Yankees relieve long-time pitching guru Billy Connors of duties

Game 147: The Return of Andy Pettitte
Pettitte strong in return as Yankees take Game One of doubleheader from Blue Jays

Via George King, the Yankees have relieved long-time VP of Player Personnel Billy Connors of his duties, effectively immediately. He has been offered the opportunity to remain with the team during Spring Training, but otherwise his role within the organization has changed. Brian Cashman would not confirm if Connors was fired, demoted, or reassigned.

Connors has thrice served as the team’s pitching coach (1989-1990, 1994-1995, 2000) and has been a big part of the Tampa-based portion of the front office since 1996. He was George Steinbrenner‘s long-time pitching guru and has worn many hats during his tenure with the Yankees, most recently working with minor league pitchers during their injury rehab. I have absolutely no idea what the change means for the organization or anything like that, but I’m pretty sure there’s no chance the change would have been had had The Boss still been running things.

Game 147: The Return of Andy Pettitte
Pettitte strong in return as Yankees take Game One of doubleheader from Blue Jays
  • JoeyA

    I wish I had more incite into what could be directly derived from his work with NYY. I know thats hard to do, but how exactly has he impacted the org. over last 20yrs or so?

    • Mattydog

      He was a waste of a paycheck.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I have no idea how much of this falls on Connors(if any at all) but
    Since Andy Pettitte How many SP’s have we developed that have turned into front end starters?
    As an organization, we really need to improve in the pitcher development front, and hopefully this is a step in that direction.

    • Ted Nelson

      Can’t look at how they turned out without accounting for the talent they had coming in.

      • Mattydog

        Goes back to weak amateur scouting.

  • Marcy

    I wrote a comment about this a while ago. You’d have to think Cashman has an idea — he’s not the kind of guy to relieve Billy of his duties without a replacement. I know he wanted Peterson but Peterson sat out and worked w/Dr. Andrews and now he’s using what he learned w/the O’s.
    Cash is so into “the numbers” he makes Girardi look like a manage from the gut kind of guy.
    I know they went after Mazzone years back but that was for pitching coach and he’s not a numbers kind of guy.

    OMG – that last play!

  • Braun

    Sounds like a tool that sucks at what he did that only got there because he was friends with the boss.

    • Vincent

      He went to high school with my cousin, and by all his accounts he was “less than likable”. Can’t say I’m surprised he rubbed other people the wrong way.

  • Marcy

    OK, are we done with Andrew Jones now? The “he was brought here to hit lefties” just isn’t going to cut it again. That may have been why they brought him but if a youngster laid down a good bunt wouldn’t he beat out an older Oliver?

  • Marcy

    No – that’s wrong and if they thought it were true he would have been gone a long time ago. He’s not a young man..and hasn’t been for a long time.

    • Marcy

      That was to Braun

  • chris

    Hire who ever does the same job for the mariners or the braves.

    • dan

      I think Safeco does it for the Mariners…that’s gonna be a tough sign

    • Ted Nelson

      Hire whoever rehabs injured minor leaguers for those teams? What impact are you expecting that to have exactly?

  • guest

    with the boss gone is this a sign of Cashman’s increased influence bringing the balance of power north? Thinking maybe Connors becomes the fall guy for Pineda’s DUI/attitude?

  • http://none Ton Lon ton

    Good riddance says us all including Lindsey lohannnnnnnnnn

  • RetroRob

    The guy is 70. It’s interesting they said he was releaved of his duties and simply didn’t allow him to retire. That says there’s some story here.

  • Smart Guy

    this is great hopefully nardi contreras follows him and we can start fresh

    • Rich in NJ

      Like yesterday.

  • Pat D

    Until Cash or someone above him says so, I’m just going to take this as a “we need a change in direction” type of step. I’m sure it has to do with frustrations with lack of overall pitching development, like some others have indicated.

    • Ted Nelson

      I doubt it. The guy was rehabbing injured minor leaguers. Seems like he was already sent to Siberia. Maybe he was still agitating from that position or had pull due to his seniority, but if you wanted to change direction you’d probably replace someone with a job that is actually of some consequence to the success of the organization.

  • Mark L.

    I was always a little suspicious of them employing a “pitching guru” who was too fat to walk. I’m basing this off of always seeing him mounted on a golf cart. I don’t know if he has some kind of medical condition or something.

  • JScott

    Personally I’ll miss those periodic recapitulations of the Billy and Seka days of yore.

  • David

    Melky and IPK for Safeco Field?

  • Samuel

    Next move neds to be the immediate dismissal of Nardi Contreras, who is the roving pitching guru for the minor leagues for the last 10 years or so.

    His policies have done NOTHING but produce mediocre talent and injured young arms.