Two bench coaches, Don Zimmer and Don Baylor, made their returns to familiar surroundings yesterday. Zimmer is now with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and returned to Legends Field for the first time and Baylor returned to Port St. Lucie after cancer treatments over the winter.
Zimmer's return almost made everything seem normal, that is until he started talking about his old boss. When asked if he would ever speak to George Steinbrenner, Zimmer said, "N-E-V-E-R. Never. It's sad. We were so close, but I'm a human being and I want to be treated like one. I didn't feel like I was." When not talking about The Boss, Zimm was plenty happy, talking to old friends and even getting a good luck head rub by Derek Jeter. Gothamist will miss Zimmer, who will always be our favorite Yankee, especially after last fall.
Don Baylor, returned to the Mets free of the multiple myeloma that struck him last spring training. Baylor underwent off-season treatment for the cancer, which afflicts blood plasma cells, but he's glad to have bounced back, "It was quite an ordeal just to get through. ... But I feel great." All he can do now is take it one step at a time, which Gothamist is sure he will tell the Mets when they are 10 games out of first at the end of April.
In semi-related baseball news, Newsday is letting fans build their own lineup.