Yankees: Dusty Baker’s big move should teach Aaron Boone a lesson

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Manager Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros looks on prior to game one of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Manager Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros looks on prior to game one of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone could learn a lot from Dusty Baker’s show of faith.

For a players’ manager, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone doesn’t show a whole lot of faith in his players.

Which is why we feel like it’s merited to give Astros (yikes) manager Dusty Baker a pat on the back for his extremely gutsy Zack Greinke move which worked out on Wednesday night in Game 4, and pricked Boone and the Yankees’ entire ethos, emphasizing the one thing that’s been missing from Boone’s game plan for three full years: feel for the moment.

There is nothing wrong with reliance on analytics, which must still be said, somehow, even after the Yankees got picked apart by the Rays, the most analytics-heavy team in the game.

It does feel important to note, though, that one round after Boone and the Yankees snuffed out their own momentum by playing with their starters in-game in Game 2 of the ALDS, Baker staved off elimination by rolling the dice and letting his guy know he never lost faith.

Was it hairy? Sure. As Greinke’s pitch count climbed, Baker allowed him to face Randy Arozarena with the tying runs on base; he got him on a questionable check swing. Then, the veteran allowed a Ji-Man Choi infield single to load the bases, even though he induced the exact form of soft contact he’d intended. That pushed Baker to stick with him one more time, culminating in a brilliantly-executed 3-2 changeup to whiff Michael Brosseau and essentially win the game.

This never would’ve happened in the Yankee dugout. Honestly, it never would’ve happened anywhere else.

We’re not saying Boone has to be a Baker clone, sitting firmly in the dugout as his starter stretches as far as they can possibly go. But a show of faith or an endorsement of his own player’s talent can go a long way, whether that piece be young or old.

Think of how beautiful it would’ve been to hear something like this from a Yankee after Game 2:

Deivi Garcia would never have unleashed a quotation like that after he was yanked after one inning and one solo homer. JA Happ actively disputed such a notion, deferring all questions about whether he felt respected by or comfortable with his Game 2 usage. Even Clint Frazier, the team’s undisputed best bench bat, probably should’ve sounded off after Mike Ford was used instead, based on no form of eye test (he hadn’t had a hit since August!).

Baker’s gambit came with his team backed against the wall and very little to lose. But it was nice to see a manager have the ability to throw the book out the window under pressure. Imagine if Boone had done the same with a Game 2 advantage? It could’ve made all the difference.