The Mets' bench coach talks about the duties of his job and the interesting path he took to the major leagues.
When the Mets hired Dave Jauss to be their bench coach, they brought on board a true baseball man. The 53-year-old Jauss has spent his entire adult life in the game, performing a cornucopia of roles for a multitude of organizations. After getting his feet wet in independent ball and the college ranks, the Amherst College grad spent three years as a minor-league manager in the Expos system before moving on to the Red Sox, for whom he served as a first base coach, minor-league field coordinator, bench coach, director of player development, and major-league advance scout. From Boston he went to Los Angeles, where he was Grady Little's bench coach with the Dodgers in 2006 and 2007. For each of the past two seasons, he performed the same role under Dave Trembley, in Baltimore. Jauss, who was hired by the Mets in November, talked about his time in the game during the final month of the 2009 campaign.
Checking out who's in the pool at first, second, third, and short.
There are currently 170 free agents. John Grabow was the 171st, but that was before signing with the Cubs right after the list became official. Over the next couple of days, I'll cover every single one of the 170, with the infielders coming first. Players are listed by position, and ranked within their position subjectively by how good a value I think each can be as a free agent.
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A conversation with Baltimore's new bench coach, from back during the end of his recent spin with the Indians.
Jeff Datz is Dave Trembley's new right-hand man in Baltimore. The 49-year-old Datz was named yesterday to replace bench coach Dave Jauss, who was let go by the Orioles following the regular season. One of a reported 40 candidates considered for the position, Datz has spent the last eight years on the Indians' coaching staff, serving as both a third-base coach and the bench coach under Charlie Manuel and Eric Wedge. Datz was fired along with Wedge and his entire coaching staff with a week to go in the season, and sat down with BP on the final weekend of the 2009 campaign.
A conversation with the Angels' bench coach about in-game tactics, baserunning as an Anaheim brand of baseball, and more.
An often overlooked role in baseball is that of the bench coach, and few do the job better than Ron Roenicke. Mike Scioscia's right-hand man for each of the past four seasons, the 53-year-old Roenicke assumed his current duties after having served as the Angels' third-base coach for six years, stepping in when Joe Maddon left to become the manager in Tampa Bay. Roenicke himself is a candidate for a managerial position, as the former minor league skipper is reportedly among those being considered to fill the vacancy in Cleveland. Roenicke talked about his responsibilities as a bench coach and shared some of his philosophies on the game when the Angels visited Fenway Park in mid-September.
Clay Davenport sent me reams of data on the best fielders in the Gold Glove era. Clay's defensive ratings, which account for context better than any other, are the best non-play-by-play metrics extant, and they formed the basis for most of my balloting. Where I needed more information, such as when I had to fill out more ballot spots than were covered by Clay's data, I tended towards selecting players of recent vintage, whose excellence I can support with performance data, observational evidence and a greater understanding of their reputation.
David Eckstein gets the clutch tag for the rest of his natural life, Gary Sheffield's not a happy little baseball player, plus the ins and outs of a new collective bargaining agreement.
"To me, what separates David is his stature. He's not especially big and especially strong, and he gets beat up. And if you're bigger and stronger, maybe it still hurts, but you have a chance to deal with the blows a little more. And he is just a man of iron. I look at ways guys slide into him and the way they beat him up and everything else he does and the way he responds, (and) I think he's the toughest guy I've ever seen."
--Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on World Series MVP David Eckstein
Constructing a playoff roster is a critical part of advancing through the postseason. Christina breaks down the eight teams.
Bench Assets: If Jim Leyland pinch-runs for Pudge late in a game, Vance Wilson's a thoroughly useful backup catcher. Omar Infante is the Tigers' best reserve, hitting .277/.325/.415, and he's good enough to spot at four different positions. After that, you get into the "why are they here?" players, where only Leyland sees value, and only the opposition wants to see them on the field.