Yankees manager Aaron Boone was suspended for one game on Sunday for making contact with an umpire during a memorable argument on Friday.
Boone was informed of the suspension on Saturday by Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre, the former Yankees manager. The suspension was announced on Sunday morning. Boone served it during Sunday’s Yankees-Tigers game at Yankee Stadium with bench coach Josh Bard managing the team.
“I accept it,” Boone said. “Obviously, I got a little too close for comfort there, so that’s part of the deal. I’ve just got to accept that.”
Boone’s cap made contact with the cap of plate umpire Nic Lentz during a fifth-inning argument over balls and strikes.
“Unfortunately, I got a little too close,” Boone said. “I do regret that . . . I always want to be in control of my emotions to a degree, but sometimes you also have to state your claim and defend certain things that are important. But I definitely shouldn’t have nicked his cap.”
Boone was ejected by Lentz while in the dugout after a strike call to Gleyber Torres. Boone ran out of the dugout and up to Lentz. That’s when his cap brushed Lentz’s cap. The umpire could be seen saying, “That’s contact. That’s contact.”
Boone continued the argument by crouching behind home plate and holding up his left hand like he was catching a pitch. He said to Lentz, “That’s a strike,” before moving his hand outside the strike zone and saying, “That’s a ball.” Boone then walked back to Lentz to point his finger in the umpire’s face and make a final point.
Boone joked that the next time he’ll “just flip my cap around backwards and let it rip.”
The Yankees, who didn’t have any hits at that point, went on to his three home runs in the next inning in an eventual 7-5 victory.
It was the third ejection and first suspension of Boone’s rookie season as a manager. Boone said he would do his job until just before game time and then probably watch the game from a suite.
Boone came to the Yankees’ dugout direct from ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” booth. Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay offered to let Boone announce Sunday’s game from the YES booth. Boone declined.
One day after general manager Brian Cashman made headlines by suggesting injured closer Aroldis Chapman may not return this season from his knee injury, Boone said: “I think when I checked in with Chappy this morning he was feeling a lot better. I’m optimistic that he’ll work his way back, but we’ll see. He’s in the early days of just starting to play catch and stuff like that. We’ll see depending on how long it takes to ramp him up and how he continues to respond to things. But I’m hopeful he’ll be back.”
Boone said he doesn’t expect Didi Gregorius (heel) back for the series in Oakland that starts on Monday, but the next series in Seattle seems possible.
“I would say he’s getting closer,” Boone said. “Today was a really important day because the workload really ratcheted up . . . He’s probably starting to knock on the door of getting back.”
Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 with a hit by pitch and is 0-for-6 in two games as a Yankee . . . Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria went 0-for-3 in his first start since the Yankees acquired him from the Pirates on Friday . . . The Yankees recalled righthander Jonathan Loaisiga from Double-A Trenton.