Don’t say we didn’t warn you! The New York Yankees, before anything else, love to see their plans unfold. They don’t want to be bothered with necessary changes that seem to be essential in turning things around.
There were many problems with the 2021 roster. But, on top of the bad play, the responsibility also fell on the front office (for putting these pieces together) and the manager (for seemingly being unable to motivate a group of All-Stars past the AL Wild Card Game).
The Yankees were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox a week ago. The Sox, swiftly, eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays and moved onto the ALCS. We’ve yet to hear a word from the Bombers regarding any offseason plans.
But we’ve gotten some hints, at least in regard to Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. Unfortunately, the vast majority of fans aren’t going to like what they hear.
Michael Kay and Buster Olney talked about why it’s more than likely Cashman returns. That’s no surprise. Then Yankees insider Bryan Hoch said he expected Boone to return in 2022.
Now, ESPN and Buster Olney are saying the same thing about Boone, who the Yankees are reportedly “leaning toward” retaining for next season.
The Yankees reportedly leaning toward keeping Aaron Boone means one thing …
“Though the wait continues within the Yankees’ organization for owner Hal Steinbrenner to dictate the direction of the team in a fluid situation, he seems inclined to keep Aaron Boone as manager, industry sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.”
“‘He likes [Boone], and I don’t think he blames him for what happened,’ one source said.”
The Yankees seemingly went from a cutthroat owner in George Steinbrenner to feeling bad about letting people go because they “like” them. While owner Hal Steinbrenner does have a pertinent point about player performance, that’s hardly the beginning and end of the Yankees’ problems.
Baseball is about putting players in the best position to succeed and understanding each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Boone seems to lack that paramount trait with his bullpen management and lineup cards (on both offense and defense).
Most importantly, however, is the voice echoing through the clubhouse. Is Boone’s presence assertive? Influential? Demanding? It really seems like it isn’t, at least based on the countless postgame press conferences where he refused to hold anybody accountable and the fact that good production doesn’t get rewarded while mediocre/poor production maintains its favorable standing (just look at how every Gleyber Torres hustle incident and defensive blunder was handled).
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Boone likely returning, however, is the fact that not much is going to change with this team. Once again, their philosophy of “we can’t let this person go only to watch them succeed elsewhere” takes centerstage. The Yankees’ organizational ego can’t possibly witness one decision backfire unless it’s all occurring right under their nose. “But what if Boone leaves for the Padres and does well?! Then what will we do?!”
Additionally, as for the roster, all this tells us is that there will be minimal changes. If you’re re-signing Boone, the most logical outcome is running this same roster back in 2022 before the true overarching changes are required (the Yankees will have more 10 players hitting free agency next offseason). Because, once again, the organization believes in its methodology and wants to see it through.
That much has to be true if they’re bringing back the manager who has failed time and time again on the biggest stage against the team’s chief rivals.