Ausmus excited for 'great opportunity' with Yankees

Former big league manager introduced as Boone's bench coach

November 28th, 2023

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have hired as their new bench coach under manager Aaron Boone, the club announced on Tuesday.

The Bronx Bombers had a vacancy in that spot after Carlos Mendoza moved across town to take over as the new manager of the Mets.

"I enjoy the game, I enjoy the strategy, I enjoy the people," Ausmus said during a Zoom conference call on Tuesday. "There's no grander stage than New York City. I started with the Yankees when they drafted me out of high school. They're always looking to win a World Series, and I've never won a World Series. It just seemed like a great fit and a great opportunity." 

Ausmus was selected by the Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 Draft. He turns 55 in April and will bring five years of MLB managerial experience to his new role.

The New Haven, Conn., native and Dartmouth alumnus managed the Tigers from 2014-17 and the Angels in 2019, going a combined 314-332 in those stints.

"The bench coach has got to make sure the manager is prepared, whether it's pregame or in-game," Ausmus said. "There are some smaller roles in between, but the bench coach's main job is to make sure that a manager has all of the information he needs to make a decision, and if necessary, try to coax him in one direction or another if I feel strongly about it." 

Additionally, Ausmus brings a wealth of experience gleaned from his 18 years as a big league catcher for the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Dodgers. Ausmus collected 1,579 hits and won three Gold Glove Awards during his career.

Ausmus said that his style will be a blend of analytical data with traditional baseball information.

"Truth is, a lot of the data is extremely valuable. But so is experience," Ausmus said. "I put a lot of stock into decision-making that is based on data; this goes back to me being a catcher, when I used to do the scouting reports in Houston for almost a decade. It was based on data and then I would put it into play in the game. 

"I found that the data was probably right 85 percent, but you have to use your eyes as well. It's not a vacuum out there. You have to use your eyes and your experience. I put a lot of emphasis on data, but it is not the entire answer to winning baseball games."

Ausmus' Yankees tenure as a player spanned five seasons, attending college and pursuing his degree while playing in the Minors. Ausmus reached Triple-A Columbus in 1992 before being selected by the Rockies in the Expansion Draft.

He becomes the third bench coach to fill the role for the Yanks during Boone’s managerial tenure, following Mendoza and Josh Bard.

Earlier this offseason, the Yankees filled their hitting coach vacancy by hiring James Rowson to replace Sean Casey, who said that he would not return due to family concerns.

"[The Yankees are] a very talented team," Ausmus said. "There were some injury issues last year, and there are some guys coming back from injury that didn't get fully up to speed in terms of health. This is the Yankees -- every single year, they're going to try to win the World Series. That can't be said about every single organization, and I want to be part of a World Series team."