Bored during summer off, Brad Ausmus ready to provide advice as Aaron Boone’s Yankees bench coach

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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to reporters before a Game 4 of an American League Championship baseball series at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — After serving as Mark Kotsay’s bench coach with Oakland in 2022, Brad Ausmus stayed home in California this year.

“This past summer I didn’t do anything. I got a little bit bored, to be honest with you,” he said Tuesday, a week after he was hired as Aaron Boone’s bench coach with the New York Yankees. “I enjoy the game. I enjoy the strategy. I enjoy the people, and there’s no grander stage than New York City.”

Ausmus managed Detroit from 2014-17 and the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, winning the AL Central at 90-72 in his first season with the Tigers before Baltimore swept Detroit in a Division Series. With the Yankees he replaces Carlos Mendoza, who left to manage the Mets.

“The main aspect of a bench coach’s job is to make sure that the manager has all the information that he needs to make a decision and, if necessary, maybe push him toward one decision or another, or try to coax him in one direction or another if I feel strongly about it,” Ausmus said.

He began his professional career with the Yankees organization after New York selected him in the 48th round of the 1987 amateur draft. A Dartmouth graduate who attended college while still in the minor leagues, the catcher was taken by Colorado in the expansion draft ahead of the 1993 season.

Ausmus was traded to San Diego and made his major league debut on July 28, 1993. Ausmus hit .251 with 80 homers and 607 RBIs in 18 seasons for the Padres (1993-96), Detroit (1996, 1999-2000) and Houston (1997-98, 2001-08). He has a 386-422 record as a manager.

“I used to do the scouting reports in Houston for almost a decade and it was based on data, and then I would put it into play in the game and I found that the data was probably right 85%, but you have to use your eyes, as well,” Ausmus said. “It’s not a vacuum out there.”

New York went 82-80 this past season, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Yankees haven’t reached the World Series since winning the 2009 title.

“Every single year they’re going to try and win the World Series and that can’t be said about every organization,” Ausmus said. “I want to be part of a World Series team.”

He becomes the second new Yankees coach for 2024. James Rowson was hired as hitting coach to replace Sean Casey, who took over from Dillon Lawson at the All-Star break and decided not to return.

Ausmus likes the interaction with players in the coaching role.

“The bench coach is a little more free to kind of interact with the players,” he said. “You’re not the point man. You’re not the guy in charge, so it’s easier to build relationships with players. There’s more camaraderie.”

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