Yankees’ manager not worried about lack of MLB experience in coaching staff

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Once upon a time, MLB teams needed their coaches to have at least some kind of major league experience, and that was a requisite at the moment of hiring the staff. The New York Yankees were no exception to this unofficial “rule”. But times have changed.

Right now, the priority is finding a person with the tools, knowledge, and resources to make an impact, regardless of his MLB experience or lack thereof. As the Yankees recently announced their coaching staff, Aaron Boone, Mike Harkey and Eric Chavez are the only ones who played in the majors. But that’s not a problem for the skipper.

If the main deciding factor would have been MLB experience, Eric Chavez, who played 17 seasons at a high level in the big show, would have gotten the nod as the hitting coach. But that’s not the case, and analytics-driven Dillon Lawson will be occupying the position despite not playing a single inning in MLB.

That’s also the case with bench coach Carlos Mendoza, assistant hitting coach Casey Dykes, pitching coach Matt Blake, assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel, third base/outfield coach Luis Rojas, first base/infield coach Travis Chapman and quality control/catching coach Tanner Swanson.

The Yankees value player development over MLB time

In fact, three of the coaches the Yankees let go during the offseason played in the bigs: Marcus Thames, Phil Nevin and Reggie Willits.

“For a long time, we were probably a little pigeonholed with, ‘It has to be a guy with big league service time,’” Boone said, per SI.com, after revealing the staff. “That is absolutely of value and part of a checklist that checks a box for a lot of people. Experience matters. What they’ve done matters. But we were also probably closing ourselves off to a lot of really great coaches because, in a lot of ways, that was a prerequisite.

“We’re starting to follow more of an NBA, NFL model where you have coaches that are really good at impacting players. As an industry we’ve probably opened ourselves up to that. I feel like, in the case of a lot of the people we’re adding, they’re gonna impact players.”

For the Yankees, a scientific approach is more important than if a coach played in the bigs or not. Blake and Lawson have a myriad of resources and a vast knowledge on how to apply technology for player development purposes, and that matters more than anything else.

Yankees’ Aaron Boone raves about young shortstop prospect, who could be the future

anthony volpe, yankees

The New York Yankees have a big decision to make at shortstop this off-season after the lockout eventually ends, but the existence of one if not two stud infield prospects have thrown a wrench into their potential plans.

If there weren’t a few youngsters climbing the ranks at an impressive rate, the Yankees might be more willing to spend $300+ million on a 10-year deal for Carlos Correa. However, it doesn’t seem as if they are as intrigued by the option with Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe flying through their farm system.

Peraza has a bit more experience than Volpe and could get the first crack at the shortstop job, but skipper Aaron Boone provided rave reviews over the 20-year-old phenom out of New Jersey.

“Special guy. I’ve seen him a couple times this winter at different events … He’s showing that he can really play and obviously someone we’re incredibly excited about.”
Volpe has displayed multiple tools that could lead him to be a star Major League player, including heightened athleticism and patience at the plate. Volpe featured predominantly with Hudson Valley and Tampa last season, playing in 109 games and recording a. 294 average with 27 Homer‘s and 86 RBIs.
Impressively, he also stole 33 bases, being caught on just nine attempts. He recorded 78 walks and 101 strikeouts over 412 at-bats. His numbers dipped slightly with Hudson Valley compared to Tampa, but his production was still sufficient in many categories.
The Yankees view Volpe as a potential long-term solution, and many are comparing him to some of the greats from the past. At just 20-years-old, we can expect to see him feature in AA this upcoming season and maybe make an appearance in Scranton with the AAA affiliate.
However, if his development goes as planned, the Yankees will want to find a stopgap for the next season or two in preparation for the young guns to take over. That would essentially rule out Carlos Correa as a free agent target but may point toward a stopgap like Andrelton Simmons or even Trevor Story on a big-money but low-year contract.
Nonetheless, the way management has spoken about Volpe in recent days says a lot about their confidence in him moving forward.

Yankees announce full coaching staff for the 2022 season, take a look

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees announced their full 2020 to coaching staff on Tuesday evening, after making a myriad of changes following the end of the 2020-21 season. Firing Phil Nevins, their third base coach, the Yankees went on to hire Luis Rojas, former Mets manager.

As per the Yankees PR team:

The Yankees today announced their coaching staff for the 2022 season. Joining Aaron Boone for his fifth season as Yankees manager will be bench coach Carlos Mendoza, pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coachMike Harkey, assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel, hitting coach Dillon Lawson, assistant hitting coachesEric Chavez and Casey Dykes, third base and outfield coach Luis Rojas, first base and infield coach Travis Chapman, and quality control and catching coach Tanner Swanson.

The Yankees have a strong coaching staff this upcoming season, with multiple names having field manager experience. In addition, there are also some familiar faces, including Matt Blake, who will return for his third season as the Yankees pitching coach, and Carlos Mendoza, who will return for his third season as a Yankees’ bench coach. Mike Harkey remains in his normal role as well as bench coach.

Despite those two coaches, the majority of the new staff is in their first year wearing pinstripes. Desi Druschel, Dillon Lawson, Eric Chavez, and Casey Dykes will all be in their first years with the Yankees’ major-league team. Several of them, including Druschel, Lawson, and Dykes spent time in the minor leagues with Yankee affiliates.

This is a strong group of coaches who should promote a winning atmosphere and culture moving forward, despite fans calling for a replacement at field manager. Boone failed to bring the Yankees to a World Series despite egregious spending habits from ownership and a plethora of talent. He will continue his quest to resurrect the franchise after years of uninspiring play in the postseason.

Hopefully, the front office will open the checkbook in free agency after the lockout, especially with needs behind Gerrit Cole in the starting rotation and at shortstop.

New York Yankees Bio: Aaron Judge, the man, and the myth

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

New York Yankee superstar Aaron Judge has been in the news a lot this week, as he tied the knot in Hawaii this past weekend. But, also in the news is whether the Yankees will extend him a mega-contract keeping him a Yankee for life.

The slugger Aaron Judge burst onto the Major League scene in 2017. He played in 155 games, getting 52 home runs and hitting .284 with 114 RBIs. He was heralded at the new Yankee Star, the new Mickey Mantle. He was a Silver Slugger, Rookie of the Year, All-Star, and came in second in the MVP voting. However, he was never the same again with all of those accolades until this past season.

From 2018 to 2020, Judge was riddled with a myriad of injuries keeping him off the field and from performing. During those three years, he played only an average of 80 games a season. His home runs were gone, and his strikeouts stood out. He never could regain his 2017 form.

Fast forward to the 2021 season; a new healthy Aaron Judge appeared on the stage at Yankee Stadium. He was the most dependable and consistent player all of last season. He hit some runs, singles, doubles, and got on base. His .383 OBP is the best since 2017. Plain and simple, he carried the Yankees on his back even during the horrid first half of the season.

Judge ended the season hitting .287 with 39 home runs while playing in a career-high 148 games. 

Here is some useful information to get you to know the man Aaron Judge. On April 27, 1992, Wayne and Patty Judge adopted an African American biracial baby a day after he was born; that baby was Aaron Judge. When Judge was old enough to understand, his parents told him, he was adopted.

Growing up in California, Judge was a San Francisco Giants fan. Judge attended Linden High School, where he was a three-sport star. He played as a pitcher and first baseman for the baseball team, a wide receiver for the football team, and a basketball team center. He set a school record for touchdowns (17) in football and led the basketball team in points per game (18.2). In addition, he was part of the Linden High School team that made the California Interscholastic Federation Division III playoffs in baseball.

You can imagine with this sports record that Judge was heavily recruited by teams like Notre Dame, Stanford, and ULCA as a tight end, but Judge wanted to play baseball. He was selected in the 2010 draft by Oakland but wanted to attend college instead. He played for Fresno State, where he was named a Freshman All-American. In 2012 he won the TD Ameritrade College home run, Derby. During the summer of 2012, he played for the Brewster White Caps of the Cape Cod League.

This is where I may have seen him play. He was drafted #1 by the New York Yankees. In his junior year with Fresno, he led the team in home runs, doubles, and RBI’s. In 2013 the Yankees selected him in the draft, and he signed with the Yankees for a 1.8 million signing bonus. He joined the team but was injured in running drills that kept him out of the season.

So what have we learned about that superstar Aaron Judge? Obviously, he’s a star baseball player, but he also loves football especially watching the playoff games. He loves his friends and fellow players; he instead praises a fellow player than talk about himself. He loves dogs and is a big fan of children that love baseball. He is more profound than many may think. His Twitter header carries the Corinthians “For we live by faith, not by sight.” His very first post reads as follows: 

Christian. Faith, Family, then Baseball. “If what you did yesterday still seems big today, then you haven’t done anything today!”

Judge loves children. He makes every attempt to greet them to sign baseballs and give them his gloves, bat, or cap. He frequently pulls them from the stands so their parents can get a photo of their child with the Yankee star. Many would feel that doing this was a chore but watching Judge, you can tell he loves it, even seeking out young Yankee fans in away parks. It is not uncommon to see him play catch with young New York Yankee fans when there is a play pause. 

Apparently, Aaron Judge is a one-and-done kind of guy, as he culminated a more than ten-year relationship with his high school sweetheart, Samantha Bracksieck, and this weekend, he sealed the deal with a passionate kiss after the pair made their vows. This is even more exciting because the pair managed to keep the impending nuptials mostly secret. Bracksieck was shown months ago with what appeared to be an engagement ring, indicating that an upcoming wedding might be in the books.

The two were married on Saturday, December 11, 2021. It was said to be an intimate wedding with only family and a few of the closest friends in attendance at the Montage Kapalua Bay resort in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. The nuptials were enjoyed oceanside with views of other Hawaiian islands. John J. Judge is Aaron’s older brother. They have different blood in their genes, but that doesn’t prevent them from being two peas in a pod. John and Aaron are very close! John is an educator, as are Aarons’ parents. Simply put, this hulk of a man is a softy and of high moral values that cherish being a Yankee and all that that involves.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a Society for American Baseball Research member. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

New York Yankees: Important dates to guide you through the postseason

New York Yankees

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, the 2021/22 postseason is beginning to heat up up with some surprising moves already made by some teams. The Yankees haven’t done much that is earth moving, other than retain Aaron Boone as manager for another three years and hire Luis Rojas, ex Mets manager as their third base coach replacing Phil Nevin.

The does not mean it will continue that way, there are about three months left in the offseason with much happening during the winter meetings. The Yankees will be looking for pitching help, centerfield backup, and the much publicized need for a quality shortstop. Here is a look at the important upcoming offseason dates and what they mean.

Today, November 19:

Today is the deadline for the Yankees and teams to add eligible minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Generally speaking, college players drafted no later than 2018 and high school players drafted no later than 2017 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter, as are players signed internationally no later than 2017. The Yankees will have to be careful, they have lost some key players in the past that were not protected.

Last season they lost shortstop Kyle Holder going to the Phillies and another right-hander, Trevor Stephan, picked by the Indians. But above all the Yankees wished they had protected reliever Garrett Whitlock who turned out big for the Boston Red Sox. The righty pitched in 46 games with an ERA of 1.96.

Dec. 1:

Non-tender deadline. This is the deadline for teams to offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract for 2022. They don’t have to sign them just yet, but they do have to offer a contract. Players become free agents if they are not offered a contract.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement ends at 11:59 pm. The GBA is how the owners and players work together for the period of the new contract. In 1994 the owners and players couldn’t come to an agreement and the players went on strike that lasted into the 1995 season. Neither side wants that to happen again but it is very possible if the sides can’t come together particularly on salary caps.

Dec. 6-9:

This years’ Baseball Winter Meetings will be in Orlando, Florida. This is typically when a lot of trades and movement happens each season. Last year was quiet, this year is not expected to be. The Winter Meetings are the busiest week of the offseason. It is non-stop hot stove action. Historically, the biggest moves of the offseason are consummated at the Winter Meetings. GMs can talk face-to-face with agents and other GMs to get things done. It should be active for the New York Yankees, although Brian Cashman often works undercover.

Jan. 14:

This date is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures. The players state what they think they should be paid and the owners counter with what they feel the player is worth. Most arbitration eligible players agree to a salary before the deadline.

Jan. 15:

The 2022 international signing period opens. This is when Jasson Dominguez was signed by the Yankees in 2019.

Jan. 31 to Feb. 18:

Arbitration hearings happen during this period. Like everything in life sometimes the sides don’t come together. In this case it’s over the players salary for the upcoming season. When they can’t agree the owner and the players goes before a 3-man panel that will  decide the validity of each case and pick either the players figure or the  owners amount, one or the other.

Mid-February:

Spring training camps open across Florida and Arizona. There is no set date but each team sets up their own schedule for when pitchers and catchers, and when players report. Nevertheless the first day of play for both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues begin on February 26.

March 31:

March 31 is the date all baseball fans await, it’s Opening Day 2022. All 30 clubs will be in action on Opening Day, with 11 of the 15 games featuring intradivision matchups. The Yankee season will start by hosting the Texas Rangers at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Yankees’ Aaron Boone ignores Carlos Correa hate, provides glowing endorsement

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

If there were any way a potential free-agent acquisition for the New York Yankees could plummet his stock, it would be to insult Derek Jeter. While fans are up in arms over Carlos Correa’s latest comments, indicating that Jeter didn’t deserve to win any of his five Gold Glove awards, management doesn’t seem phased by his words.

General manager Brian Cashman brushed off Correa’s statement, professing he is a talented player; the Yankees will be considering him this off-season as a potential solution at shortstop. However, Cashman wasn’t the only one to endorse Correa despite his ill-advised words.

Skipper Aaron Boone, who recently signed a three-year extension with the team, came to Correa’s defense, mentioning his development and that he is entering the prime of his career.

“Great player. I think he’s in the prime of his career, entering the prime of his career, and part of what is a very special shortstop class. He’s really developed into a leader with the Astros.”

The Yankees are heavily involved in the short-stop market, as they are also connected with Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cashman could go a bevy of different directions, but Boone indicated that youngsters Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe will be playing a part in their decision.

“There’s no question that factors in because we do feel like with Peraza and Volpe, we have two future impact big-league players… That’s all part of the equation.”
If the team is hoping that Peraza and Volpe will be available to fill the shortstop position, Seager might be the more clear-cut option. Correa is a bonafide shortstop that likely wouldn’t take too well to transitioning to the hot corner in the future, but most believe Seager is willing to make that transition after a few seasons. If the Yankees want a player who’s a bit more flexible and adds a bit of diversity to the batting order, Seager is their guy.
Seager is coming off a season where he hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs over 95 games. As an above-average offensive and defensive player, the only concern is his health history. However, Correa also has his fair share of issues in that category, so Cashman would simply be picking the lesser of two evils.

New York Yankees: Yankees get thrown a “dog bone” and more news

Carlos Correa, Houston Astros, yankees

With the ALCS and NLCS in full swing, there is not much in the way of shocking New York Yankees news this early in the offseason from the boys from the Bronx. But don’t let that fool you; the wheels are turning in the front off trying to find ways to return the Yankees into a championship team for the 2022 season. So here is some news that may tantalize.

Red Sox throw the Yankees a “dog bone”

Most analysts thought the Boston Red Sox would be back in the dumper again this year after a lousy season last year. But, to the surprise of all, newly rehired Alex Cora brought the team to new heights that culminated in beating the New York Yankees in the one-game winner-take-all wild-card game.

Now in a strange statement from a Boston Red Sox executive, the Red Sox are praising the Yankees for being so consistent from year to year. Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox’s CEO, and president said yesterday when talking to the New York Post:

“We do admire the Yankees in many ways. I started my career there [as an intern]. John Henry started as an investor. So I learned a lot from my time there. John learned a lot from his time. What Randy [Levine] and Hal [Steinbrenner] and Brian Cashman have done is nothing short of remarkable. They’re consistently competitive, and that’s incredibly impressive.

“It’s why we hate them so much in Boston.”

Cashman takes responsibility while rehiring Aaron Boone

By now, it’s relatively old news that manager Aaron Boone has been rehired as the New York Yankees skipper, at least for the next three years. In a somewhat confusing press conference, Cashman announced the return of Aaron Boone, but the news conference seemed to be more about him than Boone. Cashman’s contract is up at the end of the 2022 season.

In the conference, he didn’t do much to give Yankee fans a look at a better future for the team; instead, he created more questions than answers. He reverted to his season-long praise of Boone and reiterated that the players underperformed. He also said if there is anyone to blame, it is he. While both Boone and Cashman have praised the championship team the Yankees, are, the deny what Yankee fans are seeing right in front of their eyes.

Although Cashman seemed to take responsibility for what went wrong, he basically denied everything the Yankees did wrong and put the best face on it from the other side of his mouth. For example, at one point, he said about Boone:

“Aaron Boone was part of the solution and wasn’t the problem. If he was entering the free-agent market, I believe he’d be the #1 managerial candidate in baseball. He’s been a good hire.”

That statement, among others, left a whole lot of New York Yankee fans scratching their collective heads. He also said that Boone was easy to work with and had an open mind (willing to accept orders).

What will the Yankees do to solve the shortstop problem?

The New York Yankees don’t have a legitimate shortstop. Even the front office has now admitted that is a glaring problem that must be solved before the start of the 2022 season. The big question is, what will they do to solve that problem?

There are tons of shortstops going into free agency at the end of the World Series, but will the Yankees find the right fit or continue as they have will fill-ins, moving players around? Or will they wait for up-and-coming farm hands, like Anthony Volpe, and sign a rental for 2022?

Getting back to the shortstops available this offseason, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Javier Baez represent a variety of costs for the Yankees. The writer believes the Yankees should bite the bullet, hire a sure thing, and stop betting on stopgap measures to solve the teams’ problems. One such acquisition would be Carlos Correa, a proven shortstop with pop. Correa is 27 years old, has a .279 batting average this year with 26 home runs, and is an excellent defender at short. He also has plenty of postseason experience. In the past five years, he has batted .280 with 18 home runs. Oh, and by the way, he has indicated that he would love to play in New York. What more could the Yankees want?

Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner praises Aaron Boone’s “baseball acumen”

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The New York Yankees had to take a few days to analyze his future and his fit with the organization, but ultimately, they decided to bring back manager Aaron Boone on a deal that expires after the 2024 season. For three more campaigns (he has a club option for 2025), at least, the Bombers are committed financially to Boone.

Will they honor their commitment and maintain him in the position for the three years? That will be dictated largely by the results he can get, but owner Hal Steinbrenner showed a lot of faith in the 2003 postseason hero as a player and skipper since 2018.

“As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve,” Steinbrenner said, according to NJ Advance Media. “We need to get better. Period.”

The Yankees finished the 2021 season tied with the Boston Red Sox for the Wild Card in the American League, but lost the Wild Card game against their archrivals. Boone has been at the helm for four campaigns, with the 2019 American League Championship Series the furthest he has advanced.

The Yankees’ manager has the backing of the owner

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Boone himself are expected to take questions from the media on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward,” Steinbrenner said.

“I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship.”

The Yankees opted not to retain the now former third base coach Phil Nevin (a close friend of Boone) and hitting coaches Marcus Thames and P.J. Pillitere. The team hasn’t announced their respective replacements yet.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone to return for three more years

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

A familiar face will be returning to the New York Yankees next season and beyond. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that Aaron Boone will remain the Yankee manager for the next three years. After not making it to the World Series in four tries, the Yankee organization felt that Boone had done enough to give him to give it another go.

After not even getting past the wild card game this season, many thought that Boone’s time with the Yankees was over, but that is not the case, as we found out this morning. Boone has had two 100 plus seasons, the short season, and this year winning just 92 games, but enough to face the Red Sox in the wild-card game in a game they lost to the Sox 6-2. To read more about the debate to rehire Boone go here.

Here is a look at how Aaron Boone got to be the manager of the Yankees:

The New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was a baseball player for twelve years, mainly with the Cincinnati Reds. During the last half of the 2003 season, he famously played 52 games for the Yankees. Boone became a Yankee star when the 2003 Red Sox won the sixth game of the ALCS forcing a game seven.

Tim Wakefield pitched a scoreless tenth for Boston and, in the bottom of the 11th, faced Aaron Boone, who had entered earlier as a pinch-runner. On Wakefield’s first pitch of the inning, Boone launched a walk-off home run into the left-field seats of Fenway Park.   ALCS MVP Rivera was running to the mound and collapsing in joy, Boone jumping on home plate, and Rivera being carried off on his teammates’ shoulders as the Yankees won the ALCS. Boone was forever entered into Yankee’s lore.

After the 2017 season and loss to the cheating Houston Astros (not known at the time), the New York Yankees decided it was time for a managerial change. Joe Girardi, who brought the Yankees to their last World Series win, did not renew his contract. So the Yankees searched for a new manager, interviewing several prospects. Considered for the job was Girardi’s 10-year veteran Rob Thompson, Eric Wedge, who worked in the front office of the Blue Jays, Hensley Meulens, a hitting coach, and Aaron Boone. The Yankees ended choosing Boone and gave him a four-year contract.

Yankees fans, upon learning of the hiring, said Aaron, who? Boone had no managerial experience and was only known for hitting the walk-off homer in 2003. Most fans thought the Yankees should have kept Joe Girardi, but the Yankees wanted a manager that could better communicate with younger players and was not as strict as Girardi.

In the eyes of New York Yankee fans, Boone had some pretty big shoes to fill. The Yankee brass claimed that one of the main factors in his removal, besides his overbearingness, was that he didn’t communicate well with the young players. This was the same manager who brought a young Miami Marlins team that nothing was expected 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.

It wouldn’t take long to gain some faith in Boone and his approach to management. Boone and the team won 100 games in 2018. At the end of the season, the Yankees won their Wild Card games against the Athletics but lost the divisional series against the Red Sox. In 2019 Boone bettered his record and won 103 games and the AL East. In the postseason, they swept the Minnesota Twins in the divisional series. They went on to the ALCS against the Houston Astros but again excited early in losing to the Astros.

Still, Boone was praised for bringing the team to the postseason with unprecedented injuries. Fast forward to the 2020 coronavirus season when injuries again plagued the Yankees. The Yankees would lose the East to the Tampa Bay Rays. But in the expanded playoffs, the Yankees got a berth in the Wild Card Series sweeping the Cleveland Indians. Then, the Yankees would have to face their foe in the south, the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. The Yankees lost again.

With their third early exit in a row from the postseason, many began to question Boone’s leadership, at least in the postseason. Boone is now in the last year of his contract, and a contract extension was in question. Maybe in the eyes of the fans, but not so with the Yankee front office. General Manager Brian Cashman made it known he wants Boone to be the manager for the next ten years.

With the New York Yankees’ full faith and a new rotation of pitchers to work with, Aaron Boone will have a chance to prove that Cashman’s faith in him was warranted. The Yankees probably have the best chance of advancing this season than they have had in several years. If Boone fails to win the division with several weakened teams or has another early exit in the postseason, we may again be having this discussion. As it turned out, those weakened teams excelled. But, the debate is over; the Yankees still have faith in Boone and have extended his contract into the 2024 season.