Bryan Hoch, a reporter who covers the New York Yankees for MLB.com, was the target of manager Aaron Boone’s frustration earlier this week. Hoch asked if he felt his players were almost getting used to losing as the high-powered Yankees were mired in a slump. Boone said he wasn’t before telling Hoch to “get the hell out of here with that.” Two nights later, the reporter had a nice little take.
The New York Yankees are having a rough season
Not too many people expected the Yankees to be eight games out of first place 66 games into the season. The team is 3-7 in its last 10 games and just overtook the Toronto Blue Jays for third place in the American League East. Injuries have played a key role in the struggle, but the Yankees are still much better than their 34-32 mark.
After Sunday’s 7-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Boone said he was “very concerned” about how the Yankees were performing. He said their play starts with him.
“It starts with me setting the tone and setting the culture here,’’ Boone said, according to The New York Post. “Hopefully we’re putting them in a good position to go out and perform at the highest level. We have not done that well enough.”
Veteran Brett Gardner said it’s not time to push the panic button. “I know it’s the middle of June already, but it’s not always how a team starts, it’s how it finishes,’’ Gardner said. “We’ve got quite a bit of season left. We do have a little bit of time left to figure that out. Every day that passes is another wasted opportunity.”
The New York Yankees got back on the winning track, prompting a comment from reporter Bryan Hoch
On Tuesday, the Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 to get back into the win column. It was their first game since that Sunday loss to the Phillies when Koch asked Boone if he thought his team was getting used to losing. Boone’s response was, “I know them too well. I don’t think there’s any getting used to freakin’ losing. Hell no. Get the hell out of here with that.”
After a day off Monday, the Yankees topped the Jays, not only winning but also leapfrogging them into third place. Hoch took to Twitter and wrote, “#Yankees are 1-0 since Boone told me to get the hell out of here.”
The win over the Jays is a start for the Yankees. The season isn’t lost. Heading into Wednesday’s game with Toronto, the Yankees are eight games out of first place. Sarcastically or not, Yankees fans thanked Hoch for the question that sparked Boone’s outrage.
“You did it, Bryan,” one follower tweeted. “You saved the Yankees season. Thank you for giving Boone the spark he needed to fire up this team and get them going again.”
Aaron Boone has the backing of GM Brian Cashman
GM Brian Cashman isn’t pointing the finger at Boone as the root of the Yankees’ problems. “Losing invites scrutiny on us all,’’ Cashman said before Tuesday’s win, according to The New York Post. “We are all in this together. We made this bed and we’re gonna sleep in it and make sure we find a way to fix this together.”
Cashman even took some of the blame himself and said it’s his job to fix the issue.
“It’s frustrating,’’ Cashman said. “I certainly didn’t expect to be in this position at this stage. We have a lot of season left and a chance to fix it. It’s up to me to fix it.”
Boone admits to feeling the heat with the team’s recent struggles.
“Certainly, I’m feeling the pressure,’’ the manager said. “It’s been a hard year. We got off to a very difficult start the first few weeks of the season. We righted the ship and then the last couple weeks have been tough. I wear that. I feel that. You care about what’s going on. You care about the guys in that room. I think you’re not human if you don’t feel that.”
Together, Boone and Cashman can get things done. Maybe they can even get some help from Hoch again with another question to fire up the manager.