NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — He played only one season in the Bronx, but it would be difficult for anyone to say Raul Ibanez didn’t earn his pinstripes.
Now at the end of his playing career, it appears the Yankees haven’t forgotten about him.
According to a report on ESPNNewYork.com, the Bombers would like to talk to Ibanez about a position on the coaching staff. The New York Post recently speculated that the job could be hitting instructor, a job the Yankees have been trying to fill since firing Kevin Long a few weeks ago.
Ibanez, 42, was released by the Los Angeles Angels on June 21 and signed nine days later with Kansas City. He hit .188 with two homers and five RBI in 33 games for the Royals, and was not part of their active playoff roster. He did, however, travel with the team as it made its memorable run to Game 7 of the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants.
Assuming Ibanez retires, he will have completed a 19-year career with a .272 average, 305 homers, 1,207 RBI and 2,034 hits. He played for the Yankees in 2012 and put on a clutch display in the playoffs that won’t soon be forgotten. After hitting 19 homers and driving in 62 runs during the regular season, Ibanez had simply an epic postseason. He became the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in the ninth inning or later in a single postseason when he hit a two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 6-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS.
He burned the Baltimore Orioles during Game 3 of the Division Series, hitting a tying homer in the ninth before winning the game with a blast in the bottom of the 12th.
If indeed the Yankees are eyeing Ibanez for hitting instructor, it’s believed his leadership and approach at the plate as a player will offset his lack of experience as a coach.
The Yankees reportedly interviewed both Chili Davis and Dave Magadan for the job. Davis chose to take the same position with the Boston Red Sox, while Magadan was said to have not done well in the interview.
The Yankees are also trying to fill their first-base coach job. They fired Mick Kelleher the same day they let Long go.
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