Eric Byrnes is probably going to retire

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Softball player Eric Byrnes, who was released by the Mariners on Sunday, says that he may retire. From MLB.com:

“I think this
is the end. You never say never, but I think
this is it. Parts of 11 seasons, man — I gave everything I had to the
game. I can look myself in the mirror and know that I gave it my all.
I’m proud of that.”

Byrnes was always a fun player to watch. That is, unless your team was paying him way too much money based on what he did for one playoff push back in 2007.  But based on all of his recent injuries and ineffectiveness, he’s probably being pretty realistic about his future as a player.

He did some stuff for FOX a couple of years ago. You have to figure, therefore, that he’s going to want to get into broadcasting.

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.”