ESPN Classic to show Roger Clemens’ start Saturday

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Roger Clemens’ comeback outing for the Sugar Land Skeeters will be shown on ESPN Classic and ESPN3.com on Saturday night, with the game slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. ET.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Clemens isn’t exactly going on a media blackout for the affair; he’s slated to do a pregame interview for ESPN Classic and a postgame interview for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

It will be Roger’s first game appearance since he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2007 ALDS against the Indians.

The 50-year-old Clemens reportedly topped out at 87 mph during a workout Monday. He’ll be facing a Bridgeport Bluefish team Saturday that includes several former major leaguers, including Shea Hillenbrand (hitting .194), Joey Gathright and Willie Otanez.

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.”