Think manager Aaron Boone’s a puppet for the New York Yankees’ front office? Can’t fault you. Think Boone is just flat-out bad? Also can’t blame you. But what if we told you that this awful situation sits somewhere in the middle? What if we told you everyone was bad?
Most fans already realize that, but when you take into account how inept everything is top-to-bottom in this organization, it’s hard to place the blame on one person. Boone’s been a recent scapegoat for his bullpen and lineup decisions in recent weeks, but he’s apparently been green-lit to make his horrible in-game calls.
That’s if we’re to believe Michael Kay, the Yankees’ play-by-play man, who alluded to a previous quote from general manager Brian Cashman. This came after Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians during which Boone once again called on an ineffective Clay Holmes to handle a tight spot in the ninth inning.
It backfired for the second time in a row, so the postgame discussion focused on Boone’s fit as manager because of his out-of-touch decision making.
Per Kay, Cashman said that any Yankees manager he hires has permission to act on gut instincts … but if they’re wrong, then they have to “explain themselves to the front office.” So … either the front office is providing these directives to Boone, approves of Boone’s decision making, or isn’t holding him accountable. So how can Boone be blamed if the organization is allowing this to happen?
Post Wednesday's game, Kay said he asked Cashman if he ever let’s his managers coach with their gut. He said, "Of course, but if it goes poorly they'll have to explain themselves to the front office." (audio clip below)
After hearing that, not sure I can hold Boone accountable… pic.twitter.com/3QvQ0VvXjv
— ZT🗽 (@NY_EvilEmpire) May 6, 2023
For the fans out there who want to throw Boone a bone for 2018 and 2019, we’d like to know why. 2018 was on autopilot because of how deep the roster was, and somehow, every single player imported in ’19 to help fend off the injury bug prospered. Did Boone “unlock” them all? He hardly had to do any heavy lifting to reach 100 wins. He also flamed out both times in the postseason in embarrassing fashion.
Whether the team wasn’t prepared, motivated or dialed in for the big moment, it’s on the manager. They lost their two home games in the 2018 ALDS. They lost two out of three 2019 ALCS games at home.
We’re trying to have real conversations with Aaron Boone instead of asking questions that he’ll dance around pic.twitter.com/PowAGXgdGj
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) May 8, 2023
The Yankees famously love to employ people who don’t reveal much information to the media. But there’s a difference between doing that (Derek Jeter exemplified that perfectly) and talking in ridiculous circles, only for the media to take that and run with it.
If you want to give Boone a pass for the pandemic season, OK, fine. Everyone was disadvantaged in a major way that year (but again, he couldn’t differentiate himself as a capable manager!). How about 2021? Unmitigated disaster. How about 2022? Another embarrassing letdown after being swept out of the postseason and nearly blowing a 15.5-game division lead.
Now here’s 2023. The Yankees are undermanned because of injuries and it’s the manager’s job to keep the team afloat with sound, aggressive decision making. The result? A middling record, the Yankees treading water, and their manager being the secondary culprit holding them back from their ability to do better.
And the front office is fine with it. Apparently.