Jason Giambi now a “legitimate” candidate for Rockies gig

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Troy Renck, beat writer for the Denver Post, provides the scoop:

There are no misperceptions of his intentions. Jason Giambi wants to become the next manager of the Rockies.

He is willing to retire as a player to make this happen. He is willing to work within the framework of baseball’s most unusual infrastructure.

Giambi’s candidacy went from intriguing to legitimate after his impressive interview Thursday. He is expected to have another meeting, likely with general manager Dan O’Dowd and owner Dick Monfort.

Renck says the Rockies “aren’t even sure they will look at outside candidates anymore” because of how well Giambi has been received.

This all may seem a bit odd, but consider that the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny — who entered the season without a lick of managerial experience — has guided his team to within one victory of the World Series.

And Matheny’s hitting coach, Mark McGwire, is an admitted former steroid user just like Giambi.

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.”