Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees tonight in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles and yesterday the 40-year-old left-hander dropped some pretty strong hints that he plans to return in 2013.
“I know the competition and the desire to compete is still there and I don’t feel like I kind of got that itch out from the 70 innings or so that I threw this year,” Pettitte said, via Mark Hale of the New York Post. “I was expecting to do a little bit more work than that.”
He made similar comments upon returning from the disabled list last month, basically saying that he was initially certain this would be his final season but started changing his mind after breaking his ankle.
Performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for Pettitte to call it quits, as he posted a 2.87 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio in 75 innings for his best ERA and K/BB ratio since 2005 and his best strikeout rate since 2004.
And now he’s starting Game 2 of the playoffs for the team with the best record in the league.
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.”