Michael Young has played 10 seasons in the majors, accumulating 6,632 plate appearances in 1,492 games for the Rangers while making six All-Star teams, winning a batting title, and hitting .301/.348/.450 with 1,832 hits.
And next month he’ll play in a postseason game for the first time.
In terms of career games without a playoff appearance Young has the second-longest drought among active players, with his 1,492 games (and counting) trailing only Randy Winn at 1,704. By signing with the Yankees this offseason Winn seemed likely to break his playoff-less streak and even after being released he kept the postseason hopes alive by joining the Cardinals, but St. Louis’ second-half struggleds once again leave him home for October.
Aubrey Huff has the third-longest playoff drought at 1,462 games and has a strong chance to make the postseason with the Giants, while Mike Sweeney will probably snap his 1,450-game drought thanks to joining the Phillies as a bench bat last month. For now, here are the longest active streaks:
Randy Winn 1704
Michael Young 1492
Aubrey Huff 1462
Mike Sweeney 1450
Adam Dunn 1433
Vernon Wells 1377
Jack Wilson 1251
Brian Roberts 1183
Felipe Lopez 1131
Lyle Overbay 1122
Ernie Banks holds the all-time record with 2,528 career games and no playoff appearances.
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.”