Great Moments in T-Ball

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My son Carlo — that’s him in the Cubbies cap — has spent the last week in a T-ball camp. Pretty low-key thing. Basically, getting 5 and 6-year-olds used to throwing a ball around, listening to coaches and generally having the first clue of what actually happens in a baseball game.  Keeps ’em off the streets anyway.

I just spent the last hour watching their “game,” which was the culmination of the camp.  It was fun enough.  Coach pitches to them and if they can’t hit it in three tries, they get to smack it off the tee.  Everyone had fun.

Until the ugliness started.

Carlo singled to first.  Then, the next kid hit a bullet. Well, a bullet for a six-year-old, meaning that the ball went past the mound.  Carlo took off from first and rounded second!  But then, realizing he wouldn’t make third, he tried to get back to the bag.  This happened:

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Then, as you might expect, this happened:

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Carlo Hustle.  I can’t say I’m not a little proud.  But I can’t say I’m not a lot worried.

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.”