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.