Aaron Boone got his money’s worth after his ejection from the Yankees’ 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto on Wednesday night.
But MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds believes there is more to the story than Boone flipping out over home plate umpire Marty Foster’s strike zone.
“I think we’re starting to really see Aaron now,” Reynolds said during an interview with WFAN’s Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney. “Last night was an indication of a different Aaron Boone. He hasn’t snapped like that before. I think he’s moved from the broadcaster … to a baseball player again. But more importantly, I think he’s unshackled.
“For the last three years, he’s gotten a lot of orders from the front office. ‘We’re taking this guy out, this is what we’re doing, this is the move we’re making.’ I think we’re starting to see Aaron Boone have his footprint and his fingerprints on this team now. He feels assertive. I don’t think he comes back to take this contract if he doesn’t sit there and have a meeting like, ‘OK, it’s time for me to have my input. I’ve done it your way, I’ve listed all of these things, I’ve got to be Aaron Boone.’”
It’s not like Boone has been timid in the past — i.e. savages in the box — but Reynolds does raise an interesting point. Boone has never been given much credit for winning 92 or more games in all three of his full seasons as manager. He was considered a front office errand boy by many. And when his contract was up after last season, many thought there was a good chance he was on the way out.
But once Boone was extended, the Yankees made it clear they never considered moving on from him. That means he had leverage. And that could have brought him more say — and greater conviction — running his team.
“I think we’re going to see more Aaron Boone,” Reynolds said, “and I think we’ll see a better manager.”
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]