Even if the Yankees finish this year with a 17-18 record in their last 35 games, they will win 100 games once again under the command of Aaron Boone, the rookie manager who took command of the club last year after arriving directly at the dugout from the ESPN transmission cabin. Do you know how many Yankee managers have won 100 games in each of their first two seasons?
None have done it.
No one better than Boone himself understands what is at stake for the Yankees, no matter how unrealistic those expectations can show up many times. There is always the idea, at least in New York, that for the Yankees it is World Series or failure, although they have only won the October Classic since 2000.
Boone hit one of the most famous home runs in the history of Yankees, that unforgettable cannon shot in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox at the old Yankee Stadium in 2003. Boone and his teammates then lost the World Series in six games against the Marlins. Yankee fans will always remember Boone's home run. But they remember even better that the Yankees lost a World Series that everyone expected them to win.
Boone comes from a baseball family, of course. His grandfather, Ray, played 13 seasons in the majors and pushed 116 races a year for the Tigers and 114 another season in which he played with Indians and Tigers. Aaron's father, Bob, a receiver, played 19 seasons in the majors and then directed the Royals and the Reds.
"Put it this way," Reggie Jackson told me after the Yankees hired Aaron Boone. "Aaron knows the job, even though he hasn't done the job." It can already be said that he has done a great job. And except for a Yankees collapse, they will win more games than they won in 2018. And Boone will have won 100 games in each of his first two seasons.
Miller Huggins never did that. Neither did Joe McCarthy, Bucky Harris, Casey Stengel, Ralph Houk or Joe Torre. Although they all managed to win the World Series, including Harris, who was only two years in the Yankees before giving way to Stengel. It remains to be seen if the Boone Yankees can do the same. But in the history of the team, only these three managers have had two consecutive seasons with at least 100 wins in their career in the Yankees: Huggins. McCarthy Tower. That company is not bad at all. "Aaron was the surprise candidate who just arrived and impressed us all," Cashman said Monday about the interview process to hire his leader.
All those managers were hired to be crowned, and all did. Stengel won five World Series in a row between 1949 and 1953. The Houk Yankees won the 1961 and 1962 World Series and then lost the 1963 Series, when they were swept by the Dodgers. The Tower Yankees won the 1996 Classic, fell in the 1997 Divisional Series and subsequently titled three times in a row. And they almost won four in a row if not for the comeback of the D-backs at the close of the ninth inning of Game 7 in 2001.
The Yankees lost the SDLA to the Red Sox last season, after Boston had won 108 games in the regular round. The Patirrojos also had a rookie manager, Puerto Rican Alex Cora, who came from sitting next to A.J. Hinch when the Astros won the 2017 World Series. Boone came from sitting next to narrator Dan Schulman and analyst Jessica Mendoza in the broadcast booth. But if the Yankees play, say, for 23-13 the rest of the way, they will end the campaign with 105-57. Thus, Boone's mark in the regular campaign would be 205-119, exactly the same with which Houk started.
De mis momentos favoritos, del 2003, el actual manager @AaronBoone dejando en el terreno al Boston con un HomeRun al primer lanzamiento en el juego 7 de la serie de campeonato del joven circuito! ⚾️ #PinstripePride https://t.co/RALHK9fbuQ— Jorge M. Velázquez Rabiela (@yodagreenemd) August 21, 2019
The calendar will get a little more complicated now, with games in Oakland and then in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. The Yankees are still fighting, trying to secure the home advantage for the postseason, remembering that in the SCLA of 2017 they all won at home against the Astros, but lost all four in Houston. "We want to win every game we can," Boone said Sunday. They have won a lot under his command. His record as a Yankee driver is 183-106. Your team will win a hundred once again. And then Boone will have the opportunity to do what all those legendary Yankees drivers got: Win in October.