Red Sox and Reds team up to promote Kevin Youkilis and Joey Votto for the All-Star game

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Kevin Youkilis is a Cincinnati native and starred at the University of Cincinnati before being drafted by the Red Sox, so the Reds are helping to promote him for the All-Star game in the MLB.com “Final Vote” contest.
In return the Red Sox are doing the same for Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who isn’t a Boston native but is the most deserving of the current All-Star snubs.
As part of the alliance fans can vote for Votto via the Red Sox’s website and Youkilis via the Reds’ website, and both teams will also be trolling for duel votes via Twitter, Facebook, and their television and radio broadcasts. Plus, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com various Reds players plan to wear “Vote Votto-Youkilis” t-shirts during batting practice.
In related news, 1975 was a long time ago.

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.”