Bad news for the “Fire Aaron Boone!” crowd: Hal Steinbrenner has no plans to do that.
Steinbrenner, speaking to an Associated Press reporter outside the Yankees’ minor-league complex in Tampa, Florida, said on Wednesday that Boone’s job is safe despite the Yankees getting swept by Houston in the ALCS
“As far as Boone’s concerned, we just signed him and for all the same reasons I listed a year ago, I believe he is a very good manager," Steinbrenner said. "I don’t see a change there.”
Steinbrenner was referring to comments he made after signing Boone to a three-year contract with a fourth-year option before the 2022 season.
At that time, Steinbrenner said: "We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward. As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period. I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship."
That pursuit ended in the playoffs — short of the World Series — for the fifth consecutive season with Boone at the helm.
Boone, 49, replaced Joe Girardi after the Yankees lost to Houston in the 2017 ALCS.
Boone has a regular-season record of 427-281 with two AL East titles. The Yankees went 99-63 this past season. Boone’s playoff won-loss record is 14-17.
He was criticized for some puzzling bullpen moves during this postseason, and he changed his lineup often as the Yankees' offense slumped, especially against Houston.
On the Yankees’ season as a whole, Steinbrenner said: “We didn’t get the job done . . . it’s time to get it done. Any time we don’t win a championship, it’s a disappointing year. We had a lot of good ups, we had some downs, we had some injuries like everybody else. But you’ve got to give it to the Astros. They’re a very good team top to bottom. We just didn’t bring our ‘A’ game.”
Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager since 1998, has a contract that expires at the end of the month. It seems likely that Cashman will return, too.
“We haven’t talked about anything yet," Steinbrenner said. "Cash and I had some preliminary [conversations] .”
Steinbrenner declined to discuss the upcoming free agency of Aaron Judge.
On Sunday night, after the Yankees were eliminated by the Astros, Boone said: “It's an awful day, just an awful ending. It stings. It hurts. No one I would rather do it with than those guys in there and how together they are. So you kind of lean on each other in there. But the ending, as I've said before, it's cruel. So much goes into it and trying to climb to that top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get there yet, and I know it will continue to motivate everyone in there to try and get there. That's what you work for and don't take for granted the opportunity you have sitting in front of you. But the ending is terrible.”
Boone said his postgame message to the players on Sunday was supportive. Creating a player-friendly atmosphere is one of the aspects of Boone’s managerial style that the Yankees brass likes.
“Just grateful to do it with them,” Boone said of his players. “Acknowledge, unfortunately, many of us have felt this feeling together, not getting all the way there and having this ending. And it never gets easier. You try to put it in perspective and with, obviously, families and health and things like that and real tragedies out there, you try to have that perspective.
"But you understand keenly what everyone is feeling right now in that room. So you try and reflect a little bit on it and also hopefully allow it to be another log on the fire that creates that burn and motivation heading into the offseason that you want to be on that stage, you want to be playing for all of it, and you got to keep fighting for it.”