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Sunday, August 19, 2012

NY Times: In Major League Baseball, Bench Coaches Assume Growing Role

The bench coach role gained widespread attention in 1996 when Don Zimmer took his years of accumulated wisdom to assist Joe Torre in transforming the Yankees into perennial winners. Torre had been a conservative manager, and he credited Zimmer with pushing him to be more aggressive, though Zimmer told Esquire in 2001 that his position was “a joke.”

“I sit next to Torre on the bench,” he said. “When he plays a hit-and-run that works, I say, ‘Nice goin’, Skipper,’ and if it doesn’t work, I go down to the other end of the bench, get a drink, and get out of his way.”

That assessment would seem to jibe with a perhaps apocryphal exchange in Montreal in the 1980s when the Expos bench coach Vern Rapp suggested a pinch-runner to Manager Dick Williams. “Hey Vern,” Williams is said to have replied, “that washroom down the tunnel, go see if there is enough toilet paper on the roll; that’s your job.”

bobm Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:12 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bench coaches

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