Must-click link: How the Red Sox landed Carl Crawford

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Great story over at Comcast New England today going behind the scenes of the Carl Crawford signing and explaining how Theo got his man. Among the highlights:

  • While meeting with Crawford and his agents, the Red Sox cited J.D. Drew as a player with an aversion to the spotlight who could nonetheless “thrive in Boston.”  Take that J.D. Drew haters;
  • Before the offers were on the table, Crawford, when asked, said that if the offers were equal, he’d pick Boston, which surprised everyone;
  • The Red Sox’ meetings with Jayson Werth were designed to be “misdirection to some other teams.” Or at least that’s what they told Crawford;
  • Contrary to reports that the Angels’ best offer was $108 million, that was merely an introductory lowball (the Red Sox had a lowball offer too, of $117 million). Just before Crawford agreed to go to Boston, the Angels matched the $142 million, based on Crawford’s agents saying that’s what would get the deal done.  When he went to Boston, Angels GM Tony Reagins is livid at Crawford’s agents, thinking that he was told that Crawford would go to Anaheim if they made that offer.  Crawford’s agents nope. That was the money, but there was never any guarantee.
  • Theo yelled “awesome!” from his hotel suite when Crawford accepted the offer. The only thing missing is how it went from “awesome!” to Pete Abraham’s Twitter account so quickly (I think it was there within minutes based on the story). Probably worth listening extra carefully to PeteAbe on future reports from the Red Sox front office.

Highly recommended reading while we wait for Cliff Lee reports.

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.”