Josh Donaldson makes a veiled attempt to cover up talks with Boone

Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Josh Donaldson

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Just before Sunday’s game against the Rangers, Josh Donaldson‘s crucial meeting with his manager caught everyone’s attention. The Yankees’ third baseman refused to talk to the media before the game and anxieties shot up. However, after the game, Josh Donaldson tried to clarify that nothing was unusual but hinted that his form was up for discussion in an attempt to keep the subject under wraps.

The player was absent from the lineup for the third game in a row on Sunday.

The anxiety over the Josh Donaldson-Boone meeting

Before the Yankees‘ game against the Rangers, manager Aaron Boone was delayed for his pregame media address. It was later revealed that he had been in a meeting with Josh Donaldson, which the Yankees skipper described as “crucial.”

During the period when players were available in the clubhouse, Josh Donaldson informed reporters that he was unable to speak at that time and rushed to make his way toward Aaron Boone’s office. This intriguing behavior raised questions about his role within the team and his involvement with ongoing matters. It gave rise to speculations about his impending demotion. Boone left the third baseman out of the lineup against the Rangers for the series final but expressed his unwavering trust in him.

However, after the victory against Texas, Josh Donaldson was questioned about his meeting with Boone, to which he downplayed its significance, referring to it as a discussion primarily centered around baseball-related matters.

“Just a lot of ball talk and just kind of talking, you know? We talk often actually, it’s not abnormal for us to have conversations,” Josh Donaldson told.

Boone mentioned that he and Josh Donaldson were in agreement and shared a similar perspective, but he declined to provide extensive details, stating that their conversation was primarily a private discussion between the two of them.

Boone explained that the decision regarding Josh Donaldson’s absence was influenced by the upcoming off day. He mentioned that he had been contemplating whether to include him in the lineup for the game or give him a complete break leading into the off day, allowing him to fully recover and perform at his best on Tuesday.

The manager confirmed that Josh Donaldson would be back in the lineup when the Yankees face the Athletics in their upcoming series starting on Tuesday. He expected the third baseman to play a significant role with the team and get ample playing time.

In the current season, the 37-year-old veteran has appeared in 21 games, posting a batting average of .125 along with an on-base percentage of .197 and a slugging percentage of .406. So far, he has accumulated only eight hits, with six of them being home runs, presenting a concern for the Yankees.

AP Photo/Nam Y.Huh

Boone didn’t clarify much

The pregame press conference was delayed as manager Aaron Boone had an “important” meeting with Josh Donaldson. Following a significant meeting with Yankee’s third baseman Josh Donaldson, manager Aaron Boone’s pregame press conference was delayed at Yankee Stadium.

During the conference, Boone discussed Josh Donaldson’s role on the team amid his recent struggles. He acknowledged the ongoing conversations he has had with Josh Donaldson, both on the previous day and the current day, before the rubber game against the Texas Rangers. He emphasized that they are in agreement and chose not to delve into the details. Boone expressed regret for the delay caused by the meeting, explaining that important conversations with players occur frequently, and this particular one coincided with the press conference.

“He and I have had a lot of conversations — yesterday, today. We’re on the same page, and I’m not going to get into that much, but it was more just him and I talking,” Boone said.

Boone explained that all players, including Josh Donaldson, would have ample playing time. Regarding the third baseman’s absence from the lineup, he mentioned that it was a difficult decision he had been contemplating. He had to weigh the option of getting Josh Donaldson back in the lineup before the off day or giving him a full rest and unleashing his abilities on Tuesday. Boone emphasized the importance of getting DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton back on track and expected them to feature prominently in future games.

Josh Donaldson, who chose not to engage with the media prior to the game but expressed willingness to do so afterward, has a batting line of .125/.197/.406 with six home runs and eight RBIs in 21 games this season. He even openly contemplated retirement.

However, the Yankees manager assured that his role on the team would involve significant playing time. Boone emphasized that Josh Donaldson is a competitive player and acknowledged that he may not be pleased with the recent days off.

“He always wants to play, if he’s physically good. He wants in there. He wants to compete. But I also felt like here, this weekend, is the right thing to do as we head into an off day and into the trip — just my call that I felt like this was the best move.”

The manager told that Josh Donaldson was always eager to play. He acknowledged his competitiveness and desire to compete. However, Boone made the decision to give him some rest over the weekend and head into the off day and upcoming trip, believing it was the best course of action.

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