The Blue Jays and a former V.P. are in pitched legal battle

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Patrick Elster used to be the V.P. of ticket sales for the Toronto Blue Jays. Then he wasn’t, though it wasn’t clear if he was fired or quit.  After he was gone, however, two things happened:

  • The Jays allegedly didn’t make severance payments he was supposed to get; and
  • Elster allegedly spilled the Jays’ confidential financial information in an interview in the Toronto Sun.

Sounds like the latter happened first and then the former, but you can read the details of the lawsuit here.

The thing I find most interesting: V.P.s of ticket sales get six figure bonuses and severance payments. I know some people not too many steps down the ladder from that in front offices who are practically eating Ramen noodles  and selling plasma.

OK, slight exaggeration, but front offices don’t pay a ton for most jobs.

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.”