Aaron Boone is willing to trade in his pinstripes for board shorts and a spatula, at least for a few days.
With Major League Baseball’s All-Star break starting Monday, Boone, the Yankees manager, plans to rest and relax. Boone will watch the Home Run Derby on Monday and the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, but he’ll also make the most of his short vacation.
With the Yankees (64-28) owning the league’s best record at the unofficial midseason mark, the skipper got some reprieve.
Asked Sunday to describe how the Yankees have played so far, Boone said, “Good.”
He added: “But we know very well how much time we have to go. All we’ve done is put ourselves in a great position to do something special.”
Boone, of course, was referring to winning a World Series championship, something the Yankees haven’t done since 2009. However, with what they have already achieved this season, they look like favourites.
The Yankees’ win total is the franchise’s highest since the All-Star break, and their 28 comeback wins lead the majors. They are 36 games over .500 and tied for the top of the American League East with a 13-game lead over Tampa Bay. Their six players — outfielder and MVP candidate Aaron Judge; outfielder Giancarlo Stanton; starter Gerrit Cole; Catcher Jose Trevino; Novice Nestor Cortes; and closer Clay Holmes – are all stars and they were meant to have more.
“I mean, we’re the best team in baseball,” said reliever Michael King, who didn’t make an All-Star despite posting a 2.19 ERA. trust I know we have a bit of a lull here, but we always talk about how we don’t want to be hot in July. We prefer it to be hot in October. We only save the best for the playoffs and it’s always good to get a little bit of trouble.”
The “Lula” king mentioned is a relative. The Yankees have lost eight and five of their last 16 games Eight stars before the break. As the break approached, New York lacked luster at times, a reminder of just how inconsistent the club was last year. “The timing of the All-Star break is usually good,” Boone said.
But the 2022 Yankees, overall, played a much cleaner, steadier and more well-rounded brand of baseball than the 2021 edition. Despite the slight slide, they ended the first half with back-to-back wins and the Red Sox’ streak of 27 runs between Saturday and Sunday. After defeating the Red Sox, 13-2, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, New York is 30-15 against the AL East, a division in which every team has a winning percentage of at least .500.
“It was a good team performance yesterday and we carried that momentum into today,” Cole said after allowing two runs in seven innings while striking out 12 on Sunday. “It’s pretty cool, but we have bigger goals and a lot more baseball to play. So we’re trying to keep it in perspective.”
The Yankees will regroup and resume regular season play Thursday in Houston. The Astros, the AL’s second-best team, are 59-32, New York has remained a thorn in their side, winning three of the five games between the teams this year. The rivals will begin the second half of an unusual doubleheader before splitting, a scheduling quirk made necessary by the lockout that delayed the 2022 campaign and postponed games.
“It was a bummer, especially with the slow start to the season, missing Sunday and adding these games,” Boone said of another strange campaign. “There’s another layer added to this 162-game season. I feel like we did well. But we’ve got a long way to go and we’re looking forward to coming back after hopefully some time off for some of the guys.”
While the next few days will be quiet for the Yankees not heading to Los Angeles, the next few weeks should be full. The MLB trade deadline is Aug. 2, and the Yankees are on the receiving end as they look to bolster a roster that still has some holes despite the team’s sterling record.
The Yankees have been linked to several outfielders and may trade one of their own, slugger Joey Gallo, who homered on Sunday. General manager Brian Cashman could also be a buyer in the pitching market. The Yankees have one of the best rotations in the game, but Cortez has thrown 95 ⅔ career major league innings and right-hander Luis Severino went on the injured list last week, a common occurrence throughout his career. Jameson Taillon, meanwhile, endured a bit of a rough patch before holding Boston to one run over six innings on Saturday.
Still, Boone is confident in his pitching staff, calling it one of the “driving forces” behind his team’s dominance. Yankees pitchers enter the break with a 3.08 ERA, their lowest mark since 1976.
As for the trade deadline, Boone added, “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Whether the Yankees make a splash or stand still remains to be seen. The 1998 Yankees—a team often compared to the current group—failed to land Randy Johnson before the trade deadline. They still won 114 regular season games and the World Series.
Updates are always welcome and perhaps expected when a team is in serious contention. But Boone also likes the guys he has now.
“The confidence that this team has that we can win any way we want,” he said when asked what stood out in the Yankees’ first half. “That’s what really came out and it starts with the commitment the guys made from the first day of spring practice to being really committed and obsessing over the details and the little things in the game that were big for us at different times throughout the game. year. And I think that led to the confidence that we can win any game if we do it in different ways. “