FEBRUARY 22, 2005: Sean Casey signs autographs for fans at spring training in Sarasota. Spring Autograph 5 02 22 Jpg

Former MLB first baseman Sean Casey is the new hitting coach for the New York Yankees. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report.

Casey never played for the Yankees, nor has he ever coached. He retired after a 12-year career in 2008 and became an analyst for MLB Network. Casey was a .302 lifetime hitter who played for the Reds, Pirates, Tigers, and Red Sox. His lefty bat also had some pop and slugged 130 home runs.

While in Cincinnati, the three-time All-Star was a teammate of Yankees skipper Aaron Boone.

At face value, this is a desperation hire. Dillon Lawson was fired right before the All-Star Break and the Yankees needed a hitting coach who could be ready Friday. A veteran like Chili Davis would probably want some security beyond this year, but that could change depending on how the Yankees finish.

In Sean Casey, the Yankees get what they need for their lineup right now. He’s a former player who can probably just talk pure hitting with veterans like DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, and even Josh Donaldson. The Yankees are just hoping he finds enough of a common ground with everyone so that the ship doesn’t sink so fast while Aaron Judge recovers from his injured toe.

In essence, that’s why the Yankees hired Sean Casey. He’s someone they could hire at a fairly low cost who probably understands hitting well enough that he can at least get the main bats back on track. He’s so beloved in baseball to the point of being called “The Mayor” because he’s that friendly.

This writer, for one, is cautiously optimistic. Losing the shift means baseball no longer needs to lean on three true outcomes. Players don’t need to hit over anything anymore and can just, well, hit.

At this rate, anyone is an improvement over the overly analytical Lawson.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.