And That Happened: Monday’s playoff highlights

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Cardinals 12, Nationals 4: Just sayin’, teams that lose their starting pitchers early due to injuries are 2-0 this postseason. If I’m the Giants or the A’s tonight, I hope for Ryan Vogelsong and Brett Anderson to get hurt. The Cardinals blast the Nats, with two homers from Carlos Beltran. About whom, some guy from Long Island probably thinking right now, was merely trolling the Mets from 2005-2011.

Orioles 3, Yankees 2: If you’re a closer, it pays to have a short memory.  Random observation based on watching Jeter misplay a couple of balls during last night’s game and, for that matter, watching two decades of Yankees playoff games: Jeter could drive his car through a crowded school playground, mowing down three score students with multiple fatalities, and whoever is covering the story would talk about how, normally, he’s such a great driver. They’d then describe the tragedy in the passive voice with terms like “the car just went into the kids near the swing set, there. Tough break for Jeter, who normally does not commit multiple acts of vehicular homicide.”

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.”