New York Yankees Skipper’s Concerns Don’t Involve A Subway
The 'Subway Series' is fun for fans but Tuesday and Wednesday are two games on the schedule for most of the Yankees and the Mets. Yes, they know these bragging rights games draw tremendous crowds and spark the best in heated fanatic discussions between the Pinstripes and the Amazin's faithful. However, for New York Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone, they are two games to keep building on, no more, no less.
Fans may think that it is easy to manage a team that owns a 12.5 game lead in the American League East but that is the furthest thing from the truth, especially in New York. The 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers owned a 13 game lead in late-August, only to blow it to their crosstown rival Giants on the last day of the season. Check out Bobby Thompson's home-run for some reference. Boone knows that last Thursday, his 'Beasts of the East' were shut-down again by the Houston and if they want to go to the World Series, they will have to beat the Astros. The manager also knows that he lost ace-reliever Michael King and his 51 masterful innings he provided in the team's dominant first-half of the season to a season ending elbow injury.
Question marks surround the Yankees skipper, as he tries to spark his team out of the doldrums of summer with a big lead. Who will be general manager Brian Cashman's trade acquisitions in the next week? Which player or players will depart from the team that gave you that lead? Who will be the next player to go down from injury and are they replaceable? How do you keep the clubhouse focused on winning, not who is coming or going?
This has been Aaron Boone's finest managerial season and not just because of their record. The season began with Aaron Judge's contract controversy. The skipper has done nothing but put the All Star outfielder in positions to succeed, while providing him the rest to sustain his MVP season. When third baseman Josh Donaldson's words with Chicago White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson seemed destined to form a wedge in the Bombers locker-room, Boone defused the powder-keg and the team moved on.
Aaron Boone knows the road to the World Series is full of pot-holes, injuries and controversies. Two games against his team's crosstown rivals is a walk in the park compared to Boone's next 4 weeks, which includes games against the red-hot Seattle Mariners, the getting it together Toronto Blue Jays, the stacked St. Louis Cardinals and then these very same first-place Mets, again, at the Stadium. All of these games are in the 'dog days' of August. Boone knows that no lead is big enough this time of year.