New York Yankees Analysis: Has Manager Aaron Boone worn out his usefulness with the Yankees?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone, the New York Yankees manager, has taken the Yankees to the postseason during both of his years as manager.  In 2018 he won 100 games, and in 2019, he won 103 games, but in both years, has failed to get the team into the World Series. Also, in 2018, he had injuries, in 2019, he had record injuries of players, something that has carried over to this year as well.  At the end of this season, Boone’s contract with the Yankees will be over.  The question is, is it time for the Yankees to move on from Boone and possibly look elsewhere for fresh blood to lead the team?

At the end of the 2017 season, when Joe Girardi brought the New York Yankees one game short of the World Series, Giradi’s contract was not renewed. It was later found out the the Houston Astros cheated in that ALCS, and may have cost the Yankees a World Series.  Girardi was let go primarily becuase he hadn’t won a World Series since 2009, and his agressive management style wasn’t appreciated by many of the “baby bombers.”

Joe Girardi’s and Aaron Boone‘s management style are very different.  Garardi was more of a boss and disiplinarian, whereas Boone, while being a leader wanted to be a friend to his players. Boone is not as demanding of his players, Girardi was very demanding, making them do constant running and stretching, when not in the batting cage or performing on field play drills.  Girardi’s 2017 season saw a healthy Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez, and all had an excellent season.  During Boone’s management the team has not been able to stay healthy.  The last two years have been the worst injury years in decades. How much of that is Aaron Boone’s fault is anyone’s guess.

The Yankee brass claimed that one of the main factors in his removal, beside his overbearingness was that he didn’t communicate well with the young players.  This was the same manager that brought a young Miami Marlins team, that nothing was expected of, to fourth place in the National League, and was named Manager of the Year in 2006. The first time a Manager of the Year was ever awarded to a manager of a fourth place team.

One would wonder how Joe Girardi, still being manager, would do with the likes of former MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Andrew McCutchen, Luke Voit, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and DJ LeMahieu added to his team. Under Boone’s leadership, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have spent as much time on the IL as on the field, and he has been unable to keep catcher Gary Sanchez from crashing and burning, despite his home run ability.

In his third year as Yankee manager, Boone is not as well liked as he once was.  He has publicly pissed off three of his pitchers by pulling them from games they thought they could win, including new Yankee ace Gerrit Cole, who was visibly angered by Boone’s action.  Slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t happy when Boone would not allow him to go on day to day, when he said he was 100%.  In an unsual move for the mild and proper Judge, in  zoom interview, let it be known that he was not happy with Boone’s decision. J.A. Happ has publically called out Boone’s the the way he has or hasn’t handled his pitching starts.

Moving on to the 2020 season, the New York Yankee team hasn’t seemed to be energized, and lost it’s purpose at different points in the season.  It got to point, that if pitchers pitched well, hitters didn’t hit, and when they did hit the pitching failed.  Now coming off six straight wins and an enlivened lineup, the Yankees have a chance to, again go to the posteason.  Many fans wonder if the Yankees do get to the playoffs, how far they will go and if they will fail again, short of making a World Series appearance.

For Aaron Boone fans, this writer feels they have nothing to worry about. Boone’s contract will be renewed for another period, and the Yankees will not hold him responsible for the injuries or the team’s play.  They gave Girardi nine years, they will give Boone more than three. A big factor will be how Boone manages the team, if the team reaches the postseason, which now seems inevitable.

Should the Yankees decide not to renew Boone’s contract, there are several options out there.  Buck Showalter, David Cone, Jorge Posada all of which would manager with similar style to Joe Girardi. Two interesting possibilities would be catcher Erik Kratz, who who works very well with young players, and Rob Thompson who is with Joe Girardi, as his bench coach.  Thompson had served with the Yankees for nearly twenty years, and knows the organization inside and out.