Each Monday during the regular season and postseason, we ask you to evaluate how Aaron Boone’s doing as the Yankees manager. Last week’s edition was the culmination of 2020’s series, and unsurprisingly, you all weren’t too pleased with Boone’s performance. After all, the Yankees fell short under his helm for the third straight season and a number of the skipper’s decisions came under scrutiny during the ALDS.
Before we take a look at the final survey results, let’s quickly address Boone’s standing for next season. We already know that Boone is staying and that the team won’t decline his 2021 option. That said, the majority of those who voted last week would like to see a change in the dugout:
Obviously, the collective opinion on Boone isn’t in line with the organization’s sentiment. Perhaps running that poll just a few days after elimination skewed things a tad. Still, it’s clear that Boone’s favorability trended downward as the season went on. Take a look at the full-season weekly results:
These marks also represent a downward trend from last year.
Remember, Boone was a legitimate Manager of the Year candidate in 2019! Not this year. A 33-27 record and second place finish were well short of expectations, even with the bizarreness of a 60-game season.
Now, not everything was his fault. Brian Cashman took blame for not giving Boone enough pitching. The injury bug struck again. The Next Men Up were mostly terrible this season. It’s pretty clear that Boone had less to work with this season, though that doesn’t absolve him of blame.
Still, it’s frustrating to watch Kevin Cash run circles around Boone in the ALDS. It’s exasperating to listen to Boone mislead us on injuries time and time again (remember when Aaron Judge’s removal from a game in August was no big deal?). And it’s tiring to hear about how close this team is to a World Series title, when frankly, this year was a step back.
Even though we’ve heard Cashman say that he hopes Boone will have a successful ten year run in pinstripes, I can’t help but wonder if 2021 could be the final straw. Granted, the Yankees could put that question to bed with an extension, rather than putting Boone in a lame duck situation by only exercising his 2021 option. But does he really deserve an extension? It’s three years in a row now that this team hasn’t gotten over the hump under Boone’s watch.
Remember, Joe Torre won a World Series in year one. Joe Girardi in year two. Boone is now 0-for-3 with a roster that is in the midst of its championship window. Or at least, supposed to be. Again, Boone isn’t the only one at fault here. But at the same time, has he gotten this team any closer to the pinnacle? That’s not clear. The pressure is only mounting for Boone, and next year could be his last chance.