Manager Boone warns Yankees of a do-or-die situation

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fl., —  Yankees manager Aaron Boone is under pressure following his team’s worst performance in recent weeks. He feels the Yankees have reached a stage, where they must fire all their cylinders or perish.

Boone was questioned about the increasing amount of pressure that his club is under while at his perch in the visitors’ dugout at Tropicana Field before the game,

How could the Yankees look like baseball’s version of a “Super Team” when they led the American League East by a huge 15 1/2 games on July 10? By Labor Day weekend, that once-impressive lead was nearly gone.

“I guess I’ve got to talk about it every day,” Boone said. “But you’ve kind of got to quit talking about it, then go and do it.”

On Friday night, the noise level of the conversation increased. The pressure increased on the manager too.

The Yankees must be going to hear a lot of hues and cries over their performance after a 9-0 loss to the Rays, which was the team’s 6th shutout loss in its last 25 games. The Rays, who have only lost four games, cut their AL East title lead to five games with the Friday victory.

Boone put infielder Marwin Gonzalez as the white-flag pitcher when the Rays sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth inning and scored six runs to blow the game open. Gonzalez got Harold Ramirez to bounce back to the box with a 45 mph curveball, and the game turned out to be a joke.

Or perhaps a tragedy, at least in the eyes of those who support the Yankees.

“That was an embarrassing loss,” said Boone, whose team has lost five of its last six games. “That’s hopefully one of those rock-bottom situations where you should be pissed off and embarrassed. We’ve set a better standard around here.

Do you think the Yankees will overcome the loss or face more colossal tragedy? Any message for fans?

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