In case anyone was wondering whether or not Yankees manager Aaron Boone had heard the chants directed at him during Wednesday night’s dramatic extra-inning win, he left no doubt when asked about it on Thursday.
Boone said that he stood up a little taller on the top step of the Yankees dugout when fans directed “Fire Boone” chants at the New York manager late in the game. With a decent number of fans having left during the one-hour and three-minute rain delay, the chants were easily audible in the stadium and on the broadcast.
“It goes with the territory sometimes here,” Boone said ahead of the Yankees opener against Toronto on Thursday. “You understand that. … It beats the alternative. Like to be in a place where it’s kind of whatever and it’s great if you’re winning. We understand the expectations that come with putting this uniform on. We have the same expectations. I think to ultimately be really successful you can’t let that bother you, affect you, move you in any direction.”
The Yankees had been going through an incredibly frustrating second half of the season that had seen them go 9-17 since the All-Star break going into Thursday’s game. Their offense had struggled mightily over the past week as well before they finally put up eight runs against the Rays.
The chants started in the 10th after Aroldis Chapman had given up three runs to give the Rays the lead in extra innings. Josh Donaldson hit a game-winning grand slam to lift New York to a win.
Aaron Boone talks about the "Fire Boone" chants at Yankee Stadium last night:
"I stood up a little prouder on the top step and said okay. It goes with the territory sometimes here" pic.twitter.com/3LDH50sRKc
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) August 18, 2022
Yankee fans have not been shy about voicing their displeasure at specific players this season. Joey Gallo had taken the brunt of the fans’ ire until he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline.
Aaron Hicks, who has struggled immensely, has started to feel the pressure as well.
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“I think there are times where, now talking from a player standpoint, it does affect them,” Boone said. “I think there’s different points in the season to different levels. Some people it’s a moticvating factor. It spurs them on. I think some people it can wear on them, especially if they’re going through a tough time. But sometimes it’s all part of being a major league athlete that you need to be able to handle all that stuff, and that’s part of what makes some of these guys great.
“You gotta be able to deal with tough times, tough moments and that’s not always an easy thing for people to hear.”