A Johnny Damon signing would be one of the most Orioles moves in recent years. And now Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles “appear to have some interest” in him.
Not that signing Damon would be a bad thing. He hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers and 19 steals last year and was actually hampered by his home park. Moving to Baltimore would mean that he wouldn’t get to face Orioles pitching anymore, but Camden Yards would be more friendly to him. And unlike the other DH candidates out there he can still play some left field, albeit not well.
Either way, Damon’s days of helping contenders are likely over. At this point his raison d’être is to try to get as close to 3,000 hits as he can, thereby making him the topic of one of the more frustrating Hall of Fame debates ever. Which should be fun.
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.”