2. Aaron Boone Will Return
The Yankees have gotten worse under manager Aaron Boone. Whether that’s directly his fault is a conversation for another time. Heck, Brian Cashman is expected to return, too! You know, the foot solider who takes care of Hal’s money and the guy who disrespected Derek Jeter during contract talks toward the end of the Hall of Famer’s career.
Judge was the AL MVP runner up back in 2017, his rookie season. At present day, that’s the closest the Yankees have come to reaching the World Series. Cashman’s either improperly built rosters for the postseason, made poor judgement calls, and/or has been cursed with bad luck in his decision making. Judge, for a few postseasons, hasn’t helped the cause either. Since the 2019 ALCS, he’s hitting .168 in 23 playoff games.
But in 2017, it was an underdog squad. That gets a pass. Plus the Astros were cheating. In 2018, they flat-out choked against the Red Sox (and didn’t have enough pitching). In 2019, they didn’t have enough pitching and the offense disappeared (14 runs in the final five games of the series, where they lost four of five). 2020 was a disgrace. 2021 was a result of inexplicable regressions, bad risks (Corey Kluber, Miguel Andújar, Domingo Germán, JAY BRUCE) and poorly miscalculated trade acquisitions (Joey Gallo, Andrew Heaney).
As you can see, it’s not all on Boone. But Boone’s supposed to be a motivator. He’s supposed to bail the Yankees out more times than not when offensive droughts happen; when injuries rock the roster; when unexpected regressions occur.
But he doesn’t. He manages for tomorrow. Opposing skippers run circles around him. His postgame interviews are low energy, full of excuses, all the while lacking baseball acumen. He’s had five years. That’s a long time. It’s gotten progressively worse. It couldn’t hurt to have a new voice and it’s hard to believe Judge is sold on this kind of continuity.