Aaron Boone embraces Yankees' Opening Day starter chaos after Marcus Stroman news

New York Yankees v Miami Marlins
New York Yankees v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

PICTURED ABOVE: Yankees manager Aaron Boone, smelling something iffy in Gerrit Cole's elbow and too afraid to tell anyone (or admit it to himself).

Now, Boone has a decision to make instead of penciling in the easiest answer any manager in the game has to their Opening Day conundrum. Somebody has to take the ball down in Houston, and no matter who Boone selects, it'll be a pitcher with significant-to-glaring Yankees warts.

Could Carlos Rodón, fresh off his first excellent outing of the spring, showcasing the fastball velocity that's long been promised, take the ball? What about fan favorite Nestor Cortes Jr., battling wonkiness himself? Homegrown starter Clarke Schmidt? January import Marcus Stroman, who's been fulfilling a lifelong dream with every spring outing, and could geek out beyond reasonable limits when the curtain actually rises on the regular season?

While Boone held his cards close to the vest on Wednesday when pressed, he hinted that Rodón would be better served staying on his Game 2 pace. That would, more than likely, mean that Stroman will get the nod, given the pedigrees of everyone else involved.

And ... welp ... nope! Stroman himself told reporters on Thursday that he'd given the staff a "thanks, but no thanks," and that all parties agreed he would be better served by staying on turn.

Unfortunately, nobody else will be able to make the start and also stay on turn. It was Cole's turn! Boonie, after Stroman's admission, just stirred up even more chaos rather than clarifying things.

Yankees' Opening Day starter won't be Carlos Rodón, sounds like Marcus Stroman?

Blake Snell? Michael Lorenzen? Bulpen game???

Stroman's Instagram reaction to Cole's departure was exceedingly heartfelt, and he truly does seem to be in command, both physically and mentally, with the grueling regular season approaching. Keeping Rodón both on turn and (slightly) out of the spotlight feels like a smart move, but Stroman is in a similar spot. If he scuffles, that pressure will be ratcheted up immediately by the relentless New York media. It's on the right-hander to bat it down by controlling the controllables of his own performance, but it's easier to hide in Game 3 than the opener.

If spring performance were everything, Stroman would be a shoo-in. Forget, briefly, about his 2019-2023 dalliances with Yankee hating. It's become extremely clear he was only lashing out because he wasn't included, and has done everything right since reporting to camp. Yes, that includes declining to throw his routine off kilter and take the Opening Day start/lose the home opener, which clearly means a lot to him. Anyone who feels otherwise would be screaming from the fire escape if the Yankees changed his routine and it resulted in injury. You know it's true.

Now, it seems likely that navigating trouble will fall on Stroman's shoulders for most of the season, instead of simply supplementing the team's workhorses and blending into the shadows. Just don't wear the 2004 shirt, and things might be alright.

Not on Opening Day, though. That'll belong to someone else, and while it's our job to do the detective work, the conclusion is all on Boone.