The New York Yankees will not be dismissing manager Aaron Boone midway through a two-plus-month slide that’s turned the Bombers from record-threatening ’98 wannabes to barely-hanging-on potential AL East champions (and nothing more). Didn’t you hear the news? Brian Cashman’s coming back after the season, and where he goes, Boone follows.
But if the Yankees were a different team — George’s Yankees, perhaps, or one of many more reactionary MLB clubs with a change-of-pace in waiting — they would’ve already given their manager his walking papers. Probably midway through the last home Rays series, which began with two borderline shutouts.
Firing a manager to change the voice in the locker room midstream is always a gamble. It’s potentially an even bigger gamble with the Yankees, where fans are always looking for a scapegoat, and might be left eating their words if the tide doesn’t turn in the immediate aftermath of a Boone dismissal.
Plus, in New York, everyone knows Cashman and the front office execute ownership’s bidding. Would they really dismiss Boone without a cherry-picked and very similar replacement? Is there anyone you’d really trust as an interim right now? Install Luis Rojas and the laughs will echo all the way from Queens.
Firing Boone in the middle of a season where the Yankees lead the AL East as Sept. approaches seems tough to fathom. But these three franchises have recently dismissed managers for much less, and have no tolerance for complacency. Sometimes, it’s worked out! In other cities, the spiral has continued, as the rot runs deeper than the man in charge.
These 3 MLB teams would’ve fired Yankees’ Aaron Boone long ago
3. Philadelphia Phillies
“Surely, Joe Girardi’s not the problem with the Phillies. The roster was built to mash, not to play defense. They’re not deep enough. He’s a symptom, not the virus.”
Well … ex-Yankees family member Rob Thomson has a little something to say about that, apparently.
The Philly pressure was heightened by a playoff drought that stems back to the 2011 season, something the Yankees do not have. However, there’s a difference between the distressing and the mundane, and despite spending most every offseason (Bryce Harper! JT Realmuto!), it seemed the Phillies had built a roughly average team (82-80, 81-81, 28-32, 82-80 since 2018). That’s mediocrity at two levels below the 2020-2022 Yankees, but mediocrity just the same.
Prior to Girardi’s dismissal this season, the Phils were a dead-in-the-water 22-29, with bullpen problems persisting and offensive malaise consuming a roster packed with Dave Dombrowski’s sluggers. Since? They bring a 50-27 stretch into play Monday that’s vaulted them into the Wild Card picture.
Against all modern baseball logic where every chemistry question can be answered by an equation, the Phillies have completely reversed course with a new voice at the helm — even though he was inside the locker room already! Over the weekend, Harper himself slid a miniature dig at Girardi into his post-win comments, making it clear the team values having a manager who empowers their young players (something he sold as a welcome change). He said the same back in June, too.
Safe to say, if the Phillies had Aaron Boone at the helm, they would’ve already axed him and promoted Oswald Peraza.