It seems like centuries ago that the Yankees were swept in Houston. They blew multiple leads and looked totally lost in every aspect of the game. Despite the team looking lifeless, Aaron Boone was steadfast in reiterating that his team was “really close to turning a corner.” It was a nice positive spin, but nobody seemed to believe it.
Not only was Boone mocked by fans, even the stoic Aaron Judge raised his eyebrows during a postgame interview when asked about Boone’s comments. It was as if nobody was taking Boone seriously, and for good reason: he seemed out of touch with reality.
After that Houston series, the Yankees lost two of three to a terrible White Sox team, and nothing seemed to change. However, the Red Sox came into town on April 16, and since then, the Yankees have been a different beast.
They are a major league best 11-2 in their last 13 games and have the second best run differential in baseball over the entire season. With thirteen players on the IL, the Yankees are down to third string at several positions and miraculously haven’t lost a beat, playing to a 17-11 record. Take any other team in the majors, put 13 of their best players on the IL, and they are looking at a 5-23 record or maybe worse. The organizational depth the Yankees are showing off is unrivaled.
The Yankee backups and third stringers have been awesome, but what about the manager? Boone had an up and down debut season in 2018. To the naked eye, it seemed like he just stood on the dugout steps eating sunflower seeds while waiting for someone to homer. Furthermore, several reports have emerged claiming that Brian Cashman and his analytics team are the ones making the lineups and other baseball decisions. A fair question that many fans have asked is: what does this guy actually do?
While it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what Boone does on a daily basis, it’s clear that he has kept this team loose, focused and optimistic during a historic injury stretch.
Lot’s of sports teams babble about “Next Man Up” when a player goes down, but Boone has mastered the concept. Boone has the baseball background and knowledge of an old timer with the swagger of a rap star.
As the manager of the Yankees, Boone takes a decent amount of criticism, but he should also be praised for keeping the ship afloat during turbulent times. There’s an old baseball saying that you can’t win a pennant in April, but you can sure lose one. Thanks to Aaron Boone, the Yankees won’t have to worry about the latter.