The Dodgers bankruptcy case could, theoretically anyway, stretch into 2012

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The judge in the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case released a hearing schedule this afternoon, and it anticipates ten hearings between the next one on July 20th and the 10th one scheduled for  Jan. 25, 2012.

Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll all be used, of course.  As has been reported, Major League Baseball is considering seizing the franchise via a motion soon.  If that were successful, things could wind up much more quickly. The same thing goes for the results of the July 20th hearing in which the judge will decide whose financing — Frank McCourt’s or the league’s — will keep the team running during the pendency of the case. Again, if baseball wins that one, it could hasten the proceedings and position things for a quicker sale of the team.

But yeah, it’s possible that this thing will drag on until 2012. Or the end of the world if you believe that kind of thing. Whichever comes first.

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.”