ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Yankees have hired Aaron Boone as the club’s new manager. The Yankees have not yet made an official announcement. Boone and Giants bench coach Hensley Meuelens were believed to be the finalists for the job as Friday evening approached.
Boone, 44, had been a broadcaster for ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball since 2010. He played in the majors over parts of 12 seasons from 1997-2009 with the Reds, Indians, Nationals, Yankees, Astros, and Marlins.
Boone replaces Joe Girardi, who managed the Yankees from 2008-17. The Yankees were surprisingly competitive this past season, going 91-71 and winning the AL Wild Card game. They ultimately lost the ALCS to the Astros in seven games. Needless to say, it was shocking when the Yankees decided to let Girardi go. He reportedly had not been able to connect with the younger players.
Boone doesn’t have any coaching experience at any level. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact he will have on a relatively young team now facing expectations of winning.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.