Ryan Howard sidelined indefinitely after developing an infection

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Matt Gelb of Philly.com reports that Ryan Howard has suffered a setback.  Specifically, on Monday he underwent a procedure to clean an infection from his original wound, and the healing from that procedure will sideline him from action indefinitely.

We first caught wind of this last week when Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported that Howard had “a little setback.”  At the time, Ruben Amaro said his visit to the doctor on Monday was routine.  Not so routine after all, it seems.

The most distressing thing about all of this is how the story even got out.  I’m led to understand that Amaro has mastered the Jedi mind trick.  When he said “it is but a routine procedure … move along,” why did anyone keep digging? Why did they not, due to Amaro’s irresistible persuasion, go on to something else?  I can only assume that Matt Gelb is a Jedi himself and such sorcery does not work on him.  We must be wary in Master Gelb’s presence.

Anyway, more Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome for us.  So we’re all lucky.

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.”