In the moment it seemed impossible that Mike Napoli would stay in the game to run the bases, let alone catch the final six (or as it turned out eight) innings, but his ugly looking ankle injury turned out to be less severe than it appeared.
X-rays taken immediately after the game were negative and Napoli told reporters that he expects to play in Game 7 tonight:
There’s one game left. We’ll get out there tomorrow and lay it on the line and hopefully the best things happen for us. I’m going to do whatever I can to stay in. We’re going to do some things tomorrow and try to get me back out there again.
“Some things” probably include a pain-killer or two, although it depends on what Napoli’s ankle looks like when he shows up at the ballpark this afternoon. Adrenaline no doubt helped him play through the pain last night, so it might actually be more difficult for him tonight.
Not only did Napoli go 2-for-3 with an RBI single in Game 6, he made a great play to pick off Matt Holliday from third base in the sixth inning. He’s just the third player in baseball history with 10 or more RBIs in one World Series and will enter Game 7 as the presumed MVP pick if the Rangers win.
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.”