First time, life span: Aaron Boone of the Yankees was probably born to administer –

First time, life span: Aaron Boone of the Yankees was probably born to administer


"A little different for me today, Tom," he said. "I came here a little later than I usually do, I had to go out and see my son play soccer this morning, it was a really exciting game, a battle of cuts, they ended up losing, 7-0, but it was all a It was a nice and relaxing morning for me. "

It was the kind of response that you could imagine that Aaron now gives on his own children: detailed, sincere and somewhat silly. The play-by-play man, Don Criqui, continued to comment on the Boone family.

"There have never been three generations to get to the big leagues," he said, "but they say the Boones may well be the first."


Former Astros player Craig Biggio, left, spoke with Aaron Boone before a game in June in Houston. Boone was working as an ESPN announcer.

Icon Sportswire, through Associated Press Images

In fact, Aaron embodies a little of them all, according to Hal McCoy, the veteran baseball writer of the Dayton Daily News, who grew up watching Ray Boone play for Cleveland and covered the others three.

"Ray was a more severe guy, Bob was a brain guy, Bret was a tough guy," McCoy said. "Aaron is a combination of all of them, that's what makes him stand out, he can be cerebral and tough at the same time."

The Reds recruited Boone from the University of Southern California in the third round in 1994, attracted by his athleticism, intelligence and experience. Boone could be hot; He was ejected from his Major League debut three years later for throwing his helmet after a play on the plate. But he was also an enthusiastic observer, thirsty for information despite a lifetime at the club.

"He always wants to know more about the global part of the game," said Bowden, who now works for MLB Network Radio. "I was curious about the main office, the bullpen, the scouting room, the shooting room, I was always curious about how things worked, I really loved every aspect of the game."

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That extends to the people who cover it. Just before spring training in 2003, McCoy suffered strokes on both optic nerves. His sports editor sent him to spring training in Sarasota, Florida, and McCoy, almost blind, struggled to recognize faces in the clubhouse. Boone pulled him aside and asked him what was wrong. McCoy explained and said he was going to resign.

"He grabbed me by the elbow and sat me down," McCoy said. "He said: I do not want to ever hear you say you're giving up, you love what you do too much, everyone in this clubhouse will help you." He was right. "

McCoy credits the kindness of Boone to save his career Naturally, Boone also mocked McCoy, playfully, once asked him why he was talking to a Coke machine, but when Boone's name appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot, he received only one vote: McCoy

Meeting the demands of the media, which meets twice a day with the manager, should go well for Boone In a market like New York, a manager without those skills would create unnecessary distractions. 19659016] "He's going to be a guy like Joe Torre, everyone will love him," McCoy said. "He was our man to turn to. If the Reds lost, he was in his seat after each game, answering questions. There were days when the clubhouse would be completely empty, except for Aaron. Even if it had nothing to do with the loss, it would be introspective and available. "


Boone celebrated his home run against Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield in the eleventh inning of Game 7 of 2003. of the American League Championship, but what he remembers most of the homer is the loose velcro strip.

Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

The Reds traded Boone to the Yankees in July 2003, and his homer won Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, a moment that turned out to be the last shout of superiority for the Yankees. Yankees over the rival Boston Red Sox. Boone's out-of-season knee injury suffered while playing basketball, cost him most of his $ 5.75 million contract and led the Yankees to trade for Alex Rodriguez.

Boone played five more seasons, with four teams. He finished with Houston in 2009, playing 10 games on the stage without a hit. But it was a triumph because Boone, then only 36 years old, underwent open-heart surgery in March to solve a problem with the aorta and aortic valve, a condition he had known since college.

A year later, I was calling games for ESPN. He lives with his family in Arizona and voraciously follows his favorite soccer teams, the USA. UU and the Philadelphia Eagles. He imitated batting postures, throwing movements and other gestures in his transmissions. He was an aggressive fantasy baseball owner in a SiriusXM league with hosts and callers; the name of his team, "Hum Baby", was the phrase of Roger Craig, a manager of the San Francisco Giants popular with players.

Boone's ability to connect, especially in a young Yankee clubhouse, was critical for Cashman. Previous administrative experience is no longer necessary; 17 of the 30 Major League managers, including Boone, are working on their first major league management job. Somehow, Boone fits the modern profile: he is one of the 26 current managers who attended the university and has recent experience in the game.

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"He has the loot of a player," Bowden said. "That's important with this generation, very few have it, and you can not pretend."

Those relationships should help Boone sell players in the vision of the main office, which may be the manager's most important task in the badytics era. The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who just met in the World Series, often used unconventional, data-driven strategies. Your managers, A.J. Hinch and Dave Roberts, made the players buy.

"Joe Girardi had a great 10-year career, but what Brian did was see the next 10 years," Bowden said. "Joe was great for the last 10 years, as Joe Torre was great before him, but the game is changing at such a speed that you can not only jump and go with him, but relate it to this generation of young stars."

It is possible that these stars already know the most famous moment of Boone. , who plays on the scoreboard before every game at Yankee Stadium: the knuckleball of Tim Wakefield, the fly deep in the left field seats, the cheery crowd on the plate.

All these years later, however, if you ask Boone what he remembers most of the homer, he will mention something different: while floating around the bases, the Velcro came loose in his batting gloves. If you pay attention, you can notice the strap hanging from your wrist in each highlight.

For Boone, the details always matter. Now more than ever.

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