Aaron Boone not worried about job security, focused on winning title with Yankees

Aaron Boone Yankees close up ALCS Game 2 10/20/22
Aaron Boone Yankees close up ALCS Game 2 10/20/22

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he doesn’t think about his job status and remains focused on winning a championship, while speaking at the end-of-season news conference on Friday.

“It sucks this time of year to watch two other teams playing because you wanna be there and you feel like you’re close. And you know what people have poured into this,” he said.

Here are the takeaways from Boone’s news conference:

On his job security as manager

“I signed a contract last year, so my focus remains the same and that’s to be one of the leaders of this team that, again, I came back to do this, and got into this for a lot of reasons: The competition, to compete at the highest level, the camaraderie you feel being a part of an organization, being a part of a team, being in the trenches, being in the dugout, the lives you have the potential to impact, the relationships you’re able to forge, but ultimately I want to win a championship.

“There’s no better place to come to try and realize that because you know that is the mindset, the focus each and every year and I’m grateful to be a part of that.

“But as far as the job security and that, I’m never worried about that. Ever. And the reality is, last year I signed an extension. So my focus is on putting my steps forward to what’s in front of me, what’s next for us as an organization.”

On how they can improve this offseason to beat the Astros

“You’re trying to improve, and the offseason takes you in a lot of places. There’s obvious things you say, ‘Let’s get this guy, let’s get this guy, let’s make this move,’ but a lot of things have to line up and cooperate for that. So you’ve gotta be, I think, you gotta be agile… because you’re not gonna get everything you want or have every move happen to line up perfectly. You’ve gotta have a lot of plans in place.”

Added Boone:

“Bottom line is, we’re a really good team. We’ve been knocking on that door now for a long time. We haven’t punched through. I certainly understand the frustration of that with everyone, we all feel that as much as everyone. That’s, again, why I came back to do this. I want to hoist that trophy with these guys.

“And the reality is we are close and we have a team that is in that conversation, realistically in that conversation. There’s a lot of things that play out over the course of the year, we’re missing obviously some key people at a key time of the year, but there’s always gonna be turnover on the roster that force you to go in a different direction.”

On the ALCS loss

“Bottom line is we gotta get a little bit better, we got beat by a better team in the American League Championship Series. They’ve kinda set the mark right now and we gotta find a way to keep getting a little bit better and that’s always the focus going into the offseason and then the season plays out and so many factors come in that change that equation, make it easier, make it harder. But I can tell you we’re relentless in our pursuit to try and chase that.”

"We haven't been able to beat them. I said 'We need to slay that dragon,' we haven't done it yet. And that hurts. And it's also a motivating factor to try and continue to get better and work." 

On Giancarlo Stanton possibly playing through an injury

“I think he was playing through something. It was not significant enough, obviously, to keep him out. And obviously, I think we started to see him the final week and the start of the playoffs really look the part and look like Big G all the way to the point that he could go out and play the outfield a little bit. But I do think he was compromised a little bit and playing through things. Again, nothing where I felt like he was in jeopardy or, obviously, not that he couldn’t perform.

“But I think some of the struggles that he went through, to his credit when he did come back in August and early parts of September. ... I think was him in his way figuring out how to perform at a high level a little banged up. And I think he did that. Respect how he went about it. Respect his process through it because he knew he had to take some lumps down the way and he did down the stretch and then you saw him start to right the ship at the end. And I think that was him learning how to play at a high level with it and I think he got to that point.”

“But I do think him being able to play the outfield, not only serves us well in giving us flexibility from time to time, but I think it serves him well. Obviously, you just gotta be smart and pick your spots with it.”

On if age caught up to Josh Donaldson this year

“Age always is a factor look, at JD and, I was blown away by how good he played third. You could make a case that the age didn’t show up there. You know I knew we were getting a good defensive third baseman, I didn’t know we were getting that good of one.

“I think his offensive season, coming out of the lockout, coming to a new team right at the start of spring training he didn’t have that time to build, and then I just felt like he never got on track, on that really extended hot streak where he built momentum and now we’re rolling.

“I felt like all year, he’d get it going there for a couple days and then maybe take a step back. And I think part of that was just one of those years where it was just hard for him to get that consistency all the time.

“Tough to say if that’s exactly age-related or just one of those seasons where you can have a little bit of a down year by your standard. And the game’s hard, and the game’s hard to navigate on the fly and get on those good runs. I still think he has a lot in there.”