Yankees manager Aaron Boone met with reporters on Wednesday for his end-of-season press conference, just five days removed from the ALDS Game 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boone spoke on a number of different topics, including his thoughts on his own job security following a third straight playoff exit, whether or not the Yankees had what it takes to win the World Series this year, and the pressures of managing in New York.
Here are five takeaways from what Boone had to say…
On whether Luke Voit’s foot affected him in the playoffs
"No I don’t think that it affected him. He was basically dealing with the same thing, probably the last couple of days and into the playoffs, it was actually maybe a little bit better than he was at different times during the regular season, where obviously he had a monster season. To some degree, it had a little affect, but this was the guy who led the league in home runs dealing with it most of the year. Hopefully we get that corrected and it’s not something he has to deal with moving forward, but I don’t think it had an overwhelming affect on him, performance-wise."
Did the Yankees have the elements to win it all this year?
"No question. I think going back now the last few years, we lose to Boston and we’re a couple feet from Gary’s ball going out and forcing a Game 5 where they’d already shot their main guy, and they go on to win the World Series. Obviously, last year with Houston, having a grueling series with them, going down tied in the eighth inning in Game 5 against Tampa, who’s now looking like their on their way to a World Series.
"So we understand the club we have, how close, and that does add to the disappointment because you realize how close you are to being a champion team and just haven’t been able to get over the hump yet. So that eats at you, it wears at you, it motivates you, and it’s something we’ve got to live with."
On whether he was worried about his own job security following the season
"Not worried … I love doing this. I love being a part of this organization, to get to work for Hal and the Steinbrenner family and Brian Cashman and his staff is a privilege, an honor, and something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Honestly, I’ve never worried about my status, year by year. Moving forward, I kind of feel like that will all take care of itself. I can’t wait to get back to work, and as I say a lot, we’re trying to kick that door in. We’re trying to win a championship. We’re tying to climb to the top of the mountain. We know we’re close. We know we have a team capable of it, and that’s the motivation. My contract status and all that will take care of itself and my focus is on us and getting to the top of that mountain."
On players understanding Boone’s ultimate say on lineup decisions
"I think that room understands that ultimately I’m writing out the lineups and I’m making these decisions, and I think that’s understood. I think people understand that I listen to coaches , I listen to front office personnel, especially when making a big decision or a big change or something that may be out of the box. I certainly consult with a lot of people, but I think our guys understand that ultimately it’s my decision."
On the pressures of managing in New York
"That’s one of the great things about wearing the pinstripes, is how much people care. So, when you don’t reach your ultimate goal, people are frustrated, people are in pain. It hurts. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. That’s the arena I want to be in. That’s the organization I want to be a part of, and that exists here. I think we’re all thankful for that and why many of us chose to be apart of this organization. As much as we’re hurting right now and trying to get over the pain of losing a playoff series with so much at stake, is because we know the opportunity that’s still in front of us with a lot of great players."