Thursday, October 11, 2018


He almost had me, but now I take it back.

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I've been critical of Aaron Boone all season. I admit, I have also been more critical than some other BYB writers but a week ago I finally gave Boone some props. I give credit when credit is due and the Wild Card game was well played and managed. Unfortunately, that's where it stopped. It was just a brief moment for me, personally.

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I've had an entire day to stew on Tuesday nights loss. No Yankee fan likes losing, ever but this was not a typical loss. I don't understand how Boone could leave his starters in too long on back to back nights when they are visibly struggling. It's not something that should happen in the playoffs, especially in elimination games. Alex Cora didn't do it. Joe Girardi wouldn't have done it.....NOBODY does it. It blows my mind! The Red Sox didn't win 108 games by accident. This was a good team that Boone SHOULDN'T have wanted to give extra opportunities to. It was a rookie manager suicide mission.

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Someone needs to sit down with Boone this winter and go over some things like:

1. Luis Severino was throwing meatballs on Monday. He should've been yanked instead of letting him pitch in the fourth inning.

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2. Even worse, letting Lance Lynn come into the 4th inning with bases loaded and no outs. That's the LAST person Boone should've put in the game.

3. Why repeat Monday night again this time with CC Sabathia? Leaving him in the third inning seemed like a bad idea right from the start! How dense can you be?

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4. Boone has a double standard for defense. We all know blocking is an issue for Gary Sanchez, yet he was catcher in every single postseason game. Meanwhile, Miguel Andujar started in four postseason games and Boone pulls him early in the two games they won for a better defensive replacement. He is no more a defensive liability than Sanchez is. What manager pulls their starter for a defensive replacement in the SIXTH inning?! I don't think I have ever seen that kind of "logic" before.

5. Why the hell would you bench Andujar for game 4? He is one of your best extra base hitters and he's not in the lineup! It makes no sense at all in a do or die game.

I could list A LOT more than that, but this post would become a novel. The last two games have done nothing but convince me that Boone just doesn't know how to manage. I've had numerous conversations over the last day about this. Some people gave a lot of credit to Boone handling all of the injuries. Okay, fine....but that is part of the game.

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You mean to tell me Girardi didn't have a ton of injuries to handle when he was manager? Come on. We had a lot of injuries last year too but we managed to make it ONE game away from the World Series with only 91 wins. It's more than just injuries. Then I was talking with people who wanted to "grade" Boone's first season as a manager. I heard a lot of "B" and even some "A" answers and I think people are confusing management skills with player performance. There is a difference.

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The Yankees won 100 games this season and set a record for home runs. That is a fantastic achievement on its own, but I cannot attribute those wins to Boone's great management skills. This team was inherited by Boone. It was handed to him gift wrapped and topped with a big shiny bow after acquiring Giancarlo Stanton.

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Any manager would love to walk into this gig with a stacked lineup and a young stud like Aaron Judge to pencil into the lineup every game. Anyone who won this managerial job was going to be expected to take this group of talented players and get to the World Series again. The fact that the Yankees won 100 games says more about the talent Boone inherited than his own management skills. This team is stacked, it achieved based on its talent.....not because Boone had genius strategy and executed it well.

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Boone was clearly out-managed by Alex Cora and I would go so far as to say it was an embarrassment to the organization. Boone is here because of his legendary walk-off homer again Tim Wakefield in 2003. That moment had magic but his postseason moments were full of blunders. It was clear to see Cora's experience has helped him get to this point.

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He learned a lot and I think he will have a long, successful manager career. I can't say the same for Boone. Hopefully Boone will prove me wrong and take the next six months to reflect on that so we don't have these same blunders going forward.

I think the Yankees took on a lot of risk by hiring a manager with no experience and it ended in an epic failure. I want to believe in the Yankees vision with Boone as manager....but I can't. The fundamentals are missing here. The Yankees are going to be competitive for years to come. The Yankees are too good to treat this managerial position like a first entry level job out of college. But somehow, that's what we got.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @Nyprincessj

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