King: Raul Ibanez Interested In Yankees Hitting Coach Position
As the Yankees search for a hitting coach to replace Kevin Long continues a new name has been thrown into the mix. According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Raul Ibanez has interest in the vacant position. King reports that after the Royals Game seven World Series loss to the San Francisco Giants, the Yankees contacted the 42-year old Ibanez about possibly joining the Yankees as a coach. Ibanez played in pinstripes back in 2012 when he batted .240 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI. Could he possibly return to the Bronx to help lead the current club?
We all remember the moment Ibanez became forever etched in Yankees’ lore. Bottom of the ninth in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles. Jim Johnson on the mound trying to preserve a 2-1 Baltimore lead. The Yankees sat Alex Rodriguez and sent Raul up to pinch hit. He promptly smashed a home run to tie the game up. In the 12th inning he came to the plate again, this time against Brian Matusz, and launched his second home run to walk off the game. It was one of the highlights of 21st century postseason and it endeared Ibanez to Yankees fans forever. He’d be welcomed back to the team with open arms.
A career .272 hitter with 305 home runs Ibanez has put up a very consistent 19 year career. Ned Yost of the Royals has praised Ibanez for his leadership on the team and the story of his words during a team meeting having turned the season around is well known. His teammates love him and his veteran knowledge is invaluable.
With an inevitable fusion of youth coming next season Ibanez would really be a nice voice in the clubhouse. Even the older players on the team are younger than Ibanez and would make good use of his insight and advice. Will this interest of Ibanez turn into a full time job as the Yankees hitting coach? We’ll have to wait and see.