The Red Sox don't need an insurance company; they ARE an insurance company

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Interesting story about Red Sox owner John Henry’s
approach to insurance on player contracts. Seems that back when he
owned the Marlins Henry had a really bad experience dealing with an
insurance company while trying to make a claim on an Alex Fernandez. 
So he’s now eschewing insurance on player contracts and is doing two
things. First:

The philosophy would seem to explain the Red Sox’ desire in some case
to protect themselves without the use of insurance when it came to some
free agent contracts, such as J.D. Drew, John Lackey, and what was
attempted in the case of Jason Bay. The the thinking is if there is
some problems with a pre-existing ailment in the latter years of the
contract than the financial structure would change.

Second:

According to Bay, the approached factored in two-fold when the Red Sox’
final offer was made. The outfielder said that not only did the Sox’
want to have the final year of the four-year contract proposal
contingent on health, but he also relayed that the Sox would agree to
get insurance but only if the player paid half (which would have come
out to a total of $2 million).

To
sum up: Henry’s bad experience with an insurance company has caused him
to (1) take a hard line on pre-existing conditions; and (2) demand
large deductibles. In light of this, it would seem that in the case of the Red Sox anything an insurance company could do would be redundant.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”