The team’s manager search was light on prior managing experience: of the candidates they reportedly interviewed for the gig (Boone, Carlos Beltran, Rob Thomson, Hensley Meulens, Chris Woodward, and Eric Wedge) only Wedge has any prior managing experience in the majors. Boone and Beltran, of course, have no coaching experience at any level.
But Boone, according to ESPN, doesn’t much feel like that lack of experience will be a thing once he is in place as the manager of the most prominent baseball team on Earth:
“I would say in a way I’ve been preparing for this job for the last 44 years,” Boone said last month.
“There’s a lot to consider, and there’s a lot of great information out there that is instilled into the game today. And it’s I think now more than ever more of a partnership from front office to manager.
“We are an extension of the front office and a part of the front office,” he added, “and how we gather information and get it in the hands of the players is a very important part of the job nowadays.”
Girardi was also a pretty inexperienced guy when he took over as Yankees manager in 2008—his only coaching experience at any level came in his one year managing the Marlins to semi-relevance in 2006. All he did in New York was win a World Series in his second season, and take the Yankees to Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS. But managing, in baseball, is a weird, alchemical job, and possibly nobody fully understands what being “good” at it really entails. Girardi had some high profile fuck-ups, and it cost him, despite a positive track record and a massively successful final season. That Boone, a man with no coaching experience, and who’s been working for ESPN and playing in celebrity softball games for most of the past decade, could conceivably be “better” at the job than the man he’s replacing underscores just how much of a crapshoot baseball managing really is.