The New York Yankees aren’t simply “running it back” with Aaron Boone for 2022; they’re sprinting headlong into the Booneaissance, locking in Brian Cashman’s preferred manager for the next three seasons with a fourth-year option.
If that feels like too long a leash to give a manager who’s yet to make it past the ALCS despite 103- and 100-win seasons, it probably is.
But, as Boone defenders have always asked, “Who’s the alternative?” Some other front-office-endorsed sitting duck who has lineups and pitcher usage patterns fed to him? Surely, the Yankees would only replace Boone with Another Boone.
And … yes, that’s probably true. There was, however, at least a few days this offseason when the Yanks almost deviated wildly away from their plan, and towards a more old-school approach that probably would’ve infuriated certain pockets of the fan base and inspired others.
Until Cashman got his way, there seems to have been a moment in time in October where Hal Steinbrenner was waffling and entertaining the idea of promoting Buck Showalter from the YES Network postgame show to the dugout, per Jon Heyman.
Ultimately, he listened to Cash, brought Boone back, and the rest was history — though hopefully the good kind.
Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner considered Buck Showalter this offseason.
And, of course, you know how this ends. Showalter is now the favorite to take the New York Mets job across town, so we’ll immediately learn whether or not Steinbrenner made the right decision.
It’s a perfectly-constructed experiment. Two big-city baseball teams in the same location with bloated payrolls. One going old school and shaking things up, one staying with the status quo. Watch and learn.
Could the Mets’ experiment be a catastrophic failure? Sure! We love Buck, but we certainly hope so. Would make us feel better.
You’re already seeing the players in Flushing rallying to Showalter’s side and stumping for the hire, though, so it’s clear this isn’t a Tony La Russa situation. Perhaps an entire career shouldn’t be invalidated by the Zack Britton move, as so many tweens on Twitter have been desperate to posit.
Perhaps the wildest element of this report is that the Yankees really did almost steer into the curve and blow it all up. There’s no greater deviation in philosophy than ditching Boone for Showalter, who’s probably going to overrule the analytics department more often than not.
Deivi Garcia ain’t throwing just one inning in a playoff game in the Showalter Administration.
At the very least, we’ll know “what could have been” in just a few months, as long as the lockout wraps.