Alex Rodriguez is in the Yankees’ starting lineup tonight after being pinch-hit for last night, but manager Joe Girardi has decided to drop him from third to fifth.
Raul Ibanez, who came off the bench to pinch-hit for Rodriguez and became the hero with two homers, is back on the bench because the Orioles are starting a left-handed pitcher in Joe Saunders.
But wait, there’s more. Derek Jeter is starting at designated hitter after leaving last night’s game with a foot injury, which means Jayson Nix is the Yankees’ shortstop tonight and Rodriguez is back at third base after serving as the DH last night.
Here’s the full Yankees lineup for Game 4 of the ALDS:
1. Derek Jeter, DH
2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Mark Teixiera, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Jayson Nix, SS
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.”