Yankees manager Aaron Boone remains under a cloud, and while the conundrum of fans calling for his firing rises. It’s not gonna happen…
Whenever Yankees manager Aaron Boone‘s name appears here in print, a wave of comments come pouring in, and virtually all of them call for his immediate dismissal.
The claims made by Yankees fans are always the same:
- Boone is incompetent, and his lack of managerial experience has caught up to him.
- Boone can’t manage his bullpen.
- Boone doesn’t hold his players accountable.
- Boone is a puppet who transmits “information” from Brian Cashman’s analytics team to his actions and game-time decisions.
Any one of those points is debatable, but none of it matters because the only thing that counts is the way the Yankees see things.
From The Yankees Viewpoint
From where Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner sit, they see the Yankees and Aaron Boone in a different light.
- There is no reported or even an underlying current of discontent with Boone from the Yankees clubhouse.
- If Boone won’t or can’t hold his players accountable, we will have no problem finding and clearing the team of deadwood at the deadline. Moreover, Boone can’t trade or send players down – that’s beyond his and nearly all manager’s job description.
- The Yankees are nowhere near dead in this thing, and with thirteen games remaining with the Red Sox and meetings with all three last-place teams in the AL coming up, anything can happen.
- It’s usually not a good idea to change horses midstream unless the horse has pulled up totally lame and is incapable of proceeding. And besides, you’d better make sure you have a replacement horse on hand with all the right stuff.
Postscript – July 15, 2021, 9:50 AM ET
How Doable Is It For The Yankees To Finish As A Wild Card
The quick answer is it’s very doable. Here’s what they must do from here on in.
The one assumption I’ll make is that Oakland, the team currently holding the second Wild Card, continues to play their remaining games at their current pace of a .565 winning percentage.
With that, the A’s will finish with 92 wins, setting the bar for the Yankees.
Going into play today, the Yankees have 46 wins, so they need another 46 to get to 92.
With 73 games remaining on the Yankees schedule, this means they need to go 46-27, a .630 winning percentage. Sounds doable, no?
Yankees And Boone: Both Sides
When I write about the Yankees and Aaron Boone, I never fail to mention he has yet to pitch an inning or take an at-bat for the Yankees this year.
It’s the players who play the game; sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they fail. Boone’s only responsibility is to put what he deems as his best player (available at times) in the game for a particular situation.
As a case in point, let’s examine the final blows on Sunday’s debacle in Houston, first with this question.
With the Yankees seemingly on their way to a win, when you saw Boone make the call to Chad Green, did you say to yourself, “Holy crap, what’s he doing? There goes this game…”
I think not because Boone had no other choice at that moment in time but to go to Green, who heretofore had been spectacular of late.
Oh, but there was the Yankees’ designated closer, Aroldis Chapman, on hand too, you say. Seriously, with all of Chapman’s recent failures, plus his penchant for giving up late-inning home runs – you would have gone to him?
Scapegoats Not Needed
Our frustration with the Yankees’ season leaks everywhere, and each day that goes by, our patience gets tested even more.
Finding a scapegoat in these situations usually falls on the manager and one or more of his coaches.
But in reality, we tend to overestimate a manager’s value, even those in the Hall of Fame today.
A study conducted by FiveThirtyEight concluded that:
Yankees: An Organization Run From The Top Down
Sooner or later, we may have to grudgingly accept the fact that this Steinbrenner regime runs things from the top down – and authority does not extend to their manager.
In contrast, and it’s a reason why Tony LaRusso or Joe Maddon would never accept a managerial position with the Yankees – as no one tells either how to make out his lineup card! As an example.
It’s also the same reason why bronco-riding Joe Girardi, with his own way of “straightening-out” Gary Sanchez, was let go by the Yankees. He was a threat.
So, when you look at it that way, Aaron Boone might very well be the perfect manager for the Yankees.
Sounds strange, I know, but unless Yankees fans are willing to stage a revolution at 161st Street in the Bronx, that ousts Hal Steinbrenner, and subsequently, Brian Cashman, change from the Yankees’ mindset is not in the offing.
This leaves us with the Yankees players, a team containing an abundance of talent, and picked to play the Dodgers in the 2021 World Series in all pre-season rankings.
Cashman may or may not make significant roster changes as the July 30 trade deadline approaches, but no matter what happens, it’s still the 26 guys in the clubhouse that count most.
Like former Yankees’ manager Joe Torre, Boone’s best decision as he thinks about the second half during the All-Star break might be to stay out of the way and let the players play.
Be convinced that you (Boone) made the right call in Sunday’s game, and you’d do it again – hands down.
For Yankees Fans – A Final Word
The Yankees 2021 season does not rest on the shoulders of Aaron Boone, and I believe everyone knows that.
When you have a team built like the Yankees and where everything relies on the three-run home run, in-game strategy is meaningless.
Kevin Cash, the manager of the Tampa Bay, a team that thrives on moving runners along and playing small-ball, is another matter – but the Rays are not the Yankees.
In sum, it may feel good when we vent our frustration for the Yankees’ plight on Aaron Boone – but it barely scratches the surface of any recognition to the fact that so little is within his control.
Having said that, is Aaron Boone the best of the lot as managers go today? Definitely not, and we can spend hours suggesting those who might be.
All for naught, though, because these are the New York Yankees, and they do things their way.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Vincent Capra The Nationals were like this back in 2019 relax this group is really talented and can have a 2nd half for the ages
Myron Rubin Unfortunately I think the team has too many deficits for a manager change to help. As a Yankee fan for 60 years I hope I am wrong
Marcus Coudriet Agree, let him finish, and then Adios
Mitch Bondo Bandalan Great article. I agree that Boone has some influence but still works within the parameters given by upper management. No different from any other job. I think Boone is just the scapegoat for players who are not performing.
Mike Ackerman Sadly I agree with this article. No manager that can make a difference would take the Yankee job so long as Cashman is GM. If Boone goes after the season, which I think is only a 50/50 chance of happening, only lemmings need to apply to fill that position.
AJ Torres Players aren’t being held accountable. Other coaches, however, I think will go. Thames will go for sure
Al D’Avino Keep up the good work Aaron.
Hubie Mercado The team will definitely take a look after the season is over and decide what’s best for the future. Author’s Note: Agreed.
Anthony Loffredo Boone is not the only one that has to go!!!! GM Cashman has to go also, remember it’s been 12 years since the Yankees won the World Series. He built this current team and it’s time for the Yankees to hire a new GM with new ideas and ways to rebuild the minor league system. Author’s Note: Alas, easier said than done as long as Hal is “The Boss”.
Frank Keefe Great, he’s a red sox ex killer.
Salvatore F. Salamone Agreed. With the amount of public support he has been getting from Steinbrenner and Cashman, his chance of being terminated for the Yankees performance is remote. It appears the players are being held accountable. Seems like a great place to start.
Christian Pryor I mean unless there’s team bonding I just don’t see it. This team has so much talent, but very little camaraderie. They seem like a group of guys playing together m I mean crazier things have happened, but it would take a miracle
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
We’ll close published comments now, but the thought remains Aaron Boone has few friends among Yankees fans, and while many pins it all on Hal and Brian, it’s a stretch to believe anything will change in the near future…
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