After this morning’s big Aaron Boone news, Brian Cashman took to the podium to give his annual end-of-the-season press conference. That was always how this was going to go. Make a managerial decision, then have the press conference. Makes sense.
Anyway, Cashman said a lot of interesting things today. That is pretty typical for him – I always like listening to him speak. I know the Yanks’ GM has his fair share of critics these days, but I find him to be pretty forthright and nuanced in his remarks. Sure, he is always going to have his standard talking points and non-answers, but he usually goes a level deeper than you’d expect. Today was no different. Here is a rundown of the most notable announcements, with a more detailed analysis of the day’s happenings to follow a bit later on:
File this one under “disappointing but not surprising.” According to the YES Network’s Jack Curry, Aaron Boone will return as manager of the Yankees next season, and for the next two following that. Curry reports that the terms are a three-year deal with a club option to return in the fourth year. (At least, that’s how I read it.) I would have guessed a two-year deal to return – nobody likes to make their manager a lame-duck right away – so that element surprises me. The rest? Eh, not so much.
The Yankees took their sweet time with this, which always suggested that they were okay with the status quo minus some staffing changes. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Why they are okay with Aaron Boone at the helm, however, is a different question entirely. I don’t get it. He must be the world’s best clubhouse communicator. (The merits of which are also lost on me.)
Boone is not an especially good in-game manager, his strategic decisions are often baffling, several key players have regressed, they’ve never beaten a rival in the postseason under his leadership, and the Yankees have not even equaled their 2017 success despite having more talent in the following four seasons. Given the debacle that was the 2020 and 2021 seasons, it felt like an opportune time to make a clean break. The Yankees obviously disagreed. I find that extremely disappointing and depressing. I am sure many of you do as well. They had better go out and make a big splash in free agency to wash away the bad smell, because it’s hard not to be really deflated as a Yankee fan right now.
Anyway, we’ll update this post with the terms and other relevant details as they trickle out, and I’ll have a more detailed reaction post later this afternoon. Ugh.
(Update: 9am) It’s official. Good luck to the social media managers on this one.
(Update: 9:40 am) Hal Steinbrenner has released a statement, which does what good statements do: it expresses confidence in his decision and not much else. A lot of folks are upset by it, but whatever. What did you expect? It was Hal’s call to bring Boone back. Therefore, he obviously thinks it was a good move, and he’s going to say so in his public statement. No use getting worked up over this. It is what it is.
And that confirms it. Assuming the same timeframe for a return as he just tried to come back from, his season is over.
Jameson Taillon left tonight’s game in the third inning due to injury. I can’t help but wonder if Taillon aggravated the ankle tendon tear that sidelined him for most of September. It wasn’t clear what bothered Taillon from watching the broadcast, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption.
Needless to say, it’s a bummer to lose Taillon again so quickly. His stuff looked pretty crisp for a guy who hadn’t pitched since September 6th. There are still a bunch of hurdles for the Yankees to cross in order to get to the ALDS, but having a healthy Taillon would’ve made the pitching-rich Yankees even richer in a long series. Alas.
Update, 8:48pm: Exhale, for now. A tight hamstring is much, much better than any sort of arm problem for Gerrit Cole, certainly in terms of long-term injuries. Hard to say if this is a better short-term outcome than a blister or fingernail issue, though. I’m sure we’ll find out more in the postgame press conferences from Aaron Boone and Cole himself.