There was some thought after Derek Jeter was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle late Saturday night that the Yankees might try Alex Rodriguez at shortstop at some point during the remainder of this 2012 postseason. But that will not be happening.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi made it clear to reporters in his postgame press conference at Yankee Stadium that A-Rod will remain either at third base or designated hitter and that Jayson Nix will take over starting duties at short. Eduardo Nunez will also be added to the Yankees’ ALCS roster to provide needed depth.
“No, I wouldn’t do that,” said Girardi on the topic of A-Rod being moved over. “It’s just been too long.”
Nix, 30, batted just .243/.306/.384 in 202 plate appearances during the regular season and has taken only four at-bats in these playoffs. Which of course means that he will wind up winning the ALCS MVP.
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.”