Fernando Rodney has the lowest ERA in baseball history

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Fernando Rodney had to go and ruin his perfect statistical match with Dennis Eckersley’s historic 1990 season by throwing a scoreless inning last night, moving past Eckersley for the best ERA of all time among pitchers with 50-plus innings.

Technically they both still have a 0.61 ERA, but Rodney has now allowed five earned runs in 74.1 innings while Eckersley allowed five earned runs in 73.1 innings. So it’s officially Rodney at 0.605 and Eckersley at 0.614.

Here’s what the rest of the leaderboard now looks like:

                     YEAR       IP      ERA
Fernando Rodney      2012     74.1     0.61
Dennis Eckersley     1990     73.1     0.61
Rob Murphy           1986     50.1     0.72
Earl Hamilton        1918     54.0     0.83
Nick Maddox          1907     54.0     0.83

What a weird list and what a crazy season at age 35 for Rodney, who prior to this season had posted an ERA worse than 4.00 in five straight years and had more walks than strikeouts in 2011.

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.”