Alex Rodriguez scratched from lineup with flu-like symptoms

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According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Alex Rodriguez was scratched from today’s lineup against the Orioles due to flu-like symptoms. In his absence, Mark Reynolds will slot in at third base while Lyle Overbay will play first base.

Rodriguez is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with two home runs and four RBI during his current six-game hitting streak, so he’ll be missed as the Yankees attempt to jump the Orioles in the AL Wild Card race. However, there’s a good chance he’ll be ready to go in the next day or so.

Rodriguez is batting .280/.359/.451 with four home runs, 10 RBI, and an .810 OPS in 92 plate appearances since joining the Yankees last month.

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.”