Aaron Boone showed up to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, his fate still undetermined and the Yankees without a manager under contract for 2022.
It’s been more than a week since the Yankees’ season ended with a disappointing loss in Boston in the AL wild-card game. As a comparison, Joe Girardi was out as Yankee manager five days following the season-ending loss to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS.
Like Boone, Girardi’s contract was up.
At the time, the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman decided the young core needed a new message from a different messenger. So the more hard-nosed Girardi was gone, replaced by Boone’s encouraging voice.
Boone declined to comment on his status Wednesday, and Cashman and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner have yet to speak publicly since the end of the season.
Both backed Boone during the season, with Steinbrenner directing most of his criticism at the players.
“Myself, Cashman, Boone, the coaches, we’re responsible [and] we’re in charge,’’ Steinbrenner said in July, when the Yankees were in serious jeopardy of not reaching the playoffs. “But make no mistake about it, in my opinion, the majority of the responsibility, whether it’s the inconsistent offense or bad baserunning, that responsibility lies with the players. They’re the ones on the field. They need to fix this problem.”
It’s ultimately up to Steinbrenner to decide how to fix the problem and whether Boone is part of the solution.
Part of that equation is considering the alternatives. Should the Yankees decide to pivot away from Boone, how will they replace him?
No manager is more pro-player than Boone and it’s hard to see the Yankees going back to a tough manager.
Still, Alex Cora’s return to Boston has proven just how much of a difference a skilled manager can make.
Cora, returned from his one-year exile for his role as bench coach during the Astros’ 2017 World Series run, outmaneuvered Boone in the wild-card game and won praise for his moves against Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash in Boston’s ALDS victory.
While there’s no clear option should they try to hire someone new, Boone’s name wasn’t exactly on anyone’s radar before he interviewed for the job.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]