The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
New Yankees Manager Boone Gets Unexpected Christmas Present

Aaron Boone was an unconventional selection as the new manager of the New York Yankees week before last.  Without any prior managerial or coaching experience, many observers think he is going to need all the help he could get.  But then his job just got a lot easier last week with an early Christmas present.

Expectations are high for Boone in 2018.  Anything short of a World Series appearance in Boone’s first season won’t be acceptable to the Yankees ownership.  After all, prior Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn’t retained after leading the Yankees to within one game of reaching the World Series in 2017.  Even if Boone’s Yankees were to win 90 games (normally considered a successful campaign) but fail to win the American League pennant, it won’t be viewed as a good season for him.  Unfortunately, Boone won’t get a grace period as the new manager in the Bronx.

The second big surprise of the Yankees’ offseason occurred a week after Boone assumed his new role.  Santa Claus came early for Boone, when the Yankees secured Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2017 season AL MVP with 59 home runs, in an unforseen trade.  Stanton had previously received offers from the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, but wound up rejecting both, since he had a full no-trade clause in his contract with the Miami Marlins.

Boone now has the latest version of the “Twin Towers” in 6-foot-6 Stanton and 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge, who wasn’t too shabby himself with his rookie record of 52 home runs in 2017.  The potential for these two young players evokes the memory of past slugger duos of the Bronx Bombers – Ruth-Gehrig and Mantle-Maris.  Adding catcher Gary Sanchez to the mix then conjures up thoughts of Ruth-Gehrig-Dickey and Mantle-Maris-Berra.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Yankees had been heavy suitors of international free agent Shohei Ohtani.  Most people thought they would be the favorite to attract the Japanese star Ohtani to the biggest stage in baseball, until he declined any interest in going to the Yankees.  They quickly rebounded from Ohtani shunning them and pursued Stanton even though it was thought he wanted to land with a West Coast team.  The move by the Yankees to acquire Stanton just goes to show that they should never be counted out.

Just when we think the Yankees have expended all their available resources for next year on Stanton, don’t be surprised if they also find a way to get Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on their squad, too.  The Orioles’ front office has curiously been entertaining offers for their franchise player even though has one more year left on his contract with them.  Machado has been quoted in the past as saying he would love to eventually play for the Yankees.  Guess what?  The Yankees would love that, also, even if he is just a one-year rental.  The main question is what will the Yankees have to give up for the mega-star?

Another reported interest of the Yankees is pitcher Gerrit Cole of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He’s the No. 1 starter in the Pirates’ rotation, and his acquisition would help solidify the Yankees’ staff which already has Luis Severino, Matsuhiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, and aging CC Sabathia.  The Yankees’ top prospect outfielder Clint Frazier has been mentioned in the trade for Gerritt, since he will not likely get a chance at a starting job in 2018 now that Stanton is on board.

If one or both of those additional transactions came to fruition, Boone would think Santa was really working overtime for him.  Heck, Boone probably wouldn’t even have to show up in the dugout every day; he could just text his lineup from his house on most days and watch the game on TV from home. Yeah, right!

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