Yankees will not stand pat

Aaron Boone's stupidity may cost him a contract he probably never deserved in the first place.

Updated: January 27, 2004, 11:55 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
The unpredictability of it all (and by "all" I mean this thing we call life) is never more in evidence than in the person of Aaron Boone and that which has occurred to him since the beginning of the 2003 season. In the past year, his life has gone through some very distinct stages:

Reds Stalwart
It's hard to believe now and is probably already forgotten that the Reds seemed like a Cinderella team in the early going last year. There were a host of miracle comebacks and last-second heroics and the inevitable misguided talk about heart and chemistry. Leading the way was Aaron Boone, a player on the way to the best full season of his career and a man who had successfully transitioned from second to third base as if merely crossing a street. Along with a surprising Jose Guillen, the Reds were shocking one and all by sticking their noses into the National League Central race. It all ended quickly enough. The late inning magic show turned out to be -- another surprise -- an illusion that masked a team with some serious flaws which only got worse when the entire starting outfield got injured or, in the case of Guillen, traded. Aaron's father, Bob, lost his manager job and the writing was on the wall for Aaron, the team's All-Star representative.

Yankee weak link

Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone's job might not be open when he returns.
A velvet ladder out of hell dropped in front of Boone's face and he was airlifted from the wreckage to the financial capital of the baseball world: Yankee Stadium. As the Yankees are wont to do, they assessed their roster, found the weakest link -- regardless of how strong it was in comparison to the rest of the sport -- and replaced it with the best available person. Boone was choppered in to displace Robin Ventura and then proceeded to post the lowest OPS since his first big league cup of coffee in 1997. Ironically, Ventura, who was traded for an outfielder named Bubba Crosby because the Yankees were one below their Bubba quota with the loss of Bubba Trammell, left the team with a higher OPS than his replacement managed.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at