On Thursday, fans of the New York Yankees were struck by news in which manager Aaron Boone lost three members of his coaching staff: third base coach Phil Nevin, coach Marcus Thames and assistant base coach PJ Pilittere.
Expecting a lot some changes under Boone, especially if the Yankees consider bringing him back as skipper for 2022 (and 2023?). That’s been the “dominant idea” so far this off-season, with ESPN’s Buster Olney in charge of those reports/rumours.
But But! Not long after those decisions were made, a wave of more intriguing news. For starters, NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty reported that the Yankees were still undecided on Boone…
Seems like a pretty problematic issue to solve before the skipper becomes a free agent in a few weeks, doesn’t it?
And it’s really a point to think about. Many Yankees fans have assumed that Boone acted as a puppet for the front office. That is fair.
Do you think Boone is? this much of a puppet, though? To the point where he has a front office fire off some of his rosters and then choose his new subordinates who will work alongside him every day?
Yankees: What about the Aaron Boone buzz and Mike Shildt news?
That’s right, there’s a lot to unpack…but we didn’t even have time for that! Because a few hours later, MLB insider Jeff Passan dropped a bombshell on the baseball world, reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals had fired manager Mike Shildt.
What?! You mean the man who led this team to 17 straight wins and dug them out of the grave to secure an NL Wild Card berth, where they lost to the Dodgers on a walk-off home run?!
Passan later noted, as did Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, that the decision was made because of “philosophical differences” regarding the team’s direction in 2022 and beyond.
A highly qualified candidate has entered the market in an unexpected way. Does this change the Yankees’ plans? It’s worth asking… even if we’re not keen on a change like this.
Let’s put it this way…do you think the Yankees front office is going to play tug-of-war with a potential candidate who might meet some resistance? It is fair to say that the Cardinals front office has an analytical-heavy approach (as most do these days), and the Yankees have clearly made that clear to themselves in recent years. While Mozeliak declined to go into the details of the “differences,” can we assume that analysis was a big part of that?
In addition, while Shildt has been successful since he took over managerial duties for the first time in his career midway through the 2018 season (he stands 252-199 in total and has made it through the postseason three times in the three full campaigns he has led), it is hasn’t exactly been an easy ride for the Cards, who have played in a weak NL Central division.
St. Louis literally took 17 consecutive wins to get back into the playoff talk in the final month of the season, playing second fiddle to the Brewers, who were quickly ousted by the Braves in the NLDS (they clearly weren’t like that. good as everyone thought they were). In their one-division season in 2019, they were the only team to have 90 wins in the Central and then were eliminated from the NLCS, beating the Washington Nationals.
On the other hand, maybe we can blame this on the Cards reception? Many will agree that Shildt has done more with less, something that Boone absolutely cannot say. Players like Daniel Carlson and Tyler O’Neill have blossomed under his watch. He’s been into the postseason three years in a row with an impromptu starting rotation and mediocre (at best) bullpen.
Conflicting thoughts here, and a lot to think about. All in all, at the very least, it makes for some drama in the coming weeks, as we wait and see what happens to Boone and the rest of his staff.
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