Yankees’ new bench coach Ausmus opens up: Boone’s influence and off-pitch friendship revealed
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The New York Yankees‘ newly appointed bench coach, Brad Ausmus, shared insights into his return to baseball, his connection with manager Aaron Boone, and his perspective on the balance between analytics and traditional baseball philosophies during a recent Zoom call with reporters.
“This past summer, I didn’t do anything. I got a little bit bored, to be honest with you,” Ausmus said Tuesday on a Zoom call with reporters, introduced as the Yankees’ new bench coach. “I enjoy the game. I enjoy the strategy. I enjoy the people.”
Despite the allure of a summer without responsibilities, Ausmus, having spent a lifetime in baseball, found himself restless and eager to stay connected to the game. The call to become the Yankees’ bench coach came from general manager Brian Cashman, who gauged Ausmus’ interest in the vacancy. Ausmus expressed his excitement about the opportunity to don the pinstripes nearly four decades after being drafted by the Yankees, citing the grand stage of New York City and the team’s perennial quest for a World Series title as motivating factors.
Harnessing experience and wisdom: Ausmus’ arrival as Yankees’ bench coach
Having been selected by the Yankees in the 1987 MLB draft, Ausmus had a brief stint in the team’s farm system before embarking on an 18-season playing career, including managerial roles with the Tigers and Angels. In 2022, he served as the bench coach for the Athletics. Ausmus emphasized his desire to be part of a World Series-winning team and highlighted the Yankees’ commitment to championship contention as a major draw for him.
Ausmus reflected on his relationship with manager Aaron Boone, acknowledging their history of playing against each other in the National League Central. While they haven’t shared a dugout before, they have maintained a friendship over the years. Ausmus noted their common connections and shared experiences, indicating a positive foundation for their working relationship.
“I’ve known Boonie mostly from playing against him,” Ausmus said. “We were both in the National League Central for years. He was with Cincinnati and I was with Houston. But we’ve got a similar friend group where we know a lot of the same people. Of course, we’ve been across the diamond from each other in a staff position as well. He did come to a Christmas party that I had one time years ago, him and his wife, so I do know him. I wouldn’t say that Boonie and I have stayed in regular touch but we’ve always been friends across the field.”
As the new bench coach, Ausmus recognizes the importance of a strong bond with Boone, emphasizing the bench coach’s role in supporting the manager with essential information and assisting in decision-making. He outlined the primary responsibility of a bench coach as ensuring the manager has all the necessary information while offering guidance when needed. Ausmus also highlighted the bench coach’s role in building relationships with players, fostering camaraderie, and acting as a bridge between the players and the coaching staff.
On the topic of analytics, Ausmus expressed a balanced perspective, drawing from his experience as both a player and a manager. He acknowledged the significance of data in team-building and decision-making, emphasizing its value. Drawing on his time as a catcher for the Astros, he shared his approach of putting together scouting reports based on data, which proved accurate 85 percent of the time. However, Ausmus emphasized that while data is crucial, it is not the sole determinant of success in baseball. He stressed the importance of incorporating experience and observational skills, emphasizing the need to “use your eyes” alongside data-driven decision-making.
In joining the Yankees, Ausmus brings a wealth of experience, a deep connection with the game, and a balanced perspective on the blend of analytics and traditional baseball wisdom, making him a valuable addition to the coaching staff as they aim for success in the upcoming season.
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