Posted on December 4, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
Less than 72 hours after the news was first reported, the New York Yankees have officially named Aaron Boone as their new manager. The Yankees announced the arrangement Monday afternoon, signing Boone to a three-year contract to be the team’s next skipper. Boone replaces Joe Girardi, who was not retained despite leading the Yankees to the ALCS this past season. Boone, a one-time Yankees playoff hero, will be reintroduced to the New York media at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
“Words cannot express how humbled I am to wear the pinstripes again as the manager of the Yankees,” Boone said in a statement. “I want to thank the Steinbrenner family and (Yankees GM) Brian Cashman for entrusting me with this tremendous honor and responsibility. I believe we are entering into a special time in New York Yankees history, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get to work — and that work starts now.”
The Yankees decided on Boone after interviewing six candidates for the position. Only one of those candidates had previous managerial experience in the big leagues. However, Boone was one of two candidates along with the recently retired Carlos Beltran with no prior experience as a coach at the major league level. Since retiring as a major league player, Boone has worked as a television analyst, most recently for ESPN.
However, Cashman and the Yankees still believe he has all the skills necessary to be a major league manager. After the Yankees let Girardi go, Cashman cited “communication and connectivity” as important characteristics for the team’s next manager. Clearly, Cashman believes Boone possesses these important traits, among others.
“We also believe Aaron’s interpersonal skills and baseball pedigree will allow him to blend well with the systems we have in place, our baseball operations staff and the 25-man roster,” said Cashman. “On a personal level, I look forward to collaborating with him over the coming years and offering him the support and resources needed to get the most out of our players.”
Boone, of course, has some experience being in New York. He played with the Yankees during the second half of the 2003 season and became a playoff hero after hitting a walk-off home run to win Game 7 of the ALCS. Other than that, he has no experience handling the pressures of the New York media, much less doing so as a manager. However, Boone believes that his time as a member of the media has prepared him to be a manager.
“I find myself managing games all the time and thinking about strategies and how I would handle different situations,” explains Boone. “Certainly, it’s fair to question my experience in actually doing the job, but I would say in a way I’ve been preparing for this job for the last 44 years.”
Perhaps more importantly, Boone says his brief time as a Yankee has prepared him for the pressure that comes with being the manager of the Yankees. If nothing else, he knows what’s expected of him and the team he now leads that was one game away from winning the pennant this past season.
“It’s just understanding what it is to be a Yankee, what it is to play here and just understanding the expectations that go with it,” Boone said. “Certainly the expectations now will be ramped up even more after such a successful season and when you look at the roster that we’re going to potentially have out there. I know what I would be signing up for.”