The New York Yankees have decided to hire former player and postseason hero Aaron Boone as their next manager, according to ESPN and the New York Daily News. Boone spent 54 games with the Yankees during his 13-year career. This follows a trend for the Yankees, whose last 3 managers played for the Yankees in some capacity before becoming managers (Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, and Joe Girardi).
Boone is walking into a great situation for his first managerial job. The Yanks, behind great play from Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and Gary Sanchez, made it all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS this past season before falling to eventual champions, the Houston Astros. Deciding to move on from Joe Girardi, the Yanks had narrowed their search to six people last week, including recently retired veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran, and current Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, who both had interviewed well for the position.
Managing in baseball is a sort of dark art, where no one can really tell you what leads to sustained success. Managers have less effect on the game than they would in basketball, football or soccer, so the job requires more morale-boosting and confidence building than decision-making. In the American League, Boone has even less decisions to make, considering the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about his pitcher hitting. But, that doesn’t make his job any easier. Stronger lineups make pitching decisions harder, and Boone needs to be able to understand what his bullpen is capable of. Boone has been around the game for a long time, so he’ll be comfortable in the dugout, but the new guy on the block always makes mistakes.