Give Aaron Boone Some Credit

It's time.

Jim Rome
October 03, 2019 - 11:19 am
Aaron Boone

USA Today

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The Yankees start their ALDS series with the Twins tomorrow night at the Stadium. And for a lot of people, New York is just a team with a loaded lineup that just steamrolls their way into the playoffs on autopilot. And that could not be further from the truth. 

Yes, they have a ton of talent and they’ve also had a ton of injuries. A record 39 trips to the injured list this year, and yet they still won 103 games and won the division by seven games.

Sure, some of that is a testament to their depth and to the moves that Brian Cashman has made, but a lot of it has to do with Aaron Boone as well. There seems to be this perception that he’s just a guy. Just a guy with a famous last name. Just a guy in a spot who writes down a bunch of names on a lineup card and then waits for further instruction from the front office. 

Yeah, I’m not so sure that’s all there is to it. You win 100 games in your first season as an MLB manager and then 103 in your second and you might be doing something right. And you do all of that in the most pressure-packed job in baseball, that might be a sign that you might know something about connecting with players or something. That you might know exactly what the hell you’re doing.

I guess, what I’m saying is, give him some bleeping credit, I mean for real.

And he got some in the form of a profile from Jeff Passan. And you know if Jeff Passan is doing a profile on you, some good stuff is going to come up. Like the fact that Boone’s nightly tradition is to get home, re-watch the game he just managed and then watch Friends on Netflix to help him fall asleep.

Or the fact that he can’t even get respect in his own household. When a friend asked Boone’s son, Brandon, what he thought about his dad interviewing with the Yankees, Brandon wasn’t a fan. 

“Horrible idea. My dad has coached one year of flag football. The Yankees? He'll be gone within a year.”

That’s your own son, pointing at your record as head coach of a flag football team and saying that you interviewing for the most prestigious managerial job in baseball is a “horrible idea.” And that even if you do get it, you’ll get canned after one year as a manager. 

Brandon Boone going all sports radio caller on Aaron Boone.

That’s wild. Almost as wild as the revelation that Boone worked really hard to eliminate cursing from his vocabulary before becoming a manager. And before giving the world that incredible savage rant on the ump.

I said it at the time and I will say it again – calling something or someone “savage” is the least cool thing you can do. It’s the Toledo broadcaster way of sounding cool or hip. 

But Boone did the impossible. He managed to actually inject a little life into that tired and played out term. And that became part of this Yankees team identity. 

No wonder they reportedly have new nameplates on their lockers that read: “2019 Division Series – October Savages.” 

In other words, more than two months later, his players are still fired up by that rant. In a world where new stories vanish in seconds and nothing lasts more than a day or two, that says something. 

Now, just because Boone has done a great job in the regular season does not guarantee them a trip to the World Series. Or even out of the ALDS. Their starting pitching is still a mess. And they’re facing a Twins team can absolutely bomb. And if they get past Minnesota, then they like have to face Houston.

Boone knows that. And he knows that if he doesn’t get it done, that’s all that matters. And all that will be remembered. 

Nobody will remember or care about the 39 injuries in the regular season. Or the fact that he cobbled together lineups of minor leaguers and castoffs to win 103 games. They’ll just remember that he didn’t win a World Series. And they might even blame him for why the Yankees didn't win number 28. 

He knows what he signed up for. 

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve credit for what he’s done. He does. Now give it to him. I mean for real.