Aaron Boone has been named the manager of the New York Yankees. Boone signed a three-year contract with the Yankees, which includes a team option for 2021.
Boone has been working at ESPN since 2010. From 1997 to 2009 Boone was a Yankee’s third baseman. Yankees fans will remember his walk off home run in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Division series against the Boston Red Sox.
Boone has no coaching or managerial experience. He does, however, come from a baseball family; his grandfather, father, and brother have all played in the MLB. Boone’s father is currently the assistant general manager of the Washington Nationals.
Boone meets the qualities the Yankees wanted from their next manager. The Yankees were looking for a manager who was a strong communicator and had a strong grasp of analytics. Working in the sports media industry helps Boone check off both of those boxes.
He also has experience playing in New York, so he understands what the expectations are for the team. Boone was able to impress the Yankees’ front office enough that the second round of interviews with the Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner was canceled.
Speaking about Boone, Brian Cashman said, “When we had the opportunity to speak with Aaron and share concepts and ideas, he was able to showcase a variety of traits that we believe will strongly benefit this franchise as we move forward, including an astute mind for the game and a progressive approach to evolving strategies.”
Since Cashman has been in the front office, there have been four Yankees managers. Like those other Yankees managers, Boone is an interesting choice.
Prior to Boone, the Yankees manager was Joe Girardi, who, like Boone, was a former Yankee that worked in television. However, Girardi did have experience as he won Manager of the Year in 2006, his only season with the then Florida Marlins. Before Girardi there was Joe Torre, or as the media dubbed him, “Clueless Joe.”
Torre had an 18-year career as a player, before having dismal performances as a manager on three different teams.
Torre did not seem ready to take on a good young team. However, he proved the naysayers wrong and went on to win four championships with the Yankees.
Before Torre there was Buck Showalter, whose previous experience was a Double-A manager and as a coach on the Yankees for two years.
There is no textbook formula to hiring a manger. Good former players are not always the best managers.
Good coaches do not always make the best managers. A good manager one year is a bad manager the next.
Past results do not predict future outcomes. It is hard to say whether Boone is a good choice to be the manager of the Yankees.
Boone is inheriting a young team that was a win away from the World Series. His effect may not be seen in the win column.
However, his effect will be felt by the players, who are transitioning from the uptight Girardi to the friendly and outgoing Boone.
Many laughed when they would see Girardi looking through a binder of analytics to make a decision. The team is now shifting from the dinosaur age to the information age.
This is a necessary change for a team that is transitioning from an aging core of veterans to a young and inexperienced core.