Has Aaron Boone Proved That MLB Managers Are Overrated?

Aaron Boone

Has Aaron Boone Proved That MLB Managers Are Overrated? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

Times are getting tough for the New York Yankees, including Aaron Boone, who doesn’t appear to be as great of a manager as his two 100-win seasons of 2018 and 2019 suggested. Or maybe it’s the so-called All-Star players that the Yankees have on their roster are just not performing no matter what Aaron Boone says or does. Have we finally reached the point, thanks to Aaron Boone, that MLB managers are proving to be as worthless as so many people have been saying for years they are?

The New York Yankees probably wish the 2021 MLB season had a reset button. They enter the last weekend in April tied for the worst record in the American League, and they are a half-game away from having the worst record in the game. 

The Yankees previous 6-11 record had fans like Rich Eisen of the NFL Network bringing up the dark ages of 1991 when a manager named Stump Merrill also began the season 6-11, and didn’t return to manage the team in 1992. Consider for a moment that Aaron Boone has won at least 100 games in the two full seasons as Yankees’ manager. Has he forgotten how to manage, or is this year’s team just only prove managers are a small part of the win/loss equation?

When Aaron Boone was hired, many noted that the former player had never filled out a lineup card as a coach or manager, only as a broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. His hiring, in the minds of many, was a signal that the Yankees had officially deemed the job of manager as a push button, caretaker’s position, with Boone hired to carry out the plan of every game set forth by general manager Brian Cashman and his army of spreadsheet readers.

Boone, in essence, was a player at a Blackjack table, programmed with the knowledge of when to hit and when to stay based upon what the dealer was showing, and what he had in his hand. In this case, Boone is told who to put in the starting lineup, when to pitch hit for a player, and which pitchers to face opposing hitter. Because just like the Blackjack player, Boone and many managers are playing percentages.

Aaron Boone is not better or worse of a manager in 2021 than he was in 2018, 2019, or 2020 because his method has changed. What is different so far this year is that the team, compiled of one ace starter and a bunch of underachieving pitchers and hitters, is simply not performing as the stat sheet says they should. That’s the difference between 11-6 or 6-11 in today’s Major League Baseball, a few bad pitches here, a few bad at-bats there, and all of a sudden you are Stump Merrill.

The New York Yankees have reinforced one of the oldest staying in sports: It is not about the X’s and O’s, but about players named Billy and Joe. The meaning is that every plan that any coach or manager has tried to implement is only as good as the players carrying them out. 

Aaron Boone can do what the spreadsheets say and give players a chance to succeed; but a hanging curve that is missed by one of his hitters or thrown by one of his pitchers for a home run is what gives baseball the human factor.

The game has a heartbeat that stats can’t measure, but Boone is not asked to worry about that anymore because the spreadsheet doesn’t care about that. The spreadsheet only cares about probabilities, which is why any manager who is not allowed to manage the game has become an irrelevant component in the dugout. However, if the players don’t improve, you can’t fire 25 players, so the unnecessary person called manager gets tossed overboard from the sinking ship first.

 


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The post Has Aaron Boone Proved That MLB Managers Are Overrated? appeared first on TOOATHLETIC TAKES.

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