This time last year, fans and commentators wondered if Aaron Boone was cut out to serve as the Yankees’ manager. A lackluster postseason showing, combined with an inability to reel in the Red Sox, led to a fanbase frustrated with the young skipper. Boone turned that narrative on its head in 2019, establishing himself as one of the finest managers in the game. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America agreed, announcing on Tuesday night that he placed second in the American League Manager of the Year voting.
Boone led the Yankees to a 103-win campaign in 2019. More impressively, he navigated a season ravaged by an unprecedented number of injuries. In total, 30 Yankees spent time on the injured list this year. The “next man up” culture started with Boone, and it carried throughout the clubhouse.
On July 18, Boone electrified the fanbase when he confronted home-plate umpire Brennan Miller after a series of poor calls. Boone delivered the now-infamous “Savages in the Box” tirade, giving the Yankees universe a glimpse of what he shows the team.
“He’s been calling us savages all year,” first baseman Luke Voit said to Brendan Kuty in July. “We’ve had that mentality since spring training. It’s pretty cool. Not a lot of coaches would back it up and use that type of work, but I think we appreciate it and we are a bunch of savages.”
Aaron Judge agreed. “We love it. He’s in the trenches with us,” explained the team’s de factor leader.