When Aaron Boone left ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth after 2017 to manage the New York Yankees, he knew he had high expectations after the team was coming off a season in which it missed a World Series appearance by one game.
Although Boone had never managed in Major League Baseball prior to leading the Yankees, he has been up to the challenge that he faced. And as he closes in on the end of his second regular season as a manager, he could set an unbelievable record.
Most wins in first two seasons as a manager?
Through September 15, Boone is 198-115 as the Yankees’ manager. That means that he has a chance to break the record for most wins by a manager in his first two years as a manager.
He is seven victories behind Ralph Houk, who won 205 games with the Yankees in 1961 and 1962. The Yankees have 11 games left, which means they need to win seven of those 11 remaining contests in order to get Boone the record.
It is doable but it is not a certainty. Helping Aaron Boone’s chances is that the Yankees are likely going to continue playing their stars for the remainder of the season as they are tied with the Astros for the best record in the majors, with whoever ends up with the No. 1 seed earning home-field advantage through the American League playoffs, and the World Series if they finish with a better record than the Dodgers.
Would this be an impressive feat for Aaron Boone?
There is a question about how impressive it would be for Boone to set this record, and the answer could be a 50/50 proposition. On one hand, Boone inherited a team that won 91 games and went to the ALCS in 2017, so he was starting with one of the best teams in the league — a team that had players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Luis Severino.
Not to mention in the offseason following the 2017 campaign, they traded for reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, who helped the team win nine more games last season to get to 100. This past offseason, they acquired SP James Paxton from the Mariners, and they are certainly going to win more than 100 games this year.
The reason this year’s success is more impressive than last year’s is because the Yankees have dealt with a rash of injuries all season. Stanton has been on the IL most of the season, and Severino has not yet pitched this season; both are expected to return in the coming days. The list of players that have spent time on the IL this season also includes Sanchez, Dellin Betances, Miguel Andujar, and Aaron Hicks.
The Yankees’ remaining schedule
The Yankees’ schedule the rest of the way will play a role in whether Aaron Boone reaches the record. After a day off Monday, the Yankees play their last six home games with three against the Angels and three more against the Blue Jays over the weekend.
Then after another day off the next Monday, the Yankees head to Tampa for a quick two-game set with the Rays, then they have their final off-day of the regular season on Thursday, September 26.
After that, their final series of the season has them heading to Arlington for three games against the Rangers. Other than the two games with the Rays, the Yankees’ remaining slate is against sub-.500 teams. They’re also catching a break by playing the Angels this late in the season, as OF Mike Trout and DH Shohei Ohtani have each been shut down for the season with injuries.