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Aaron Boone Evaluation Survey: 2020 In Review

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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:

Thoughts after the end of season press conferences

Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman spoke to the media yesterday afternoon. Each took the better part of an hour for their discussions with the media, though I think folks were a bit more curious to hear what the general manager had to say. We had already heard Boone talk a bit after the Game 5 loss, though yesterday came with a few days to marinate after the end of the season. I know I was more interested in what Cashman had to say, at least.

I do have one thing I want to say about Boone’s presser, but the rest of my thoughts relate to Cashman’s briefing. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Aaron Boone needs to stop saying how close the Yankees are to winning a title.

This is grating. Boone said this in what seemed like a dozen different ways yesterday. Close? If this is close, then how do you describe the 2001 Yankees? Or the 2011 Rangers? Maybe make a World Series before you start saying that this team is close. Here’s how Boone’s seasons have ended since taking the helm:

  1. 2018: 100-62, Wild Card, Lost ALDS to Red Sox 3-1
  2. 2019: 103-59, Division Title, Lost ALCS to Astros 4-2
  3. 2020: 33-27, Wild Card, Lost ALDS to Rays 3-2

The “closest” Boone’s Yankees have gotten was a year ago. I don’t think there’s any other way to describe 2020 except as a step back for this group, unusual circumstances of this season notwithstanding.

News & Notes: Boone stays, Thames interviewing, Germán’s return, Britton’s option, Hank Aaron Award

He’s staying.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent too much time watching baseball since the Yankees were eliminated. I’ve tried to tune in to the NLCS, but my goodness, Globe Life Field is incredibly depressing. What an awful ballpark. As for the ALCS? Just can’t do it. Seeing Tampa Bay going for the sweep tonight is a bummer knowing that the Yankees would have stomped Houston. Sigh. Anyway, here’s the latest in the Yankees’ world:

  • End of season press conferences: Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman spoke to the media today. We recapped it here.
  • Boone is staying: In case you couldn’t already tell from press conference earlier, this is not a huge surprise. Yesterday, Hal Steinbrenner said on The Michael Kay Show that the manager would return in 2021. At the minimum, that means the team will pick up his 2021 option. It could also mean an extension. We’ll see.
  • Marcus Thames interviews for Detroit’s open managerial gig: The hitting coach would be missed here in the Bronx, but is more than deserving. He interviewed with the Tigers last week.
  • Domingo Germán’s future: In the same interview, Hal was asked about whether or not he’d be comfortable having Germán on the roster next season. His response: “I have to absolutely feel comfortable that he deeply, deeply regrets and is sorry for what he did, and I absolutely have to be comfortable with the fact that he’s turned his life around”. The details of the incident aren’t public, but it sure doesn’t sound good.
  • Details on Zack Britton’s option: The reliever told the New York Post that, based on his understanding, the Yankees have to decide on his 2022 option three days after the end of the World Series. If declined, Britton will have two days to decide on opting out of 2021.
  • DJ LeMahieu is the Yankees’ Hank Aaron Award Nominee: MLB announced each team’s candidate this morning. LeMahieu, who won the batting title with a .364 batting average, also had the American League’s best wRC+ (177). He’s got to be the favorite in the AL, no?
  • Send us your mailbag questions: Just a friendly reminder here. Shoot an email to viewsfrom314 [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll consider your question for upcoming mailbag posts.

End of season press conferences: Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman

The Yankees’ manager and general manager spoke in today’s annual end of season press conference. Below are some of the highlights from this afternoon’s media briefing.

Aaron Boone

  • We’ve grown accustomed to learning about offseason surgeries scheduled in the last couple of season recap press conferences. Not this year, thankfully. The manager said that there are no surgeries needed, to his knowledge.
  • Boone noted that there are no coaching staff changes anticipated. That said, Marcus Thames’s name has come up as a managerial candidate for Detroit. That could force the team’s hand.
  • The manager reiterated how close this team is to winning a World Series. He said it a few times in this presser, in fact. Frankly, this wears a bit thin. He’s been at the helm of two ALDS knockouts and an ALCS elimination. I’m not so sure that qualifies as close. Plus, the Yankees would have fallen short of the postseason had MLB not expanded the playoffs this season.
  • Is there a starting catcher controversy next year? Boone noted that he still has plenty of confidence in Gary Sánchez and that he liked his at bats toward the end of the season. The skipper also noted that Kyle Higashioka’s performance was the driving factor in the postseason lineup cards, not Gary.
  • Gleyber Torres’s defense at shortstop was not great this season. According to Boone, it’s consistently making the routine play that will make him a better defender.
  • As you might expect, a number of questions were about Game 2 against the Rays. But how much of that was Boone’s say? The key quote, I think: “I think that room understands that I’m writing out the lineup and I’m making those decisions.”

Aaron Boone Evaluation Survey: October 12, 2020

Year three of the Aaron Boone era ended the same way the last two did: short of World Series expectations. This time, the Rays bounced the Yankees in the ALDS.

I don’t think Boone handled things well in this series against the Rays, whether it was Game 2 (which in fairness wasn’t just his decision), trying to steal outs with Masahiro Tanaka, or pinch hitting Mike Ford in Game 5. I also don’t think he acquitted himself well after the series was over, reacting harshly to a question about whether or not the season was a failure.

The Yankees have a decision to make on Boone soon. The manager’s contract has an option for 2021, and in spite of some curious in-game decisions and three straight disappointing playoff performances, it sounds like he’ll back back.

With that, let’s get to our last survey of the year. In addition to the three usual questions, I’ve also added one more regarding Boone’s 2021 option. Please take some time to vote below. And if you want to see the results from last week’s survey, scroll down and click read more.

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