1. Boone Doesn’t Create Winning Mindset
Compared to the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees players lack a true champion’s swagger and drive. They don’t seem to possess the same conceit and arrogance as players from their three main divisional rivals when they get into the batter’s box with men in scoring position.
Boone has been unsuccessful at creating an atmosphere for winning. This requires a manager to be able to balance empathy and support with occasional strong discipline. It is almost as if Boone is afraid of criticizing or calling out his players when they perform poorly. Maybe he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Being nice to everyone doesn’t win ball games.
At this point, most analysts would agree that the Yanks are likely to win more games with Kyle Higashioka behind the plate than Gary Sanchez. Despite Sanchez’s athleticism and strength, he has not been able to nail down the catching position and improve his hitting.
Rather than publicly appoint Higgy as the starting catcher, Boone instead avoids the issue and simply states that Higgy will now get more playing time. This creates ambiguity for Higgy and resentment by Sanchez (I would imagine), leaving both catchers questioning their exact roles on the team — and, shocker, Higashioka has gotten much worse in recent weeks. Such vagueness leads to confusion and undermines any efforts to create a winning atmosphere on the Bombers.
Given how the Yanks are playing right now, I don’t see the club making the playoffs with Boone at the helm. It will not be enough to just “call out” the Yankee players to turn things around for the club.
GM Brian Cashman should consider replacing Boone at the All-Star break if the Yanks continue to flounder. Buck Showalter or Mike Scioscia could be asked to manage the rest of the season before the team must decide on a permanent replacement for the current field general.