Brad Ausmus doesn't sound super excited about Yankees bench coach role

He seems to have taken the job out of necessity.
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

From an outsider's perspective, Yankees new bench coach Brad Ausmus provides the team with a veteran presence and de facto co-manager by Aaron Boone's side.

Unfortunately, that presence is only valuable if Ausmus is enthusiastic about the opportunity and ready to be a shoulder Boone can lean on. Instead, based on his interview with Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman this week for their podcast, it sounds like the opportunity in the Bronx was merely a necessary stepping stone to his future endeavors.

When Ausmus was asked why he took a bench coach gig after previously being a manager in two places (Tigers, Angels) and leaving Mark Kotsay's bench in Oakland to pursue greener pastures, he described his past year out of baseball in unsatisfied terms. He left Kotsay, a good friend, in the lurch in order to "try and do something else"/"take a tact to get into the baseball operations side."

Without knowing if he'd ever get another chance to manage, Ausmus determined that his best chance to obtain the level of influence he sought was by rising through the front office ranks. While he interviewed in Houston and was in contention for their open GM job, he did not receive the nod, leading to a season of emptiness and an opportunity in the Bronx he couldn't pass up ... out of compunction.

As Ausmus told Heyman and Sherman, rather flatly, "I was like, 'Well, if I want to get into the game, I gotta do something.' And it's New York. It's the Yankees."

Yankees new bench coach Brad Ausmus nearly earned Astros GM job

Watch the clip. No exclamation point needed.

In essence, Ausmus admitted to not receiving as many bites as he'd hoped last winter following the Astros GM interview ("There wasn't a lot of interest") and decided to step back into the dugout one year after spurning Kotsay's offer of the same position.

Ausmus emerging as a trusted member of Boone's counsel -- and potential future leader -- would be encouraging. For now, though, it sounds like he's mostly biding his time until an opportunity he prefers opens up (or until he can open the eyes that stayed closed to him last offseason).