Photo: Sarah Stier (Getty)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s post-ejection rant was an all-timer. Upset over generous called strikes for the Rays on both Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner—two men of disparate sizes and thus strike zones—Boone jumped in front of an ejection aimed for Gardner, who was busy jackhammering the bat rack and telling the upstairs neighbors to keep it down. Once he got tossed he came out to get his money’s worth with rookie ump Brennan Miller, who was making just his fifth MLB start behind the plate. Boone had things to say. Strange things.

The YES Network’s field mic picked up the entire rant, and Talkin’ Yanks podcast host Jomboy was able to isolate that audio channel, turn it up, and slap on subtitles.

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“My guys are fucking savages in that fucking box right? And you’re having a real piece-of-shit start to this game. I feel bad for you, but fucking get better. That guy is a good pitcher, but our guys are fucking savages in that box. Our guys are savages in that fucking box. Tighten it up right now, okay? Tighten [clap] this [clap] shit [clap] up.”

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For his rant, Boone was booted for the third time this year, and the seventh time in his two-year managing career. Crew chief Gerry Davis was asked if Boone had gone too far with the naughty words. “Yes, absolutely,” Davis replied.

I don’t think Boone would dispute that. “Sometimes in the heat of the battle, you just kind of utter some things,” he said sheepishly after the game.

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But the question remained: What exactly does it mean to say Boone’s guys are savages in that box? Is this some sort of arcane baseball terminology with a rich linguistic history, like umpire Tom Hallion’s “ass in the jackpot”?

No, in retrospect, it’s much simpler than that. Boone was merely pointing out that the Yankees are savage on pitchers because they take pitches and work the count. He’s been referring to them privately as “savages” in the batter’s box all year, and it just accidentally spilled over in public.

“Controlling the strike zone and make it hard on the pitcher all the time and that’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup. You may have had your way with us, you may have success against us but I want you to feel us and they take that on every game and it usually serves them well.”

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It—“it” being both Boone’s eruption and the Yankees’ general savagery—appears to be working. New York broke out to take both games of Thursday’s double-header against the Rays to extend their lead over Tampa to eight, and now sport baseball’s best record.

“He’s been calling us savages all year, and we’ve had that mentality since Spring Training,” Luke Voit said. “We are a bunch of savages, and we’ve got to keep going.”