Yankees manager Aaron Boone Credit: MLB.com photo

Led by fifth-year manager Aaron Boone, the New York Yankees sit atop the American League and had the best record in baseball at 45-16 when they took on their AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays last night (Wednesday, June 15) in the Bronx. They were also riding a five-game winning streak and had won 12 out of their previous 13.

The Yankees are proving to be a dominant force 62 games into this season. Their longest losing streak has only been three games and they’ve lost two in a row just twice. They’ve swept the series against the Cleveland Guardians, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels and last weekend hosting the Chicago Cubs.

The Yankees were 92-70 last season and finished second in the division behind the Rays. They lost to the Boston Red Sox in the wildcard game. Without any setbacks, they’re on pace to exceed 92 by a substantial margin. 

Boone, 49, is a former MLB third baseman and spent 13 seasons as a broadcaster before taking over as Yankees manager in 2018, replacing Joe Girardi, the last Yankees manager to win a World Series in 2009. Boone is noted for his walk-off home run for the Yankees versus the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series.

Recognized as a manager who relies heavily on analytics Boone guided the Yanks to 100 wins his first season in the dugout and 103 his second season but still hasn’t reached the World Series. This could finally be the year.

They have a balanced team with strong pitching and versatile lineup, anchored by outfielder Aaron Judge, who thus far is the top MVP candidate in the American League. He was the MLB leader in home runs with 24 and fourth in RBI with 48 before last night’s game. The Yankees 18-4 bashing of the Cubs this past Sunday was an example of their superior play.

“It’s not like we were pounding the ball all over the place,” said Boone of his team. “It was just a lot of really, really good at-bats making their guy work hard. Just quality at-bats that set the tone for the day.” 

The Yankees begin a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow and then will be in Tampa for three games with the Rays.

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