The New York Yankees have dropped two games in a row due to some questionable decisions by new manager Aaron Boone. The mistakes go beyond his calls alone.
Four games into the season and New York Yankees fans are already calling for Joe Girardi to make a return to the Bronx. Aaron Boone made a mistake…two days in a row, which ended up costing the Yankees a 4-0 start to the season.
Instead, Dellin Betances remained in the game for two innings early on in the season and David Robertson pitched to the red-hot Justin Smoak instead of the injured Josh Donaldson. Both times the Yankees ended up on the losing end and Aaron Boone’s managing decisions came under fire.
Aaron Judge has barely had time to hit a home run and Boone is ready to be run out of town. Mistakes were made but perhaps the biggest mistake is his managing style.
Let’s break the latest mistake down, shall we?
After Tommy Kahnle gave up a two-run shot to Smoak to the cut the Yankees’ lead in half, David Robertson entered the game to get one out in the bottom of the seventh. He came back out in the eighth and with runners on second and third with two outs, the pivotal moment came.
When Josh Donaldson came to the dish, Boone gave Robertson the call as to what to do. Robertson chose to intentionally walk Donaldson. Boone allowed it. And then Smoak came up with crush a grand slam, eliminating the Yankees’ lead and all faith the fans had in their new manager.
— MLB (@MLB) April 1, 2018
In Boone’s defense, he was looking solely at the career stats. Donaldson is a lifetime .375 hitter against the tough righty (3-for-8) while Smoak was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against Robertson. On the surface, it seems Boone was right. But with Smoak coming up with five hits in his last seven at-bats, including one monster home run, it was wrong.
The main problem isn’t that Boone decided to go by the book and not his gut. The problem is that Boone didn’t manage; he let his player manage for him.
Yes, Boone needs to take into consideration what his players believe is best and what they are comfortable with in certain circumstances. However, he is the manager. He should be managing, not making friends with his players.
It shouldn’t matter what Robertson wants to do in that situation. All that matters there is that Boone makes his gut decision. He wasn’t hired to be a friend. He was hired to manage the team, which means making difficult decisions regardless of what everyone else is telling him. Ultimately, it is his decision and he let David Robertson make it.
Of course David Robertson wants to walk Donaldson and face Smoak! Robertson owns Smoak based on his past numbers. But at the same time, it’s better to face a Josh Donaldson with a dead arm. Especially given Smoak’s penchant for going deep against right-handed pitchers. As a manager, Boone should’ve recognized that and taken the reigns from Robertson.
The Yankees don’t need another player; they need a leader. That is why Aaron Boone was brought into this position. He’s a new manager so mistakes are going to happen, which is why this must serve as a learning experience for him.
Just remember, we’re just four games into the season, which means Boone has only managed in four games for his entire career. That just means he has enough time to become a manager and not just a former player looking to stay relevant in today’s game.