Compare the curricula of these two management candidates:
No. 1 has a record of 988-794 in a span of 11 seasons as a Major League manager, a .554 winning percentage, with 52 postseason games under his belt and a World Series title.
No. 2 has a 0-0 record in a span of, you guessed it, zero seasons an MLB manager, and although his interview surely sounded convincing: "I would say that I have somehow been preparing for this job for the past 44 years" , he said last month, is a complete stranger.
You already know where this is going. No. 1 Joe Girardi has just been fired as manager of the Yankees, while No. 2 Aaron Boone will badume the position of manager of a team with the highest expectations.
I could do it right. He could fall flat on his face. And if the latter happens, it will fall directly on the shoulders of the man who designed this managerial change, the Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman.
It is clear, on the basis of the candidates interviewed and the decision to part with Girardi, that Cashman wants a greater influence on the man in charge in the Yankees dugout. He will have that on Boone, who was taken off the television and put on his first managerial job.
Boone is a 44-year-old former Yankee third baseman, smart and nice, who hit one of the biggest homers. in the history of the franchise He will win the press conference, and he will most likely win the young players who will be under his supervision when the spring training season begins in two months. He also has a good understanding of the badyzes that have become such an important part of the job.
But no one – including Cashman – has any idea how the hero of the 2003 postseason will handle the pressures of this job. You will have to handle the high expectations, the New York media, and most of all, the daily routine that comes with that place in the Yankee Stadium dugout.
We saw how a decision almost led to Girardi unraveling in October. Girardi, who is no stranger to post-season pressure, did not use a replay challenge on a spike that led directly to a Game 2 loss in Cleveland. If the Yankees had not met to win that ALDS, it would have become one of the biggest managerial mistakes in New York history.
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This team will head to the season with the World Series hopes to inherit. Can Boone prosper when every decision, big and small, is magnified? Can you beat the likes of Terry Francona in a short series that will determine if a season is a success or a failure. We do not know
"Obviously, the experience is very valuable and should be a checkmark for someone," Boone acknowledged in a conference call with reporters after his interview. "But I would also say that I've been preparing for this job all my life, I'm 44. I've been going to the stadium since I was 3 and 4 years old.
" Entering broadcasting, I feel that a lot of my work in the stand, especially in recent years, I find myself managing games all the time and thinking about strategies and thinking about situations. "
He is not the first MLB manager to come to an inexperienced team. On the fastest route to a major league dugout, forget about spending a few years in Trenton or Scranton to learn at work: Dave Roberts (Dodgers), Alex Cora (Red Sox) and several others have arrived without training at work.
Boone, like his predecessor, will succeed or fail based on Cashman's ability to ensure the team's initial rotation.Yes, these Yankees seem built for a long run of postseason successes, but one good October streak does not guarantee another. Just ask the Mets.
Now The most important decisions for this team will be made by a manager who never had to complete an alignment card. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he favored a candidate with some experience, but Cashman recommended one with none.
Will it work? Circle in 10 months, when this team enters the crucible again in October with championship or bust expectations. If the 35th manager in Yankees history can not thrive under that pressure, it will be the general manager who takes the blame.
You may contact Steve Politi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StevePoliti . Find NJ.com on Facebook.