It was Aaron Boone’s job to lose from the get-go. Brian Cashman picked the person he wanted and, not necessarily, a manager. Now, it’s real.
If we have learned anything from observing Brian Cashman as general manager of the New York Yankees over the past 20 years, it’s that he always has a plan to get what he wants. Step by step, forever moving forward, Cashman has been faultless of late, mainly because he always keeps his target in sight.
I have a feeling I can’t prove, no one can. But in the same manner in which we might date heavily before we find “the one,” once we find that person, all others either fall by the wayside or are dropped a few pegs down. Cashman found “the one” early in the process and from that point on it was Aaron Boone‘s job to lose.
The Amazing Cashman does it again
And the amazing aspect of it all is that everyone goes home happy. Amara Grautski filed a report for the New York Daily News, for instance, in which she quotes Cashman as saying Alex Rodriguez “never expressed interest” in succeeding Joe Girardi. We’ll take Cashman’s word for it because it trends with A-Rod’s goal of following in Derek Jeter‘s path of team ownership down the road.
“But the fact that I got the call to be interviewed — this is something you cannot turn away from. Because this type of opportunity — especially one with the Yankees — they don’t come very often.”
Of the others, they all have good jobs in baseball, and this experience will only pad their resume for future promotion possibilities. Hensley Meulens, the San Francisco Giants bench coach, is already penciled in as the next manager of the team when Bruce Bochy retires. Rob Thomson also landed softly, joining Gabe Kapler in Philadelphia as bench coach.
At one time in the process, several more candidates for the manager’s job were expected to be interviewed, and Cashman was indicating he was not likely to make a selection before Christmas. Following the Beltran interview, Cashman closed out the process. Reports then followed noting his choice was narrowed to two: Meulens and Boone. And then there was only one.
So, somewhere along the line, Cashman decided to speed up the process. And once Boone gave a four-star interview, the process seemingly, at least in Cashman’s thinking, ground to a halt.
Honeymoon? No way that’s happening
Couple that with the fact that Cashman has a bunch of other things on his plate which need to be finalized before Christmas, and it’s reasonable to assume Cashman decided to stop the charade and move on. An all-out war with Cashman as the field general, for instance, will be taking place regarding the efforts to sign Shohei Ohtani.
Arbitration hearings will be coming up, and a decision on CC Sabathia needs to be put on the front burner. Cashman also needs to ensure he meets Hal Steinbrenner’s order to keep the payroll under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million. Beyond that, Cashman will even need to devote a portion of his time to Boone, providing a comprehensive orientation regarding how things need to be done and further discussions with Boone about the parameters of his responsibilities.
Regarding the latter, Boone was hired by Cashman because there was an element of respect and trust between the two dating back to Boone’s playing days with the Yankees. The relationship now goes far beyond that initial infatuation. It’s real now, and as with any new marriage there’s a honeymoon, and then there’s buying groceries and paying the mortgage.
And because we’re talking about the New York Yankees, the honeymoon period is likely to be brief, if there’s even time for one at all. Boone can be counted on to do his homework, just as he did when he was preparing for an ESPN telecast as an analyst.
The real work begins now
It’s expected Boone will also be spending a good portion of his time with the Yankees’ analytical team, studying the numbers he will be using as part of evaluating his players and drawing up a lineup 162 times. In that area, Boone has to be especially sharp because it’s one of the criteria that led to Joe Girardi‘s firing.
Brian Cashman may or may not have pulled a fast one on us. But let me put it this way; On the day following Girardi’s dismissal, did you or anyone you know think immediately of Aaron Boone as a likely candidate for the manager’s job? Not likely, except for one person…and he happens to count the most – Brian Cashman.