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Yankees interview Wedge as candidate for skipper role

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Wedge promises a touchy-feely approach if hired as New York Yankees manager, rejecting the old-school method of publicly challenging players to motivate them.

“If something like that happens today, especially with social media and everything else that’s involved with it, it’s going to have legs, it’s going to be misinterpreted, there’s going to be a lot more opinion about it and it’s going to be one hell of the distraction,” the former Cleveland and Seattle manager said Friday after his interview with the Yankees. “I’d say that that day has probably passed by.”

Joe Girardi criticized Gary Sanchez last August and benched him for a game, saying: “Bottom line, he needs to improve. He’s late getting down.” Sanchez tied for the big league lead with 16 passed balls and was behind the plate for 53 wild pitches, second-most in the majors.

Wedge spoke of a generic player receiving a rebuke from his manager through the media.

“You’re going to have to have one tough cookie to be able to do that and make it work for you,” he said. “For him to get something out of that, he’s going to have to be really tough to be able to handle that and actually digest it to see it’s in his best interest.”

After a decade managing the Yankees, Girardi was told last month that he was not being offered a contract. Wedge became the second person to interview for the job following New York bench coach Rob Thomson on Wednesday.

Sanchez, who turns 25 next month, was an All-Star in his first full big league season.

“He’s still young. He’s still learning. He’s still going through things that he needs to go through and he will continue to go through, but he’ll get better,” said Wedge, a former catcher.

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