Support grows for Aaron Boone against suspension, fine by MLB

Yankees manager Aaron Boone with ex-manager Joe Torre at Yankee Stadium in 2018.
Michael Bennington
Saturday May 27, 2023

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MLB issued a one-game suspension to Yankees manager Aaron Boone following an incident during Thursday’s game where he inadvertently spat on an umpire’s face. As a result, Aaron Boone had to stay away from Friday’s game against the Padres.

The incident occurred during the Yankees’ 3-1 loss to the Orioles and led to Boone’s ejection by umpire Edwin Moscoso. In addition to the suspension, Aaron Boone has also received an undisclosed fine for his behavior, which was deemed as “conduct detrimental toward Major League Umpires,” according to MLB.

Just over an hour before the start of Friday night’s game against the Padres at Yankee Stadium, MLB revealed that Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions leading to his ejection in Thursday night’s game. The suspension and undisclosed fine were announced by MLB’s Senior Vice President of On-Field Operations, Michael Hill, in a statement addressing the incident involving Aaron Boone. The suspension comes as the Yankees begin a three-game series against the Padres.

In the absence of Aaron Boone, Carlos Mendoza, the Yankees’ bench coach, stepped in as the manager for the first game of the series against the Padres.

Aaron Boone’s controversial ejection

During the third inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles, Aaron Boone was ejected after a heated argument with home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso over the strike zone.

During the argument, Aaron Boone contended that Moscoso had made four erroneous calls and visibly displayed his frustration by gesturing with four fingers. Despite facing multiple ejections, Aaron Boone emphasized that he doesn’t think it has influenced the umpires’ decision-making in games involving the Yankees.

In the midst of the dispute, Aaron Boone raised his hand, extending four fingers to convey his belief that the home plate umpire had overlooked four specific pitches thrown by Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt. The Yankees’ YES Network shared a graphic highlighting that at least six of Schmidt’s pitches, which grazed the edges of the strike zone, were inaccurately deemed balls by the umpire.

Aaron Boone acknowledged the frustration caused by the prolonged first inning, during which the pitcher had to throw nearly 30 pitches. However, he clarified that he was not advocating for the implementation of automated strike zones (commonly referred to as “robo” umpires). Aaron Boone expressed his belief that the umpires generally perform well and put in significant effort. He recognized that occasional disagreements and challenges are inevitable in high-stakes games, emphasizing the complexity of the situation.

In a tense exchange, Aaron Boone engaged in a face-to-face argument with home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso, expressing his belief that four strikes were missed on pitches thrown by starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt in the first inning. During this confrontation, Moscoso wiped his cheek and told the Yankees manager, stating, “You just spat in my face.”

Aaron Boone alleges bias

Yankees manager is arguing with umpire before his ejection on May 25, 2023, at Yankee Stadium against the Orioles.

Prior to the series opener against San Diego on Friday, Aaron Boone restated his belief that he did not deserve to be ejected from the game on Thursday night. However, he also expressed his conviction that umpires do not purposefully eject him earlier due to his tendency to get ejected.

The Yankees manager admitted that he is aware of the reputation he has earned, but he does not think that umpires intentionally eject him quickly due to that reputation. Although he believes that his ejection on Thursday may have been influenced by it, he does not perceive himself as being targeted by umpires. Aaron Boone maintains that he is treated fairly in his interactions with umpires.

Additionally, the Yankees manager expressed his dislike for being ejected from games.

Aaron Boone acknowledged that he was not pleased with the frequency of his ejections in recent times. He expressed a desire to break that pattern and go on a long streak without getting ejected. He clarified that while he is not afraid of being ejected, it is not his intention to get thrown out of games, and he genuinely hopes to avoid it for an extended period.

When questioned about whether he thinks umpires have been singling him out and ejecting him quickly due to his recent string of ejections, Aaron Boone acknowledged that he has developed a certain reputation.

The Yankees manager mentioned that in the previous night’s game, it seemed like he was targeted for ejection, but he acknowledged that it could have been an isolated incident. He considered the possibility that he might be mistaken and have done more than he realized, but he doesn’t believe umpires are intentionally singling him out.

Aaron Boone acknowledged that there might be occasional bias in certain situations, as human beings are prone to having preferences. He speculated that there could be individuals who are not particularly fond of receiving input or feedback from him.

Support poured in for Boone

In the 760 games he has managed since 2018, Aaron Boone has received 30 ejections, surpassing all other managers in terms of ejections during that period.

Historic pace for career ejections

Associated Press

Bobby Cox, the former manager of the Atlanta Braves and the all-time leader in career ejections in MLB, was thrown out of 162 games during his 4,508-game career. This equates to an ejection rate of once every 27.8 games he managed. In comparison, Aaron Boone has been ejected 30 times in 760 games, resulting in an ejection rate of once every 25.3 games.

However, surpassing Cox’s record would require Aaron Boone to continue managing well into his 70s, which seems unlikely. Additionally, with the possibility of robotic umpires being introduced in the future of MLB, it becomes even more improbable for Boone to break Cox’s record. – Kirschner

Regardless of any concerns or criticisms, the fanbase may have regarding the Yankee manager’s lineup decisions or strategic choices, one undeniable fact remains: Boone genuinely cares about his players and is always willing to stand up and advocate for their well-being.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, there is no concern from the Yankees’ leadership regarding Aaron Boone’s frequent ejections. He enjoys the backing of both management and the players, effectively dampening any genuine speculation about his tenure with the team.

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