The New York Yankees’ rocky 2021 season, one filled with disappointment, crushing losses, COVID outbreaks, and other crucial injuries, ended on Tuesday night in a fitting way: with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, ace Gerrit Cole struggling, and the offense once again failing to come through.
“Guys are crushed,” Yankees manager Boone said, per ABC News. “Tonight was another tough one to take. We have been through a lot of wars with guys in that room, and we have a lot of scars. … When it ends so abruptly, the ending is really cruel.”
Boone said something that raised many eyebrows: “The league has closed the gap on us. We’ve got to get better in every aspect. Because it’s not just the Red Sox and the Astros now in our league. Look at our division, the Rays are a beast, Toronto, there’s some teams in the Central that are better and better, teams in the West that are better and better, teams that have closed the gap on us.”
It’s shocking because there needs to be a gap for other teams to “close”. That “gap” doesn’t exist because the Yankees haven’t looked like the undisputed team to beat in the American League come playoffs time for quite a while now.
The Yankees haven’t taken the next step
Last night represented Boone’s fourth straight playoff exit, and one has to wonder if the organization will bring him back or if both sides are going to part ways.
Boone’s deal expires in 2021, so if the Yankees want to bring him back, it will have to be under a new deal. If, on the other hand, they decide to look elsewhere to fill the manager position, they won’t have to fire him, since his contract is up.
“I haven’t had any conversations about [my contract] with anyone, so we’ll see,” Boone said after the loss. “I love being here. I love going to work with this group of players.”
He has a 328-218 record with the Yankees over four years, but he hasn’t been able to take the next step, and some of his in-game decisions, lineup building, and bullpen management are starting to annoy more than a few fans.
“Whatever does happen, I’m at peace with,” Boone said. “I know that I can hold my head high.”