Aaron Boone’s expletive-laden rant toward rookie umpire Brennan Miller helped fire up his team, which swept Thursday’s doubleheader from the Rays.
It also cost the Yankees’ manager a game, which Boone saw coming.
“Yeah, because I knew I made contact with my hat,” Boone said Friday afternoon, shortly after Major League Baseball announced he had been given a one-game suspension, which he served Friday night against the Rockies. “I figured I’d be getting a call at some point from Mr. Torre and I did.”
Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, oversees on-field discipline, among other things. Yankees bench coach Josh Bard managed in Boone’s place.
The incident occurred in the second inning of Thursday’s first game shortly after Miller called a borderline pitch strike three on Brett Gardner, which angered him. Gardner responded by nearly taking out part of the dugout roof, hammering his bat into it over and over. Boone soon was ejected after a close pitch put DJ LeMahieu behind 0-and-2.
Field microphones picked up much of Boone’s colorful tirade, which included referring to his players as “savages” in the batter’s box. At one point, the bill of his cap brushed Miller’s, with the umpire stoically stating, “That’s contact.”
While saying he had “no regrets” about the ejection, Boone’s third of the season and seventh overall as Yankees manager, that doesn’t mean he was proud of how it played out.
“I don’t regret defending our players, certainly, and it was a time in the game where guys were getting pretty heated and I felt like players, coaches, could have been ejected in that game, especially early in the game, and I didn’t want that to happen,” he said. “Felt like it was right to stand up, but sometimes some of the foul language, I’m not real proud of. But it’s over and done with now.”
The ejection, of course, had nothing to do with his foul language; rather, it was the contact, similar to what earned Boone a one-game suspension last year when his cap connected slightly with plate umpire Nic Lentz’s after an Aug. 31 ejection that came from arguing balls and strikes.
He said that after video of the ejection hit social media, he received a slew of text messages from friends and family.
“Some on both sides of the ledger,” Boone said. “Some saying ‘we expect more out of you,’ some thought it was great,” Boone said.
He complimented Miller, a minor-league call-up who made his major-league debut in April.
“I think by and large, our umpires do a really good job and have a very difficult job, for that matter,” Boone said. “I understand what a difficult job it is and respect it. And Brennan yesterday I thought certainly handled the situation with a lot more class than I did, but I also, I thought, [he] turned in a really good game. I respect the job that they have to do.”