Roger Clemens (and I) will be on NBC SportsTalk tonight

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Roger Clemens is going to make his triumphant (?) return to active baseball tomorrow night for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League.  It could be a dress rehearsal for a late season, Satchel Paige-ish start for the Houston Astros.  But before he does that, he’s making the media rounds.

Tonight’s rounds include joining us on NBC SportsTalk at 6PM Eastern on the NBC Sports Network.  Our host Eric Kuselias will talk to the Rocket at the top of the hour. Eric’s a former lawyer. Let’s see if he can get Clemens to admit that, yep, he and Jim Crane had a late season start for the Astros in the works for a long time now and that it isn’t really just some aw shucks, I just like to pitch thing.

After Clemens is on, they’ll be beaming me in from the My Mom’s Basement’s Studios to talk a bit about this comeback.  Since I’ll be safely ensconced in the fortified compound over 1000 miles away from Clemens, I can actually say what I want with very little fear of being beaned in he head with a baseball.

Tune in. Please. Thank you.

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.”