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  • Tim Kabel

About The Off-Day: Let's Talk

by Tim Kabel

June 27, 2023


The Yankees had yesterday off. They remain in third place in the American League East, 9 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay, but only one-half game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. They are in the second wild card position but, are closely bunched with the Blue Jays, Astros, and Angels. They had a good weekend, winning two of three from the first-place Texas Rangers. However, this team still has a lot of questions and issues. One of those became prominent on Sunday.

I loved the HBO series, Game of Thrones. My favorite character was Sandor, “the Hound” Clegane. He was an extremely cantankerous and belligerent fellow, much like me. In one of my favorite episodes, Two Swords, the Hound addressed another character thusly, “You're a talker. Listening to talkers makes me thirsty and hungry." The Hound proceeded to tell him in so many words, that if he had to listen to this fellow any longer, he would need to eat every chicken in the tavern because he would be so hungry. Had the Hound been in Aaron Boone's office on Sunday while Boone was talking to Josh Donaldson, he would have consumed a truckload of chickens.

When Josh Donaldson discovered he was not in the starting lineup for the third consecutive day on Sunday, he marched into Boone's office, carrying a bat, after telling reporters he was unavailable to talk. Donaldson then proceeded to talk to Boone for 45 minutes, making Boone 30 minutes late for his press conference. This raises several questions in my head:

  • What could they have possibly talked about for 45 minutes?

  • How long does it take to say, “You are washed up and are not helping the team. You need to sit.”

  • Why would Donaldson need to bring his bat into the manager's office? Was he hoping for instructions on how to use it? Did he think that it was a hot day, and his ice-cold bat might make things more comfortable in there?

  • Was Boone's press conference more enlightening and informative without him there?

After Boone's lengthy chinwag with Donaldson, he said the following, “Obviously the batting average since he's come back has not been great, but the underlie is that he is hitting the ball hard." That my friends, fits the dictionary definition of drivel. Boone added, “I feel like there's a ton in there for him offensively. I know he can be a key figure for us.” Boone's conclusion was that he expects Donaldson to get consistent at bats and play regularly.

So, essentially what you had on Sunday was an aging, washed up player near the very end of his career being disgruntled with his lack of playing time and confronting the manager. Not only did the manager humor him and coddle him by talking for 45 minutes, he left the meeting saying that Donaldson would play regularly and would be a key figure for the team.

Josh Donaldson is not Don Mattingly or Mickey Mantle. He is not a lifelong Yankee whose career is winding down. He is not a beloved figure in Yankee Stadium. He is a mercenary who has played for several teams. He has a poor attitude and seems to be selfish and churlish. He does not deserve deferential treatment. Even Aaron Hicks had a longer and better tenure with the Yankees than Donaldson does. He is batting 125. He has eight hits all season. He has less hits than Tiny Tim, for goodness' sake. Boone should have simply sat Donaldson down and told him that at this point, he would not be playing regularly as he was not contributing. Boone should not have allowed Donaldson to hijack the afternoon and the press conference. It was just one more situation that Boone mismanaged.

There are two basic conclusions regarding this meeting on Sunday:

  • Donaldson is finished as a player but, he doesn't realize it and will be nothing but a negative force on this team moving forward.

  • Boone has absolutely no leadership ability and will once again allow this process to drag out endlessly.

Ultimately, we should be looking at the final days of the Yankee careers of both Donaldson and Boone. Whether that is the case remains to be seen.

6 comentários

Alan B.
Alan B.
27 de jun. de 2023

Why are there still people out there that believe Boone really has any finsl say on who's in the lineup or even on the roster? BclC said it best like 6 weeks ago, 'He (Boone) has done everything we've aaked him to do'. Until BC is ready, Donaldson will be in this roster. It doesn't help that Cabrera has not hit & tgat along with Peraza really not playing the last 2 weeks, he has continued to essentially play only SS in AAA.


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
27 de jun. de 2023

I think, whether Boone said it to Donaldson or not, that Boone was trying to protect Donaldson from the fans' (justifiable) abuse and "DFA" chants. It would not surprise me if Boone is taking a Sonny Gray approach and have Donaldson play mostly on the road. However, if Donaldson does get 4-6 starts on the roadtrip and doesn't produce, DFA him.


27 de jun. de 2023


27 de jun. de 2023

Boone benched Donaldson for three days and Donaldson got the message that his continued tenure with the team was not guaranteed and was, in fact, unlikely to continue.

actions (or should I say inaction) spoke loudly and clearly to Donaldson and words were surplus to requirement.....

Donaldson was riled and demanded that Boone gave him opportunity to plead his case and an opportunity to regain his standing in the batter's box.

no one knows what Boone said to Donaldson in the meeting.

but leadership was demonstrated by Boone putting Donaldson on the bench and on notice.

leadership is not demonstrated by appeasing those muttering "guillotine" at a time when offensive contributions are needed and should be welcome from any quarter,…


27 de jun. de 2023

I can see taking some time to let Donaldson vent, so I'm not so concerned about the length of conversation. Boone coming out of it talking about giving the man regular at bats, though, is irresponsible.

27 de jun. de 2023
Respondendo a

you assume that putting a warm, fuzzy face on Donaldson's benching when in front of the press matters all that much?

why not assume that Boone has nary a thing to gain by denigrating Donaldson in public.

kind words cost nothing

the non-play's the thing

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