Adrian Gonzalez made a promise to the Red Sox

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If you can get past the introductory love story about Adrian Gonzalez and his high school sweetheart (and now wife) in Gordon Edes’ latest at ESPN Boston, you’ll read an interesting inside account of the negotiations between Adrian Gonzalez and the Boston Red Sox during their 24-hour negotiating window earlier this month.

Edes reports that Gonzalez and the Red Sox had hashed out a basic framework of a contract extension, but that the Sox were worried about Gonzalez’s shoulder, which he won’t be able to test until the spring.  As a result, the Sox were wary of doing a deal.  At the same time, there was anxiety on the part of the Red Sox that, if Albert Pujols signed an extension between now and then, the parameters discussed by Gonzalez and the team would be out the window and Gonzalez would be asking for a ton more. What to do about the Pujols problem? Adrian Gonzalez had an answer:

“That was one of their comments, what if he gets this humongous deal and you want to be closer to him?” Gonzalez said. “I said, ‘Trust me. What the market is today might change by then, but we’re going to negotiate based on what the market is today.”’

That’s a pretty bold promise. In many ways a noble one. But at the same time, maybe a foolish one too.  Under such circumstances, Gonzalez accepts all of the risk of waiting several months to do an extension yet reaps none of the rewards if that waiting turns out to be to his benefit.

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.”