NEW YORK -- Aaron Boone has already helped the Yankees advance to one World Series. Now they want him to lead the franchise to its next one.Boone has been selected as the 33rd manager in franchise history, the Yankees announced Monday, concluding a managerial search that spanned five weeks. Boone's
NEW YORK -- Aaron Boone has already helped the Yankees advance to one World Series. Now they want him to lead the franchise to its next one.
Boone has been selected as the 33rd manager in franchise history, the Yankees announced Monday, concluding a managerial search that spanned five weeks. Boone's contract is for three years, with a club option for 2021. An introductory news conference is scheduled for Wednesday at noon ET.
"Words cannot express how humbled I am to wear the pinstripes again as the manager of the Yankees," said Boone. "I want to thank the Steinbrenner family and [general manager] Brian Cashman for entrusting me with this tremendous honor and responsibility. I believe we are entering into a special time in New York Yankees history, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I can't wait to get to work -- and that work starts now."
The Yankees also announced that Larry Rothschild will return for his eighth season as New York's pitching coach. During Rothschild's tenure, Yankees pitchers have posted the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.96) in the American League and third-best in the Majors. Last season, they tallied a franchise-record 1,560 strikeouts and held opponents to an AL-low .228 batting average while setting Major League records in strikeouts per nine innings (10.92) and strikeout rate (29 percent).
Boone, the author of one of the most memorable moments in Yankees postseason history, a deciding home run off Tim Wakefield that defeated the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series, is the 18th Yankees manager to have played for the club and the first without any previous coaching or managerial experience since Hall of Famer Bill Dickey in 1946.
"I firmly believe that Aaron possesses the attributes needed to follow in the tradition of great Yankees managers," said managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. "From all accounts, he is a polished communicator who possesses the ability to cultivate and grow relationships. Aaron has also spent a lifetime immersed in baseball, affording him a unique and intimate understanding of what fosters team success.
"Aaron's name is already etched into Yankees history, and my family and I are excited to welcome him back to this franchise. This opportunity will allow him to continue to make a positive impact on this organization in distinctly new and meaningful ways."
Cashman cited "communication and connectivity" as important prerequisites when the Yankees parted ways with Joe Girardi after a decade with him at the helm. Those are challenges that the affable Boone should be able to handle as he begins to familiarize himself with the team's young roster.
"We also believe Aaron's interpersonal skills and baseball pedigree will allow him to blend well with the systems we have in place, our baseball operations staff and the 25-man roster," Cashman said. "On a personal level, I look forward to collaborating with him over the coming years and offering him the support and resources needed to get the most out of our players."
A popular clubhouse presence during his playing career, Boone has been a television analyst since his retirement in 2009, giving him considerable exposure to the ocean of advanced statistics that have become vitally important in overseeing a big league game.
"I find myself managing games all the time and thinking about strategies and how I would handle different situations," Boone said. "Certainly, it's fair to question my experience in actually doing the job, but I would say in a way I've been preparing for this job for the last 44 years."
A corner infielder from La Mesa, Calif., who batted .263 during his 12-year Major League career, Boone played part of the 2003 season with the Yankees. He spent seven seasons with the Reds and also appeared with the Indians, Marlins, Nationals and Astros.
In addition to Boone, the Yankees also interviewed bench coach Rob Thomson, former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge, Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward and recently retired slugger Carlos Beltran.
Thomson, who had been in the Yankees' organization for 28 seasons, plans to accept a bench coach position with the Phillies, while Beltran has said that he is looking forward to spending time at home with his family.
"Over the past several weeks, our baseball operations department sat down with a number of managerial candidates, all of whom brought a diverse array of baseball knowledge and experience," Cashman said. "Each interview led to insightful and thoughtful discussions, and I am grateful to the candidates for their preparation, interest and commitment to our extensive interview process.
"When we had the opportunity to speak with Aaron and share concepts and ideas, he was able to showcase a variety of traits that we believe will strongly benefit this franchise as we move forward, including an astute mind for the game and a progressive approach to evolving strategies."
Boone's grandfather, Ray, father, Bob, and brother, Bret, all played in the Majors, and his father managed the Reds (1995-97) and Royals (2001-03). The Boones are the first family in history to produce three generations of Major League players. Bob and Aaron Boone are just the third duo of father-son managers in history, joining George and Dick Sisler and Bob and Joel Skinner.
"I've been going to the ballpark since I was 3 and 4 years old, and in a way, managing the game from a very young age," Boone said. "My dad was in the big leagues from the time I was born to a senior in high school. Being around great teams, great players, I've kind of lived this game."
Boone remains a fan favorite in New York -- and, like Bucky Dent, will always carry an alternative middle name in Boston -- because of that one big swing in the 2003 ALCS. He injured his left knee while playing basketball during the following offseason, setting off a sequence of events that led to the Yankees' February 2004 trade for Alex Rodriguez.
Boone spoke openly and honestly about the injury, which voided his contract. That cost him a considerable amount of money at the time, but made an impression upon Cashman and the Yankees. Boone said on Nov. 17 that he believes his brief time with the club will help him prepare for the challenges of managing in the New York spotlight.
"It's just understanding what it is to be a Yankee, what it is to play here and just understanding the expectations that go with it," Boone said. "Certainly the expectations now will be ramped up even more after such a successful season and when you look at the roster that we're going to potentially have out there. I know what I would be signing up for."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.