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Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Boone is likely playing out the string along with his brutal team.

Nestled deep in NJ.com columnist Bob Klapisch’s latest Yankees autopsy: A declaration Boone’s firing is “a foregone conclusion.”

The passage of note:

Here’s where the discussion gets interesting, because it’s a foregone conclusion Boone will be fired after the season ends. Last place is not a survivable outcome for any Yankees manager, even one with $2.7 million owed to him for 2024.

If Hal Steinbrenner has the stomach for a mid-contract dismissal, does that mean Boone is in trouble right now? Could he be canned, say, this weekend if the Yankees get swept by Boston?

The people who know the baby Boss don’t believe that could happen. Steinbrenner likes and respects Boone personally, despite the latter’s deficiencies as manager. He wouldn’t want to humiliate Boone by sending him home while his team is still on the field. … But that doesn’t mean Steinbrenner is unaware of Boone’s struggle to ignite the Yankees.

This is not a surprise. There have been several Boone firing test balloons floated at various points this summer. Including in the same place as this revelation. And someone has to take the fall for this miserable failure of a season. Former hitting coach Dillon Lawson is nowhere near enough sacrifice. We know general manager Brian Cashman is going nowhere. And you cannot fire most of the players. So Boone it is.

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That said: It is still a bit jarring to see Boone’s imminent demise written as simple fact. And the fact it is connected to a last-place finish leads one to wonder.

The Bombers are 6.5 games back of the final AL wild card with three teams ahead of them and 41 games to play. It will take a miracle for them to rally into the postseason. But their remaining schedule is still pretty soft. The Yankees should definitely finish with a winning record. And even a modest hot streak, if timed right, could push them past the Red Sox for fourth place in the AL East.

Would that be enough to give Steinbrenner — who reportedly does not like to make tough decisions — enough daylight to bring Boone back? He’s managed the team in a contract year before. And paying him nearly $3 million to chill at home may be too much for Steinbrenner to bear if he has reason not to.

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.