The New York Yankees aren’t having the best season in 2021, losing key game after key game and currently occupying fourth place in the American League East.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 1, 2021
Aaron Boone, their manager, has been questioned, but they should be smart and give him a long leash.
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) June 29, 2021
Here is why.
2. He Has Shown He Can Win Before
Boone may not be the best manager in MLB, but there is very little in the way of proofs to say he is a bad one.
He took over the Yankees before the start of the 2018 season and went 100-62, with a .617 winning percentage.
The next year, his Yankees won the AL East with a 103-59 record, and lost to the Houston Astros in the Championship Series.
He made it to the postseason last year, too, despite some stumbles along the way.
He hasn’t gotten the job done in the playoffs yet but very much deserves more time at the job.
Yes, he has lost some crucial games, but he has won them, too.
Everybody in the Yankees front office, from owner Hal Steinbrenner to general manager Brian Cashman, seem to agree that he is currently the right man for the job.
There is little sense in bringing another manager in-season, especially when there aren’t too many worthy candidates out there who can embrace analytics and have what it takes to enter the picture and lift the team.
The Yankees haven’t been good in 2021, but that’s because of a series of factors that go from roster construction, willingness to remain under luxury tax threshold, injuries, key players underperforming, and many more.
But Boone has shown in the past he can win, so he deserves a longer leash.
1. Everybody Has Responsibility For Yankees’ Struggles, Not Just Him
The 41-39 Yankees are nine games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox, and that’s certainly below what was expected of the Bombers.
But when something like this happens, the manager can’t be the only one to blame.
This week, Steinbrenner and Cashman backed Boone and implied that they won’t fire him despite the team struggles, and the former stated that players are to blame too.
While it’s not usually a good look to just single out the players of your own team, the ones you and your general manager selected to play for you, that statement is true to some extent.
But these things happen, players aren’t robots, and even the best will struggle from time to time.
Injuries have certainly affected the Yankees too, especially the rotation depth.
Steinbrenner and Cashman’s unwillingness to surpass the luxury tax could have compromised the quality of the roster.
Even Boone himself has made blunders, namely in bullpen management and lineup construction.
As you can see, everybody has a share of the blame, not just Boone, and it would be unfair to sack him when the whole situation isn’t entirely on him and if his hypothetical replacement won’t make much of a difference at this point.
What should the Yankees do?
They need to give Boone weapons to succeed: monitor the trade market and bring a center fielder and a pitcher or two, follow their own minor leaguers and identify potential contributors, and back him up at all times.