Didi Gregorius takes a shot at the Yankees and Aaron Boone’s managerial style

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius
Aug 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t seen the movie Moneyball, you probably don’t know how analytics became such a big part of the MLB. The New York Yankees have taken the analytical route in building the team and blended it with their high salary cap and ability to invest in star players. Theoretically, having the best players in the league combined with analytical advantages, you would expect that they would have made it to the World Series at least once in the past decade. However, you would be wrong, as the Yankees haven’t reached the final series of the season in quite some time.

As rumors begin to flow and the hot stove months creep up on us, one idea that has been floated recently is the reconnecting of Didi Gregorius with the Yankees.

Gregorius, who had a stellar 2020 season with the Philadelphia Phillies, is hitting the free-agent market as one of the top shortstops available. He hit .284 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs this season, blowing his 2019 statistics out of the water. Defensively, he was as sharp as ever, and now the Yankees are in a position to re-sign him and move Gleyber Torres back to second base.

With that being said, I highly doubt the Bombers elect to move Torres to another position, as they feel confident he can be the future at shortstop.

Gregorius had some choice words for the Yankees organization and manager Aaron Boone, describing the differences between the team’s current manager and Joe Girardi.

“The biggest difference? Let’s see,” Gregorius said. “They’re both good managers. For me, the only thing I see different is Joe goes more with his instincts – that’s what I think – and Boone goes more with analytics.”

This is the same conundrum that occurs in Moneyball, a movie made to tell the story of traditional baseball transitioning to the modern age. A healthy blend is necessary, given the intangibles that players inevitably have.

“That’s what the team is doing now most of the time. I always tell people I understand the analytics part of the game, but you’ve also got a take the heart of the player. You can’t measure that on paper or anything.

“So I think they still have to consider that you also have to trust the player, and if (Boone) sees something and he wants to do something different, then he should be allowed.”

Gregorius makes a fair argument, but the Yankees have been committed to following a probability model with the data they’ve collected over the years. They make decisions based on numbers and statistics, which has proven to be successful in the past.

The free-agent shortstop’s opinion does not align with what the Yankees are trying to do, so I can’t imagine that the two will find a way to reconnect this off-season.