Fresh off his 30th career ejection on Thursday, his major league-leading fourth ejection of the season and his third in 11 days, Aaron Boone said he hopes to “start a long streak of not getting ejected.”
He started that streak on Friday. Mostly because he was suspended.
Major League Baseball announced Friday that Boone, who has amassed an impressive collection of ejections in more than five seasons as manager of the Yankees, will be suspended one game for “recent conduct toward Major League umpires.” He was also fined an undisclosed amount.
Bench coach Carlos Mendoza managed the Yankees in his stead.
Boone was ejected on May 15 for arguing balls and strikes, on Sunday when he asked for clarification after a replay review in favor of the Reds, and on Thursday for balls and strikes in the third inning against the Yankees. 3- 1 loss to the Orioles, up for re-argument.
In that instance, Boone appealed to both crew chief Chris Guccione and plate umpire Edwin Moscoso, asserting that Moscoso had missed four calls. Some spit landed on Moscoso, and although spitting on an umpire is grounds for suspension, it was clear that the offending saliva was accidental.
Boone’s career ejections ranked him sixth among current managers, even though his total of 720 games entering Friday was far fewer than those who have more ejections: Bruce Bochy (78 in 4,081 games), Bob Melvin ( 55 in 2,830), Terry Francona (47 in 3,509), Bud Black (35 in 2,283) and Buck Showalter (34 in 3,282). He has been ejected in about 4% of the games he has managed and has the sixth lowest game-to-ejection ratio among managers with at least 200 games. Bobby Cox is the all-time leader in ejections – 162 in 4,508 games.
Before news of his suspension broke, Boone said he did not believe he was being targeted.
“I totally give credit to the umpires for that – but I think they come in with a blank slate, for the most part,” he said before Friday night’s game. “I think maybe sometimes bias exists. We’re human. I’m sure some people don’t like hearing that from me or whatever. I’m sure it exists, but maybe, in my opinion, it less” some would believe.
However, Boone said Thursday’s ejection was unfair.
“I think I’ve earned that reputation” as one that will fight for its players, he said. “Do I think it’s headed for a fast hook? Not necessarily. I think last night [it did], But it can only be a one-time thing. Maybe I’m delusional and did more than I thought. I don’t think so. I don’t think the umpires are targeting me. They are not going to tolerate certain things. I feel I am being treated fairly.
In its news release, baseball explained that Boone’s suspension was the result of cumulative action – “the result of his recent conduct toward Major League umpires, including his ejection from Thursday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.” is included.” MLB did not respond to an email seeking further clarification.
Boone tied Melvin for the American League lead in all ejections in baseball in 2021 (six) and 2022 (nine). He said it is not an achievement he is happy about, but it will not stop him from fighting when he feels it is necessary.
“I don’t like that it’s happened a few times this week,” he said. “I don’t want to be evicted. Hopefully I can start a long streak of not being evicted. I have nothing to fear but no, I don’t intend to be evicted. I don’t want to and hope I can Will not be for the time being.
Well, he now has one game without an ejection under his belt – though maybe not in the way he was hoping.