Sunday, August 12, 2018


I am reading a book right now entitled Culture By Design by David J. Friedman.  The author describes a protocol for driving "better individual and organizational performance" through the development of a series of fundamentals, which help organizations take their desired behaviors and put them in action.  A few of the common fundamentals include "Take Ownership" "Practice Blameless Problem-Solving" and "Speak Straight."  With these in mind, watching Aaron Boone in his pre and post game press conferences lately have been especially painful.  Truth be told, since I am speaking straight, I have never really understood his riddling soundbites that seem to go on about nothing both in the context of his press conferences live or quoted in sports columns.  But, lately, they have been particularly cloudy and for someone who was hired for his articulation and relationship building qualities, I think Boone needs a little more transparency with fans and the media.

Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America

"Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Stanton's hamstring tightness has not subsided since he began feeling it a week ago, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports. This issue has forced Boone to play Stanton primarily in the DH spot, which is where he's spent five of the past seven games," reported CBS Sports.  But it wasn't until this weekend that we even knew officially that Giancarlo Stanton had a hamstring issue.  He just kept playing him at DH despite many of us scratching our heads in confusion.  I mean they played Neil Walker in right field, who has had little to no experience in the outfield and who is barely hitting .227 (just started to "get hot").  Why not tell us why Stanton keeps playing DH?  Why not be upfront?

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

So the first Fundamental for Boone to get under wraps in his journey towards transparency is Take Ownership.  He needs to take ownership for not playing his best team every night.  He needs to take ownership for his words or the words he chooses to either confuse us or keep things from us.  The New Haven Register calls him out for his choices of late. "Aaron Boone is beginning to overthink things. On Friday night he sat red-hot Neil Walker a day after belting two homers in favor of minor league-caliber bats Luke Voit and Shane Robinson. And slumping Gleyber Torres continues to move higher and higher in the lineup."  

Source: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images North America

The next Fundamental Boone needs to be concerned about is Practice Blameless Problem-Solving.  We have been told that we have the best bullpen in baseball.  Has anyone taught Boone how to use them effectively?  As points out following the massacre in Fenway, perhaps not.  "Did Boone take CC Sabathia out too soon (three innings) on Thursday? Why did he keep Jonathan Holder in so long Friday? Why not go to Chad Green over Holder in the first place? Why go to A.J. Cole with his team down, 3-0, in the seventh inning vs. the Red Sox on Saturday rather than, say, Dellin Betances? (The game was close enough, and it’s Boston, after all.) It was only one or two times early, perhaps partially Yankees were bashing around teams, but Boone’s bullpen usage has deserved scrutiny lately." Why not own this Boone instead of placing much of the blame on Miguel Andujar for his error late in the game instead of just owning the poor bullpen choices.  Boone instead said this:

"We have to do a better job of playing a cleaner brand of baseball. Especially when things are hard and you're up against a real good opponent, you've got to play clean," Boone said as reported by ESPN. Cleaner brand of baseball? Real good opponent?  The words, the struggle, be real, Boone.  How about this, "We made some fundamental mistakes as a team and that includes myself as manager."  

Source: David Maxwell/Getty Images North America

The final fundamental Boone needs to put into practice is Speak Straight.  As I mentioned earlier, listening to Boone talk about the game the Yankees are about to play or the one they just finished is difficult.  He speaks in riddles and he uses a lot of phrases and clauses that are not linked to any substance.  "I see [this] as a bump," Boone said. "I see it as we didn't play great these last two days, but I have a lot of belief in those guys and the approach those guys have going into the day.
This is a long, arduous season. You're going to hit these little bumps in the road where it's difficult, where you're trying to preserve pitching a little bit, where you're up against it a little bit a lot of days in a row," Boone said after the loss to the Red Sox last Thursday.  I would rather him say that we blew it.  I would rather him own the loss and say that we just have to play better baseball.  Make no mistake, Boone, this is NOT a little bump in the road.  This is a gigantic pot hole and we are stuck.

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

Bottom line, this late in the season, we need a little more transparency in our Yankee administration, and it starts with Boone.  Giancarlo Stanton speaks straight, so does Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia, owning their bad outings or injuries.  Jonathan Holder owned his poor game play.  Why can't Aaron Boone be more upfront with us as fans?  That's the message today- be a transparent leader, Boone.  Be honest with us.  Be honest with yourself and own your deficiencies.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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1 comment:

  1. Can't agree more. For a guy whom worked on TV for 7+ years he is not smooth at all (says um in almost every other sentance)and he does ramble. Joe G. gave more insight and was tougher on players and told it straight no sugar coating but it got him fired after Game 7 of ACLS.
    Boone is starting to get the heat and cant manage out of a paper bag.


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