubt it. But his rise to prominence took me back in time.

Maas made his rookie debut in June of 1990.

The Yankees were a joke then. Only true fans followed the team and the YES network wouldn’t have flown with the players the Boss was paying. Bucky Dent was fired that year and everything pointed to another miserable season.

Until a hot shot rookie took NYC by storm. Kevin Maas, a sweet swinging lefty and the next Don Mattingly, took the Bronx by storm.

Maas hit his first dinger on July 4th. The rest is history.

Maas was the fastest player in major league history to hit ten homers (72 at bats)

He also set records for the fastest player to reach 13 and also 15 bombs.

He ended his first season in pinstripes with 21 homers!

My brother Sean went out and bought a Maas jersey. Today he points out its a very tight fitting Robinson Cano jersey.

My brother declined comment regarding Kevin Maas or the fact that the jersey doesn’t quite fit him anymore.

Coach Schott, a die hard Yankee fan, remembers how he took New York and Yankee fans by storm.

Longtime Yankee fan Hector from Texas remembers the name but doesnt remember the hype that surrounded the Maas Man!

Hector points out that Maasmania was before the MLB package allowed anyone, anywhere to watch their favorite teams. We can let him off the hook for living so far away from the Bronx.

Coach Woods, another Texan who grew up a Yankee fan, could not be reached for comment.

Do I think that Puig will flame out as did Kevin Maas?

Heck no, he has so many more tools that Maas did.

So while America debates if Puig should be an All-Star, I am a firm supporter of him representing the National League. I can remember what it was like to watch a hot shot rookie transform a team, a city, and my brother and I!

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I love the fact that the Pistons hired Rasheed Wallace as an assistant coach. I think his connection to the game and credibility with players will make him an excellent resource.

I hope the Knicks sign Meta World Peace. Even with his play declining the last two years, the NYC native could catch lighting in a bottle playing at home for the Knicks next year.

With all the NBA players working out with Hakeem the Dream, I have an idea for the Knicks!! Sign the Dream! I bet he can still play!

The MSG network played a Knicks classic game from the 1993/1994 season recently. The Knicks were playing the 76ers. It was a classic battle of big men that night. Herb Williams and Shawn Bradley. The good old days! I would have loved to watch the game with Chris from Columbus.

Lots has been made about where Lebron will go once his contract is up? Will he return to Cleveland? Stay in Miami? I believe Lebron will stay in Miami and will quietly resign – possibly with a simple post on twitter.

It won’t be anything like the circus that Dwight Howard has become. I remember Howard being a fun loving guy who did impersonations of Eddie Murphy and now late night talk shows are making a joke of the talented big man. What the heck happened?
Laker fan and owner of Norwins Campsite, Derrick Paul (no relation to Chris Paul but having a game similar to Cliff’s) hates Mike D’Antoni but believes the Lakers found their next great big man in the signing of Chris Kaman.

All joking aside, Derrick Paul believes the Lakers are in for some lean years ahead. Both Derrick Paul and myself think that Kaman reminds us of Get A Life actor Chris Elliot. If he plays like the former paperboy, LA will be in for a long season.

I think Howard will be successful in Houston next year because, believe it or it, he will have to respect his coach. Kevin McHale is one of the top 50 players ever to play the game. He has rings and credibility. He will get the most out of the big man. But as Charles Barkley pointed out, if Howard doesn’t win in Houston or can’t work with James Hardin and the Rockets, Howard will be the punch line for many jokes to come.

What about Melo? Will he head west? Not if Mike D’Antoni is still the coach of the Lakers!

My take is Melo stays with the Knicks. He’s a city guy.

I normally never would think a manager from the Yankees or Red Sox should ever be manager of the year for obvious reasons, but Joe Girardi deserves credit for the smoke and mirrors he has orchestrated this year. Last night, the Yankees had six players in the starting line up that were hitting .233 or less.

Regardless of how this season ends, If you would have told me that Lyle Overbay, Luis Ortiz, Chris Stewart, and Vernon Wells would be keys to their success, I would have told you it reminded me of a time where Steve Bye Bye Balboni was the featured bat for the Yanks.

But that is another blog post for another time.

Follow me on twitter @yankee_todd