Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get this out of the way early. Yankees manager Aaron Boone isn’t going anywhere. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has said as much.

And why should he? Boone is in his sixth season at the helm and has otherwise done a great job with the Yankees despite not winning a World Series. He’s 456-301 over that stretch and has the full support of not only his front office but, most importantly, his players.

But even though general manager Brian Cashman has said he’d love ten years of Boone, let’s be real. Every coach loses his clubhouse at some point. Boone is nowhere close to that territory but we have to figure it’ll eventually happen.

In which case, Cashman and Steinbrenner need to focus on one man if they ever decide to move on from Boone: Current Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell. As in, the same Bell whose Reds just got swept at home by the Yankees.

The numbers don’t necessarily support this argument. Bell is in his fifth year in Cincinnati and has gone 270-322 with the Reds. He has one playoff appearance, but in the shortened 2020 season.

However, it is important to note that the Reds’ struggles aren’t entirely on Bell. We discussed in our MLB preview how ownership rarely invests in the team and when it does, it hits the panic button at the first sign of adversity. Bell isn’t fazed by this and still gets the best out of his players, regardless of how talented the roster is on paper. Just look at how competitive the Reds looked against the Yankees over the weekend.

So how does that make Bell a good fit as a Yankees manager? For starters, he and Boone actually have a lot in common and not just in their respective managing styles. For one, they’re both third-generation ballplayers and second-generation managers. Boone’s father Bob was a Gold Glove catcher and also managed the Royals and Reds. Bell’s father, Buddy, was a five-time All-Star infielder who also managed the Royals, Tigers, and Rockies.

The only real difference between the two is experience. Boone had no coaching or managing experience, yet jumped right into the big chair after working as a TV analyst. Bell, by comparison, began as a minor league manager in 2008 and also served on various coaching staffs in the majors through the years. Before the Reds hired him, he was working in the Giants’ front office.

All that being said, let’s now revisit the question. If the Yankees ever move on from Boone, why Bell? Well, think of Boone’s Yankees tenure and the common theme within it. New York plays well enough in the regular season to make the playoffs, maybe even as the AL East champs, but then the bats vanish. It’s as though the team’s whole energy up at bat disappears save for maybe one player, like Harrison Bader last season.

Enter Bell, whose fiery personality speaks for itself. It takes quite the motivator of a small market, fairly middling team to spur a full-on brawl with, of all teams, the Pirates. We’ve mentioned how Boone is also a motivator, but not to the point where his players are almost considered villains. Bell could potentially add something extra and make it so the Yankees are actually the Evil Empire again.

Granted, that isn’t to say Bell would step right in and the Yankees would immediately start fights every game. To be completely frank, not much would probably change at all. At least from a pure baseball standpoint.

Rather, what if Bell was to the Yankees post-Aaron Boone what Joe Girardi was after New York moved on from Hall of Famer Joe Torre? Everyone remembers how Torre won four rings in five years, but not so much how he then slowly lost the team over time. They do, however, remember the fiery and competitive Girardi taking over and winning a World Series in his second season.

Bell literally grew up in baseball. He has passion and, if you watch videos of his ejections, stands up for his players with unmatched energy. Not even Boone at his angriest can reach Bell’s level, and the two had three ejections between them last weekend. Moreover, Boone has 29 career ejections to Bell’s 23, though that’s more from being on the job a year longer.

Even so, this is all theoretical and no different from trying to fantasy book pro wrestling. Boone isn’t getting fired at the next cold streak and Bell, despite his team’s performance, seems well-liked in Cincinnati.

But if the situation should ever present itself where it’s time to move on from Boone and Bell is available? He should be Cashman and Steinbrenner’s first call.

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.