Aaron Boone fumes at umpire over ejection, accuses Cardinals of wrongdoing

Aaron Boone ejected for the 5th Time this season on July 2, 2023, against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

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After his fifth ejection of the season and 31st overall as manager, Aaron Boone wanted to make it known that he doesn’t have any personal issues with the plate umpire, Dan Merzel. However, the Yankees manager expressed his annoyance at Merzel for ejecting him during the third inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. In his words, it is “brutal.” He also accused the Cardinals of deliberately trying to stall the game over PitchCom malfunction.

The Yankees ended up losing the game 5-1 at Busch Stadium on Sunday. Aaron Boone told reporters in a video broadcast by the YES Network that it was ridiculous. He, who is often ejected from games, didn’t stop there. He mentioned that one should have thicker skin and a little bit of room to let them say something.

“(It) was ridiculous. You’ve got to have thicker skin than that. You’ve got to have a little bit of room to let us say something.”

Aaron Boone’s fifth ejection

During Gleyber Torres’ at-bat with two outs against left-hander Jordan Montgomery, a former Yankee, Aaron Boone was ejected. However, Boone’s complaint was about a call made during the previous at-bat. Umpire Merzel called a strike on a high 84-mph changeup to DJ LeMahieu when the count was 3-1, and there was one out with a runner on first base.

Both replays and Statcast clearly showed that the pitch was outside the strike zone. Instead of giving the struggling LeMahieu a walk, the count became full, and LeMahieu ended up popping out on the next pitch. Even LeMahieu, who is usually calm and composed, turned toward Merzel and said something to him about the incorrect call.

“Obviously, I got tossed there. I feel like DJ worked a walk there,” Boone said. “That was a big point in that game. First and second with one out.”

As a result of the comments made from the Yankees dugout towards Merzel, it didn’t take long for Aaron Boone to receive his fifth ejection of the season. Since becoming the Yankees’ manager in 2018, Aaron Boone has been ejected a total of 31 times. He didn’t get ejected in June this season, but he had three ejections within a span of 10 days in May. Additionally, he was also kicked out of a game in April.

According to Aaron Boone, the rope and leash were very short, and he had a real problem with it. He mentioned that it was a significant point in the game, where it should have been first and second with one out. Aaron Boone believed that this could have made a difference, especially in an inning where Montgomery was throwing a lot of pitches. Aaron Boone speculated that the outcome might have turned out differently.

“It’s a big, big point in that game,” he told. “[It should have been] first and second, one out, all of a sudden in an inning where [Montgomery is] throwing a lot of pitches. Maybe it turns [out] a little bit different.”

Aaron Boone slammed the decision

The Yankees manager told that he told about the perceived issue, and Merzel responded by raising his hand. Aaron Boone felt that it was wrong, especially considering that Merzel has the potential to become a really good young umpire. He considered the situation to be ridiculous.

Aaron Boone, who mentioned that he had previously had some positive interactions with Merzel, clarified that his concern was only regarding that one pitch. After being ejected for the fifth time this season, Aaron Boone went onto the field and continued to argue with Merzel to make sure he made the most of the situation.

The manager also mentioned that he actually likes Merzel, who is 36 years old and officiated his first major league game in 2020. He said that he had observed a lot of tough and close calls made by the umpire during the game and had some positive interactions with Dan in the past. However, Aaron Boone had a strong issue with the short leash and limited tolerance shown in the game on Sunday.

“I think Dan is a really good young umpire. I really do. I thought he had a lot of tough, close calls today, and I’ve had some good interactions with him. … That rope and that leash was very short. I had a real problem with that.”

Aaron Boone additionally stated that he believed the umpires made a mistake by allowing a delay in the top of the seventh inning. This delay occurred when catcher Andrew Knizer complained about PitchCom issues after Jake Bauers hit a double, resulting in Isiah Kiner-Falefa scoring and reducing St. Louis’ lead to 2-1 with two outs.

Immediately after the delay, the Cardinals made a pitching change, replacing Jordan Montgomery, who had thrown 96 pitches, with reliever Giovanny Gallegos. In the following at-bat, Gallegos struck out pinch hitter Billy McKinney, resulting in the end of the inning. Aaron Boone’s contention was that the Cardinals pretended to have PitchCom issues in order to provide Gallegos with additional time to warm up.

Aaron Boone stated that he had a slight concern regarding how the Cardinals brought in their relief pitcher during the seventh inning, as he believed they were unprepared for that situation. He mentioned that they used the PitchCom malfunction as a way to stall the game. Aaron Boone felt that this handling of the situation was incorrect. However, he emphasized that despite this, it doesn’t diminish the performance of Montgomery.

Aaron Boone ejected for the 5th Time this season on July 2, 2023, against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Boone alleged Cardinals tried to stall the game

Aaron Boone told that there were blatant attempts to stall the game. Boone expressed his desire for the handling of the situation to have been different, indicating that he wished it had been addressed in an alternative manner.

While watching the game from his office, Aaron Boone had concerns about the Cardinals’ method of bringing in reliever Giovanny Gallegos for Montgomery during the seventh inning. He believed that the Cardinals utilized a PitchCom issue as a means of stalling the game before Gallegos entered the game with a runner on second base and two outs.

Conveying his opinion, Aaron Boone stated that he felt there were clear attempts to stall the game. He mentioned that he wished the situation had been handled in a different manner.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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