Sunday, December 3, 2017
Aaron Boone had not told them that Bob Boone was his famous father, which tells you a lot about Aaron Boone, who is a normal, well-grounded guy, more like the common man than any major league player I’ve ever met. With a grandfather, a father and a big brother who played in the big leagues—the only three-generation family of All-Stars in major league history—he’d have opportunity to be arrogant, pretentious and condescending, but he is the opposite. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, he plays fantasy football and baseball, he loves USC football, he is self-deprecating. You can poke fun at him and he loves to poke fun at others. He is a great communicator and he can, and will, talk to anyone about anything. All of this says that in this new day of managing, where people skills are more important than anything, Aaron Boone is an excellent choice to manage the New York Yankees.
He has no managerial experience, but he has been around the game for his entire life. And for his entire life, he has paid attention, he is one of the most observant people I have ever met, which is a crucial part of being a manager, and partially explains how he can imitate virtually any batting stance, or pitching motion, of any player over the past 35 years. Pete Rose. Larry Bowa, Ichiro. Dave Winfield. Tommy John. Rick Sutcliffe. A-Rod. Rod Carew. All of them perfect down to the last detail, a facial twitch, the pursing of lips. “I’m working on my Joe Torre,” he once told me.
If Boone really does have the people skills mentioned here and elsewhere, that will go a long way towards helping him be a successful manager. Obviously he’ll need to be up to the job tactically as well, but as the article mentions he’s pretty much lived in MLB for 44 years and he’s probably a learned a thing or two in that time. You also have to assume he’s going to be taking direction from the Yankees’ analytic group (although we don’t necessarily know if that’s going to be good or bad). I’d like to think it’ll be good, perhaps with some bumps along the way.
Now go get Shohei Ohtani and trade Jacoby Ellsbury and I’m ready for 2018.
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