Some 15 years ago, Aaron Boone cemented his name among the greats that played in the greatest rivalry in professional sports. Boone was a place holder at third base during the 2003 season and was benched during most of the ALCS that year. His moment came however, and he delivered with an 11th inning walk-off homer to send the Yankees to the World Series. This wasn’t just any walk off, or any ALCS victory. It came against the hated Red Sox and to many fans like myself, that was the World Series.
Fast forward to 2018 and Aaron is the new manager for the Yankees. The season was full of highs and lows, as well as numerous injuries and acquisitions. Through it all the Yanks still finished with 100 victories and broke the single season home run mark. Unlike last year however, there was no Todd father to implement the “thumbs down” celebration, there wasn’t the same spark.
The timely hitting and monstrous home runs all but disappeared during their series versus the Sox, much like Boone’s quick hook of C.C. that he consistently practiced during the regular season. Boone allowed the veteran the courtesy of trying to work out of trouble during the third inning last night. His generosity was more graciously accepted by the hot bats of Boston than by Sabathia however.
C.C. has been great over the years but last night during an elimination game was no time to reward anyone based on previous experiences. Once the most loved man in New York had become the most ridiculed. Boone showed signs of mishandling pitching throughout his first season as manager and that was magnified during games 3 and 4 against Boston. On top the pitching issues, the Yankees showed no interest in moving runners over, or even attempting a steal during the playoffs.
Adjusting the moment is something Aaron will hopefully do in future seasons. Relying on the long ball will never get you a championship and egos need to be put aside for the success of the team. So, as a Yankees fan I’m excited about the future with him as our manager but today I utter the same words Red Sox fan’s did 15 years ago Aaron “F@#king” Boone!