What Yankees’ legend Don Mattingly thinks of the mess in the Bronx

NEW YORK – First things first, says Don Mattingly, setting the record straight about the Yankees, Aaron Boone, his bench coach job with the Blue Jays and the possibility of someday managing in the Bronx.

*The former Captain is happy chasing the wild card in Toronto and not – repeat not – plotting his next career move.

*Despite similarly poor records, there are no parallels between the 2023 Bombers and his 1992 club. Two bad teams, but history is not repeating itself in the Bronx.

*Analytics aren’t necessarily ruining baseball. Today’s players aren’t as soft as people think. Boone deserves some slack.

There’s plenty to unpack here, no surprise considering Mattingly’s encyclopedic knowledge of MLB history and the industry as it exists today.

Donnie Baseball is also keenly aware of social media’s roasting of the Yankees, and GM Brian Cashman and Boone in particular, as the downward spiral continues on 161st Street.

Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays not only buried the Yankees deeper in the standings, it increased the odds of a losing season – the first since ‘92. Calls for regime change are everywhere. Boone and Cashman, one or the other, (or both) need to go, says the internet mob.

Mattingly isn’t oblivious to the angry chatter. But he’s no politician. Talking about Boone is a sensitive subject, because he’s not angling for anyone’s job, least of all Boone’s, who he says, “I like very much.”

And besides, Mattingly says those who blame Boone for the Yankees’ collapse have got it wrong.

“I hear the Boonie stuff, but he’s only got so much control,” Mattingly said. “He’s trying to put the Yankees in the best possible position, but sooner or later you start hearing, “the manager’s not doing a good job.” I’ve been there. It’s part of the job. But it’s not fair.

“A manager is trying to set a standard, a culture, and then the players go out and play. After that, you don’t have a ton of control. But I’ve been in New York. When you’re not playing well, you’re (considered) awful, everything has to change. Blow it up, right?. But you have to be careful reacting to that.

“You have to be realistic about the changes you really need to make over the winter.”

Doesn’t sound like a product of the George Steinbrenner era, does it? Actually, Mattingly’s thoughtfulness is forged precisely by his exposure to the Boss’ rage back in the day.


Mattingly emerged from the Bronx Zoo as the anti-hot head, which might disqualify him in the eyes of fans who demand Rambo in cleats in 2024.

To those who say “blow it up” Mattingly has a wiser perspective on his former team. But first I asked him to think not like an opposing coach, but as a member of the Yankees’ extended family.

It must be shocking to the see the Bombers in shambles, I said. Mattingly disagreed. The Bombers’ collapse, he predicted, won’t last long.

“The Yankees really…

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