Aaron Boone, Year 3

jon abbey

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Couldn't think of a better topic line or another place to put this, but I wanted to post somewhere that Boone and his 26 months as Yankee manager is now the longest tenured NY professional head coach/manager currently, after Kenny Atkinson was fired today.

So the quick highlights, hired in Dec 2017, a bit inexplicably from the outside given the competition and an adequate 2018 did nothing to change anyone's mind. Also I thought his 2019 started off a bit weak but about a month in (so around 200 games into his managerial career), it was like something clicked and he has been really good ever since, in almost every way. He looks shockingly like Torre at times and his press conferences seem to be increasingly channelling a similar sort of informed cool. I still would rather listen to Girardi than Boone but the gap is less than it used to be.

Jon's grades:

2018: B or B-, they won 100 games but there were constant bullpen head scratchers especially given how deep and loaded the pen was
2019: A-, but an A or A+ after the first month with all of the injuries and still 103 wins.
 

EvilEmpire

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Cashman may be the straw the stirs the drink, but I think Yankees fans have been pretty lucky with Torre to Girardi to Boone. I agree with the perception that Boone has been growing into the job and improving over time.

It is nice to not have to worry about organizational leadership. I just really want to see a fully operational Death Star at some point. Hopefully the changes in the training/medical staff will help with that over time.
 

crow216

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I'm gonna exaggerate your point a bit. I disliked Boone in 2018 very much. I LOVED Boone in 2019. Not only did something click, it just seemed like he was perfect for the role in addition to doing a great job making decisions. Let's see 2020 but I'm hopeful.
 

jon abbey

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I'm gonna exaggerate your point a bit. I disliked Boone in 2018 very much. I LOVED Boone in 2019. Not only did something click, it just seemed like he was perfect for the role in addition to doing a great job making decisions. Let's see 2020 but I'm hopeful.
He has been killing it all winter and now spring training with interviews, very knowledgeable about Yankee personnel up and down the system.
 

Rough Carrigan

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He had a team overflowing with talent. Yes, there were a lot of injuries last season but, seemingly, everyone they had to plug in as a replacement smashed the ball at a 120 OPS+. He had maybe the deepest bullpen in all of MLB to utilize. What manager would not look pretty good in his place?
 

jon abbey

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He had a team overflowing with talent. Yes, there were a lot of injuries last season but, seemingly, everyone they had to plug in as a replacement smashed the ball at a 120 OPS+. He had maybe the deepest bullpen in all of MLB to utilize. What manager would not look pretty good in his place?
Well, I mean now we're into how do you ever judge a manager and disentangle his decisions from the front office and personnel, which has always been difficult and even more so with most front offices taking over parts of the managerial job.

But he had one SP with a sub-4 ERA (Paxton), the bullpen is indeed great but he did a much better job maximizing it than he did in 2018, and all season he seemed to make the right decisions much more often than not, even if they seemed unorthodox at the time.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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It feels like the main criteria for Yankees manager is to handle the day to day media and don’t let the clubhouse deteriorate into another Bronx Zoo. It’s more human resource tactics than on field baseball skill. Good communication with the media and players is 90% of the job. Cashman and and the analytical department do the rest.

The one place a baseball manager has a real effect is the postseason, where Boone is .500.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Well, I mean now we're into how do you ever judge a manager and disentangle his decisions from the front office and personnel, which has always been difficult and even more so with most front offices taking over parts of the managerial job.

But he had one SP with a sub-4 ERA (Paxton), the bullpen is indeed great but he did a much better job maximizing it than he did in 2018, and all season he seemed to make the right decisions much more often than not, even if they seemed unorthodox at the time.
I would actually agree with you. I'm just not sure how a guy managing a team with all that talent can be given an A+ rating. By that, I mean, what's the standard when you have that much talent? If the team had gotten to the world series, does he get A++? If they'd won it all would he get A+++? In one of Roger Angell's books, he talks to a couple of old Tigers fans who snicker about what a terrible manager Mayo Smith was. But the 1968 Tigers, that he managed, were loaded and at the top of their game and steamrolled through the AL before coming back to beat the Cardinals in the series. With enough talent even a mediocre or bad manager will look pretty damn good. In this era of 5 inning starts, the manager with the deepest, best bullpen has a huge leg up on looking smart over the other managers.
 

EvilEmpire

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With so many injuries, I disagree that there is so much talent that Boone can just plug and play. I think balancing out contributions from a bunch of different players, some without much track record at the MLB level, requires some skill, even beyond the bullpen.

And I do think coaching has something to do with getting the most out of a player.

Boone and his staff did it pretty well last year.
 

jon abbey

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Rough, I am grading him specifically on the Yankee job, which like Boston is different from most of the rest of MLB. I'm not sure who gets the most credit for turning guys like Tauchman and Urshela from throwaways into WAR machines, Urshela credited the Scranton hitting coach, old buddy Phil Plantier, but Boone has quickly developed the perfect temperament for a Yankee manager, Torre-esque.

So A+ for me means that there's no one else I would currently rather have, specifically for this job, than the hard-working 47 year old Aaron Boone. He is not as smart as Girardi but he is not dumb and he really works his ass off, constant interviews all offseason and he is almost always locked in. It took him like 200 games but it clicked and he is killing it, no need for a letter grade even. He did an incredible job in the last five months or so of the season, that team easily could have collapsed. They had a point where Clint Frazier was holding their lineup together as like their sixth string outfielder and then of course he went out too.
 

jon abbey

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NY started off 18-14 last year and ended up 103-59, so 85-45 after May 4, 80% of a season at 106-56 pace with the actual personnel he had was what I was giving a A/A+ to.
 

jon abbey

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Look at this lineup in late April, the second game of a nine game West Coast road trip, against the Angels:

LeMahieu
Voit
Gardner
Gleyber
Mike Ford
Tauchman
Romine
Thairo Estrada
Tyler Wade

 

jon abbey

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It feels like the main criteria for Yankees manager is to handle the day to day media and don’t let the clubhouse deteriorate into another Bronx Zoo. It’s more human resource tactics than on field baseball skill. Good communication with the media and players is 90% of the job. Cashman and and the analytical department do the rest.

The one place a baseball manager has a real effect is the postseason, where Boone is .500.
I missed this before, I pretty much agree with this but again he was much better in the postseason in 2019 than 2018 and seems to be working his ass off to continue that trend.
 

BaseballJones

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NY started off 18-14 last year and ended up 103-59, so 85-45 after May 4, 80% of a season at 106-56 pace with the actual personnel he had was what I was giving a A/A+ to.
Boone was fantastic last year, and I don't know how anyone could possibly say otherwise. Yes the Yankees had a lot of talent, but the injuries they overcame were just unbelievable. He's a good to very good manager, with a great general manager above him, and tons of talent around him. The Yankees are in fantastic, just fantastic shape as an organization.

Which annoys the hell out of me, but give credit where credit's due.