NEW YORK -- Hal Steinbrenner was walking out of the players' workout facility on the basement level of Yankee Stadium last month when he bumped into Aaron Boone, whom general manager Brian Cashman had just excused from the conference room portion of an interview that would help Cashman name Boone
NEW YORK -- Hal Steinbrenner was walking out of the players' workout facility on the basement level of Yankee Stadium last month when he bumped into Aaron Boone, whom general manager Brian Cashman had just excused from the conference room portion of an interview that would help Cashman name Boone the 33rd manager in franchise history.
Steinbrenner and Boone exchanged pleasantries in a brief conversation before the managerial hopeful was led into head athletic trainer Steve Donohue's office, where he would receive a crash course on the team's medical methodology. The Yankees' managing general partner remarked that Boone had seemed "calm, cool, collected and competent" at the midpoint of that long day in the Bronx.
"Clearly, he just went through two to three hours of grilling, the Cashman scenarios and lineup questions and everything else," Steinbrenner said. "He looked perfectly fine."
There will be many more long days and nights at Yankee Stadium in Boone's future. The Yanks expect that his communication skills, open-mindedness and personable demeanor will help him steer a young and talented club toward its next World Series championship.
Though Steinbrenner had said that he might prefer a replacement for Joe Girardi who had some previous managing or coaching experience, he eased off that stance once he heard gushing reviews from the executives in the room who spoke to Boone. On their recommendation, Steinbrenner hired Boone without requesting a lengthier face-to-face meeting in Tampa, Fla.
"It was clear that his knowledge of the game is very, very impressive," Steinbrenner said. "Of course he had his career, but he grew up around the game. It was evident in talking to him, the questions that were asked of him, that a great deal of wisdom was imparted to him his whole life."
Steinbrenner said that Boone's familiarity with New York, more than his iconic home run in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series, served as a selling point for the hire.
"The thing that was certainly attractive for me was just that he knows this organization, our expectations," Steinbrenner said. "He knows the New York market, he knows the fans, he knows their expectations. Home run or not, the fact that he played here, for me personally, was a factor, because I think it's important. He knows exactly what he's getting into."
As such, the bar will be set high for the rookie manager. The Yankees were one victory shy of reaching the World Series this past year, and Steinbrenner said that above all else, he will evaluate Boone by his ability to notch the five postseason wins that Girardi was unable to this past season.
"It's probably a silly thing for me to say, but [success will be measured by] winning [World Series] championships," Steinbrenner said. "I truly believe we have now in place -- having not traded away a lot of the [Aaron] Judges and [Gary] Sanchezes and the [Luis] Severinos of the world -- I really feel between what we've got up here now and what we've got down below, we've got a chance for a very good run."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.