Aaron Boone's Top Five Priorities As Yankees Manager


This is about a Yankee who was famous for what he did in October, a Yankee moving into a big job for which he had no formal preparation or experience other than his playing career. Nope, not talking about Aaron Boone, about to become only the fourth manager the Yankees have had in the last-quarter century. Talking about Derek Jeter. He has gone from being a Yankee legend to a rookie running a franchise, and acting like one, all over the place. And you have to say, the way things are going in South Florida, that you hope Boone comes out of the blocks a whole lot better than the Captain has.

Boone, who in so many ways provided the last great moment in the old Yankee Stadium, in the bottom of the 11th of Game 7 against the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series in 2003, now succeeds Joe Girardi as Yankee manager, a month after Girardi had the 2017 Yankees within one win of the team’s first World Series since 2009, and what would have been the second since Boone’s home run off Tim Wakefield.


Aaron Boone, of course, doesn’t come straight to this moment and this job from his playing career, just from all his years doing Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN. And he comes to it from a three-generation baseball family, one that saw his grandfather play major league baseball and his father both play and manage in the big leagues, and a brother, Bret, play longer in the big leagues than Aaron did.

I saw Aaron Boone last spring at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on West Palm Beach, where both the Astros and Nationals now train, and asked why he wasn’t in a broadcast booth somewhere, hanging out with all his television friends.

“I like it up there,” he said, gesturing to the press box level of the new ballpark. “But I’ve always been happiest down here.”


The stakes are as high as they could be for Aaron Boone.


I am happy he is getting this job. I happen to think he will be terrific at it. I think the Yankees will win another World Series with him as their manager, and maybe more than one. I think there are obvious comparisons to be made with A.J. Hinch, who just won the Series managing the Astros, who managed almost a perfect Game 7, and Dave Roberts, who managed against Hinch. I know Boone hasn’t coached or managed anywhere in his baseball life. But he sure has scouted, passionately and tirelessly, because anybody who ever worked with him or around him at ESPN knows what a bear he was for preparation, and not just about the game he was watching on a particular Sunday night.

In so many ways, I believe he is amazingly qualified to do this kind of work, with this team and in this city, and not just because he hit one of the most famous postseason home runs in Yankee history. From everything I have heard and know about the interview process conducted by Brian Cashman, everybody was playing catch-up with Boone from the time Boone walked out of the room.

When he spoke to the media this day, and was asked a general question about lack of any kind of on-field experience since his retirement, he said this:

“It’s certainly fair to question, I guess, my experience in actually doing the job. But I would say, in a way, I’ve been preparing for this job the last 44 years.”

Hinch had been the manager of the Diamondbacks’ minor league operations when he became their manager in 2009, a week before his 35th birthday. He was eventually fired there, after his own on-the-job training, before the Astros eventually gave him a second chance. You see how that worked out for him, and for the Astros.

Joe Torre’s first managing in the big leagues was as a player-manager with the Mets. He got fired later in Atlanta, and St. Louis, before succeeding Buck Showalter and becoming the most important Yankee manager, because of the winning his teams did here and what they did for the Yankee brand. We talk about the new Stadium being the House That George Steinbrenner Built. The truth is that Torre and Jeter and Mo Rivera and Pettitte and Posada are the ones who really did that.

Terry Francona, as good a manager as there is in this world and one of the best ever for my money, failed in Philadelphia before succeeding, historically, with the Red Sox. Then he went to Cleveland and nearly won another World Series there, what would have been his third, before the Cubs came back from three games to one down to beat him.

(New York Daily News)

So Hinch failed in his first shot. So did Francona. So Joe Torre got fired three times. Girardi was Manager of the Year with the 2006 Marlins, Jeter’s new team, when Girardi somehow managed to win 78 games with a team that had a payroll of just $15 million. And got fired when that season was over, anyway.

I honestly believe that Aaron Boone, because of a feel for the game all of us who ever covered him as a player know he has, because of an ability to communicate that matters as much in baseball as it ever has – and because he does so seem to fit the profile of the successful modern manager — will succeed here and mightily. It just doesn’t mean that he will, no matter how much all of us who do know him will be rooting for him.

Torre faced tremendous pressure replacing Showalter, who was such a popular figure here – remember the ovation he got when he was introduced in 1995 before the first Yankee postseason game in 14 years? – even though the Yankees had lost a heartbreak division series to Seattle in ’95.

Boone’s pressure is greater, as much as any incoming Yankee manager has ever faced, even as he inherits a young, talented team that ought to get better, with young, talented reinforcements on the way. Much better. Buck’s Yankees had lost in a division series. Girardi’s Yankees needed one more win to get to the World Series. The stakes, then, are as high as they could be.

Boone has a great chance to be a home run for Cashman and the Yankees. Guy did hit a real big one for the Yankees once. So did another ex-Yankee manager named Bucky Dent.

Shut up, Ben, Eli’s resume & the great LeBron. . .

- Ben McAdoo needs to stop talking now.

Needs to stop explaining why he did what he did benching Eli Manning and how he did it.

This isn’t about the future of the Giants, no matter how hard he tries to sell that.

This is about McAdoo somehow trying to prove that he is worthy of a future of his own in Jersey even though he has none.

In a back-door way, making this move to Geno Smith – and maybe even winning a couple of meaningless games the rest of the way – is a way for McAdoo to say that this unwatchable team and season isn’t his fault.

But this is the old line about adversity not building character (athletic character in this case), but revealing it.

Ben McAdoo needs to stop explaining why he did what he did benching Eli Manning and how he did it.

Ben McAdoo needs to stop explaining why he did what he did benching Eli Manning and how he did it.

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

At a time when Aaron Boone’s communication skills are such a big reason why he is hired as Yankee manager, look at McAdoo’s, especially this week.

Somehow he couldn’t even get his story straight with his owner, which the owner is going to remember.

More and more he does act like a reimagining of Ray Handley.

Handley was 14-18 as Giants coach.

McAdoo, counting a playoff loss to the Packers, is 13-15.

Yeah, he made the playoffs last season.

Jim Fassel coached the Giants all the way to a Super Bowl once.

- And for the last time?

Eli Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback, despite all the hand-wringing about that.

He won those two Super Bowls.

He was MVP in both of them.

For all the talk about the helmet catch by Tyree, Eli still threw the greatest deep ball I have ever seen in a Super Bowl, to Mario Manningham, from the shadow of his own goalposts, in Indy that time.

On top of that, he started 210 consecutive games.

If he isn’t a Hall of Famer, they should feel free to turn the place in Canton into a hair salon.

The U.S. Senate looked like a Banana Republic on Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Not the store.

- The Cavs were 5-7 and we were all wondering where LeBron was going to be playing next season.

And that is still a fair question, because he left Cleveland once and might do it again.

But look where the Cavs are.

Look at the way they’ve been playing since 5-7, and reminding you that however the MVP votes are counted at the end of the season, LeBron James is still the most valuable basketball player in his league.

And the best all-around player of all time.

That’s it and that’s all, whether he makes it to his 8th straight NBA Finals or not.

LeBron James is still the most valuable basketball player in his league.

LeBron James is still the most valuable basketball player in his league.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

LeBron, by the way, has the same birthday as Tiger Woods does: Dec. 30.

Tiger will be 42, LeBron will be 33.

Going back to when Michael Jordan won his first of six NBA titles with the Bulls, the greatest stars in American sports have been Michael and Tiger and LeBron and Tom Brady.

LeBron and Brady continue to play at such a high level.

Now Tiger, in yet another comeback from injury and surgery, tries to do the same.

And even in a special event in the Bahamas, even playing his first tournament in 301 days, he did remind us why he made us watch him the way we did in the first place.

- Not sure I’m emotionally prepared for tonight to be the season’s last episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Are we still litigating the ending to the “Titanic” all this time later?


DiCaprio got deep-sixed after he said goodbye to Kate.

Get over it.

More and more, Stephen Colbert looks like some kind of national treasure.

I will ask this question again:

Is it still a witch hunt when a guy pleads guilty to lying to the FBI?

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Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/aaron-boone-succeed-mightily-yankees-manager-article-1.3673531

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