Aaron Boone walked away looking like the ultimate dunce following Tuesday night’s game between his New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Heading into the outing, Deivi Garcia was penciled in as the starter. It was a good, smart move – the 21-year-old is an absolute stud.
Unfortunately, things quickly derailed from there.
Following a 27-pitch run that saw Garcia giving up a solo homer to Randy Arozarena, Boone pulled his youngster and went to veteran lefty J.A. Happ.
Happ subsequently gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, and publicly admitted he was uncomfortable with how things went after the game.
“All things equal, yes (I would have preferred to start),” Happ said.
“Having said that — and this is important — I want to repeat: When I’m in there, you’ve got 100 percent of me. So I gave it what I had. I wasn’t worried about when I was coming in. I was trying to execute, I was trying to focus, I was trying to pitch.”
Yikes Tyler Herro. https://t.co/LX84mxEocZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 7, 2020
Happ was then asked if he felt he had been placed in a position to succeed, to which he replied that it’s “not a question for me to answer.”
This entire ordeal was the byproduct of Boone attempting to be smarter than he had any need to be. After the game, he admitted that he wanted to use Garcia to get Tampa Bay to start their lefty bats. Then he planned to switch to Happ.
“Their roster is built to take the platoon advantage,” Boone said.
“Felt like I was going to go to J.A. pretty early and aggressively if they went with a lefty-heavy lineup, and that was the reason. It was a little lineup-based, but (Garcia) kind of labored a bit in that first inning. But that was the plan all along.”
Boone got absolutely killed for the decision on social media.
Hey Aaron Boone? pic.twitter.com/48bn1dJu5K
— The Short Porch (@short_porch) October 7, 2020
Aaron Boone pulling a better pitcher for a worse pitcher pic.twitter.com/HFTXm4vGy2
— Jon Tayler, Smiling Politely (@JATayler) October 7, 2020
Yankees fans looking at Aaron Boone right now: pic.twitter.com/79BPYd7WkC
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) October 7, 2020
“They’ll spend all day scouting Garcia. Then they’ll never be able to hit 83 down the middle from Happ.” –@AaronBoone
— Jack Jokinen (@JJFromTheBronx) October 7, 2020
Aaron Boone is the worst manager on planet earth.
— SLAM CENTRAL STATION (@SlamCentralNYY) October 7, 2020
Only @AaronBoone could get spooked by a single SOLO HR in the SECOND INNING.
— Maggio (@kylemaggio) October 7, 2020
I hate JA Happ and I hate Aaron Boone
— Stanzo (@ncostanzo24) October 7, 2020
Can always count on @AaronBoone to fuck up!
Most consistent manager at being inconsistent.
— Wish (@WishYaLuckk) October 7, 2020
— IB 🔌 THE GAMBLER (@incarceratedbob) October 7, 2020
Now, with zero days off during the LDS and LCS this season, the Yankees used up two starters in a single loss.
Masahiro Tanaka will take the reigns in the next game and try to fix the damage done on Tuesday night, but the loss of momentum here is palpable.
If the Yankees ultimately lose this series, it’s hard to see how Boone isn’t the one held most responsible for the collapse.