NEW YORK -- Imagine how proud Bob Boone must have felt after seeing his son, Aaron, manage the Yankees during the team's home opener against the Rays on Tuesday.Bob Boone, a former Major League player and manager and currently the Nationals' vice president of player development, was one of 10
NEW YORK -- Imagine how proud Bob Boone must have felt after seeing his son, Aaron, manage the Yankees during the team's home opener against the Rays on Tuesday.
Bob Boone, a former Major League player and manager and currently the Nationals' vice president of player development, was one of 10 family members who watched Aaron make his managerial debut at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees didn't disappoint the Boone family, pounding Tampa Bay, 11-4. Shortstop Didi Gregorius highlighted the scoring for New York with two home runs and eight RBIs.
After the game, the elder Boone, 70, was in his son's office watching the Nationals-Braves game on TV and talking about the game he had just seen at Yankee Stadium.
"It looks like Gregorius had a pretty good game. After 19 years of playing, my best game was having five RBIs," Boone said. "I would have been just as proud of my son if he had lost. He just lucked out and made the right moves."
Aaron Boone was just as happy to have his dad around. If the game had been called because of inclement weather, Bob would have missed the home opener. He has to be with the Nationals for their home opener, which is Thursday in Washington.
"I'm glad we got it in now because all my family has to go back home tomorrow," Aaron said. "I'm glad they got to be here even though [it was raining]. I'm looking forward to seeing them when I'm finished with the media -- having the kids in the clubhouse and taking them in the locker room to appreciate it. I'm grateful for it."
Bob Boone arrived in New York on Sunday night knowing his middle son was being second-guessed after the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays, 7-4. Aaron was criticized for walking Josh Donaldson to load the bases for Justin Smoak, who hit a grand slam against reliever Player Page for David Robertson.
Known to express his opinion, Bob felt Aaron made the right decision by walking Donaldson, who is considered the better player. Bob told Aaron to get used to being criticized on a regular basis.
"It cracks me up. He has to make 100 decisions as a manager and to get critiqued for that," the elder Boone said. "I told him he missed the boat [with the media] when he answered the question. He should have said, 'Well, let see: Donaldson makes [$23] million and Smoak makes [more than $4 million]. My stat guy said you should go by that.' It's silly. It's crazy that you would critique that decision. It's the absolute correct decision.
"The whole idea of managing is to put your players in the right position. It's a long season to even consider the critics in Game 4. It's crazy. It won't stop. When you won, they didn't congratulate you on managing a great game when you won, 6-1. They talk about the players doing well. It comes with the job."
The season is not even a week old and Bob Boone believes the Yankees are a powerful team. It helps that they have players such as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on the roster.
"The pitching is really sound," Boone said. "You have a couple of guys you need to straighten out in the 'pen. You come in and everybody on your [pitching staff] throws 97 miles per hour."
Bob Boone wished he had those types of players when he managed the Royals and Reds during the 1990s and early 2000s. He remembered when he first managed Kansas City in 1995 and David Cone was on the roster. By April of that year, however, Cone was traded to the Blue Jays.
"I met David Cone coming out of the locker room and [then GM] Herk Robinson had just traded him," Boone remembered. "Nice knowing you, David. I forgot, we don't need any pitching."
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.