Aaron Boone has a knack for early showers. You can blame it on a short temper or having the pinky-up attitude of being the Yankees’ manager. Whatever the case, no one has spent less time helming his team from the dugout in Major League Baseball than Boone this season, or since the start of the 2018 campaign. Boone was ejected for the fourth time this season — the second time in a four-game span, and third over the last 10 games — on Thursday night for arguing about the strike zone by home umpire Edwin Moscoso.
“I’m not advocating for the robo,” Boone said post-game. “I think these guys do for the most part a great job and work really hard at it.”
The duo got into a heated exchange in the third inning, where, according to ESPN, some of Boone’s spit may have landed on the ump while arguing. It may have been an accident, but the notion incensed an already-irate Boone. The incident no doubt will be reviewed by the league, and could lead to suspension.
Update: Boone has been suspended for one game. He will miss tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres.
Aaron Boone is MLB’s most ejected manager since 2018
Boone is the most ejected manager in the league since the start of the 2018 season, with Thursday’s removal being No. 30 in his tenure with the Yankees, which started that year. That’s a crazy-high number, even if five full seasons — and a third of this one — fall into that window. Even with how many times Boone has been tossed, he’s still not in favor of robot umpires. That’s quite the juxtaposition, as Boone was seen holding up four fingers close to Moscoso, appearing to say that’s the fourth missed call of the game. The YES Network posted a graphic showing six of New York starter Clarke Schmidt’s pitches were in the strike zone, but called balls.
“My goal is not to get kicked out of games,” the Yankees’ skipper has said.
With umpires like Angel Hernandez drawing the ire of coaches and fans alike for their calls from behind home plate, combined with the speed of the game thanks to the new pitch clock, more wrong calls are happening at an alarming rate.
Is there still room for human error in the game?
Is the fix to have a machine do the job a human has done for well over a century? Did we learn nothing from the Terminator movies? It would make every pitch be a ball, strike, or Sarah Connor. It could be even worse, like in Naked Gun, with Reggie Jackson almost murdering the Queen of England if not for Enrico Pallazzo! Then again, some of Leslie Nielsen’s dance moves would make the game more interesting. Robot umpires would find a way to have their critics too. There’d be complaints about how it disrespects the game of baseball, how human error is better than a computer error, because at least there’s emotion and reason at play, not just science.
The notion of robot umpires taking over is foolish. Look at how other sports have included video reviews, most notably with soccer and VAR. It’s typically quick, decisive, and gets the calls right, which should be the only point in stopping a game anyway. The NFL has coach’s challenges and booth reviews. The most-annoying technology-assisted part of sports is probably in college basketball, with many NCAA Tournament games’ final three minutes taking a half hour. But with seasons on the line, it’s best as many calls are made correctly as possible. Human error has always been a part of sports, especially in a thankless job like officiating. Yet, stating that umpires in Major League Baseball need to do better and shouldn’t be replaced can coexist. Good on Boone for not trying to have T-X calling balls and strikes.
“I don’t want that,” Boone said after the game.