The New York Yankees are set to name Aaron Boone as the 35th manager in franchise history, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reported on Friday. ESPN’s Buster Olney, who worked with Boone on Sunday Night Baseball, has confirmed the report.
Boone will take over for Joe Girardi, who was fired after winning 910 games and one World Series with the Yankees from 2008-2017. The 44-year-old former major leaguer was one of six candidates interviewed for the job. He was selected over Hensley Meulens, Carlos Beltran, Eric Wedge, Rob Thompson and Chris Woodward.
Of the six candidates, only Boone and the newly retired Beltran had no previous coaching or managerial experience. Despite that, he reportedly impressed the Yankees during the interview process to the point where Cashman felt comfortable making him the choice.
Boone went from the playing field to the broadcast booth, where he’s done a superb job providing analysis on ESPN. On the surface, that might not sound like a path that would prepare him for the opportunity that lies ahead, but Boone has been quick to point out that his life spent in baseball has prepared him for every challenge he accepts.
He’s uniquely qualified because he can draw from his experiences as a player, broadcaster, and even just as a kid who undoubtedly picked the brain of his father, Bob Boone. His father played 19 years in the big leagues and spent another six seasons in the dugout as a manager, posting a 371-444 career record in three-year tenures with the Royals and Reds.
Boone’s brother, Bret, and grandfather, Ray Boone, also played in the big leagues.
Perhaps most importantly, Boone doesn’t figure to be intimidated by managing in New York. He’s played there. He’s even succeeded there, with his highlights including a pennant-clinching walk-off home run in 2003. He’s felt the wrath of the fanbase too after suffering a season-ending knee injury while playing basketball. That’s about the highest high and lowest low possible in that environment.
Time will tell if Boone is a success story as Yankees manager, but he’s a guy the entire organization seems to be quite comfortable betting on.
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