Aaron Boone was re-signed as the Yankees manager last week for three years plus a team option for a fourth year. While I (sadly) expected him to be back, I didn’t expect as long of a term as he received. One thing everyone inside the organization keeps touting about him is his ability to communicate with his players. However, fans might say Aaron Boone has said a lot of nothing this past season during his post-game conferences. That the lines he uses are incredibly predictable. So I decided to analyze some of his post-game quotes from the 2021 season.
A quick disclaimer: I got these quotes from MLB.com’s game recaps. Typically these are written from the perspective of the winning team, so there are unlikely to be too many (if any at all) Boone quotes in game recaps where we lost. Of course, these quotes are very selective, so they do not paint the whole picture, but finding every Boone quote from the past year would take me longer than it takes for Gary Sanchez to consistently have watchable at-bats. So I only have 253 quotes.
Here’s the analysis:
Most and least important words used
I used tf-idf to weigh the terms used across all of the Boonisms. Essentially it just shows the relative importance (between 0 and 1) of each different word he used. Here are some of the highest and lowest weight ones (there were 436 tied for lowest-rated so I just picked 10 fun ones):
10 Highest-Weighted Words (weight)
10 Least-Weighted Words (weight)
There were many more interesting least-weighted ones but I don’t have the space to list them here. Overall, his most used word was “good” (84 times)
I went through and analyzed the sentiment of each of Boone’s quotes. The sentiment ranges from -1.0 (most negative) to +1.0 (most positive). Zero is neutral. The average sentiment was 0.414, which means Boone was somewhat positive in his post-game talks to the media on average. Here are the extremes:
Most positive quote (0.9711):
“It’s not always going to be easy, you’re not always just going to have your way with a team, but you’re going to have to win these tough ones every now and then to be a little bit of a separator as a club. So [it was] good to see us get back-to-back wins where it wasn’t perfect.”
Most negative quote (-0.4939):
“I knew our bullpen was thin. Obviously, after those first two innings, I probably put a scare into everybody.”
I just used the default analyzer, so it is not perfect as evident above. But I think we can all agree Boone tends to put on a happy face and rarely chews out his team to the media, whether you think that is good or bad. Also, below is a graph of the average sentiment I found throughout the season. It pretty accurately sums up the inconsistency of the season.
Most frequent phrases
Here are the top five phrases (quadgrams in this case) uttered by Boone during the season:
“a lot of really”
“did a lot of”
“a lot of people”
“and down the lineup”
“up and down the”
Those were rather boring, so here are some more interesting phrases that were said more than once:
“a really good player”
“do something special late”
“great job by him”
“games meaning so much”
“comfortable in those situations”
I will say this was a rather crude analysis, but I thought it would be interesting to see the types of things Boone was saying throughout the year. It confirmed my hypothesis that he is generally positive, although that could be because many of these quotes were from wins. Anyways, I look forward to another three (or four) years of hearing a lot of these phrases over and over.