Travis Hafner spent a decade in Cleveland. And, injuries notwithstanding, was pretty popular. Today the Yankees are in Cleveland for the Indians’ home opener. A few minutes ago, during pregame introductions, Hafner was politely applauded by the local fans, no doubt mindful of the good times they all used to have.
Then, just now, in the first inning of the game, Hafner launched a three-run homer off Ubaldo Jimenez. It just so happened to be his 100th career home run in Progressive Field. As he rounded the bases, boos could be heard.
Can’t go home again, I guess. But if you do, may as well hit a 400-foot bomb against your old mates to ease the pain.
The Yankees interviewed Aaron Boone for their managerial vacancy on Friday, and today it was Chris Woodward’s turn. That makes at least five interviews since the offseason began, and Woodward’s likely won’t be the last.
Like fellow candidate Eric Wedge, whom the Yankees interviewed just last week, Woodward has never played or coached for the club. He spent the majority of his 12-year career with the Blue Jays and picked up brief stints with the Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox before returning to Toronto for his final season in 2011. Following retirement, he served as the Mariners’ minor league infield coordinator and infield and first base coach from 2012-2015. During the 2015 offseason, he jumped over to the National League to work with the Dodgers as a third base coach, and saw his first postseason run since the Mets lost to the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.
While Woodward has yet to manage at the major league level, he was named manager of the New Zealand national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. It’s certainly conceivable that the Yankees would prefer a candidate with significant experience leading a major league team, but right now the only person who fits that bill is Eric Wedge — and, well, it’s Eric Wedge.