NEW YORK -- Right after his team pounded the Twins, 10-4, in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Yankees manager Aaron Boone received a text from his father, former big leaguer Bob Boone.
"Keep it rolling. Have another good one,” the text read.
Bob works for the Nationals as a vice president of player development and senior advisor to general manager Mike Rizzo. While the Nationals are back home hoping to punch their ticket to the World Series with two more wins over the Cardinals, he is doing advance scouting of the Yankees and Astros.
And what would Bob text his son if the Yankees faced the Nationals in the World Series?
“I would send him a text [that said], ‘Try to keep it going. And we are going to kick your butt.’”
Bob, who spent the previous two days in Houston, will also be in New York to watch the American League Championship Series games at Yankee Stadium. He made it clear that he and Aaron do not give trade secrets to one another, and Bob intends to assure Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that inside secrets were not discussed.
When father and son talk, they always ask how the other is doing, but they don’t talk much about baseball.
“He holds everything close to the vest,” Bob said. “That’s why I don’t talk to him about the Yankees other than so-and-so is hitting really good. I don’t give him pointers about pitchers opening up before they deliver a pitch or the hitters are not getting into position on time [to hit the baseball].”
Bob did wonder, however, if Aaron apologized to rookie umpire Brennan Miller this past summer. On July 18, Aaron argued with Miller over balls and strikes and, after he was thrown out of the game, referred to his hitters as "[bleeping] savages in that [bleeping] box."
“It’s not for what he said, but the fact that somebody in the stands picked the whole thing up,” Bob remembered. “Have you ever heard an argument live? [I was like] 'Aaron, were you wired?' That would be embarrassing to me. Plus, I was a terrible arguer. That’s the most fantastic argument I ever heard. It cost him money.”
Despite having 30 players on the injured list this season, Aaron guided the Yankees to a 103-59 record, second best to the Astros, with whom they are currently tied at a game apiece in the ALCS. It's an accomplishment that fills his father with pride.
Bob believes his son should be the AL Manager of the Year Award winner not only for overcoming all those injuries, but also for the way he uses young players and how he handles his pitching staff.
“I don’t know if I expected him to win that many games, particularly with all the injuries. It’s a miracle,” Bob said. “But I did know how Aaron is when [a team] brings in young people; in particular, he has a great way of calming them, making them feel a part of it and getting rid of the nerves out of the fact that ‘I’m in the big leagues.’
“I think he is tremendous at it. He relates to everybody. A lot of players -- when they walk in a Major League clubhouse -- a player can be intimidated by a lot of [managers]. Aaron doesn’t do any of it. He brings them to the party.”