Spring training is the time of year when everyone prepares for the upcoming season, and in the case of New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, it is his chance to learn the ropes before the games begin to count. Boone is going straight from the broadcast booth to the manager's chair this year, with no prior coaching or managerial experience at any level.
On Saturday, Boone had his first awkward slip-up in a spring that has run smoothly for the most part. The Yankees failed to call down to the bullpen to tell reliever Adam Warren to warm up for the fifth inning, his scheduled inning. Dellin Betances, who pitched the fourth inning and was already getting undressed in the clubhouse, had to rush back out to the mound to face one batter so Warren could warm up. The game was delayed a few minutes while Betances put his uniform back on.
"Um ... well ... we had some issues there. We'll just leave it at that," said Boone sheepishly during the conveniently timed fifth inning in-game interview with the YES Network (video link). Boone was of course asked about the snafu following the game. Dan Martin of the New York Post has the details:
"There was a miscommunication of when we thought Warren was gonna be in and Dellin out," Boone said after the Yankees beat the Mets, 10-3, at Steinbrenner Field. "I feel like it was pretty aberrational."
At the time, Boone was putting on a headset to talk to the YES booth.
"I don't see that being a situation that would really happen in a real game,'' Boone said. "I think the timing of getting all the relievers in got a little out of whack. … It was a little weird. All of a sudden I took the headset [off] and said 'Where's our pitcher?' "
Betances more or less laughed off the mix up and Warren told Martin it was "good for me to get ready in a hurry and simulate that action," so ultimately, no harm no foul. Still, it is pretty embarrassing that the phone call wasn't made down to the bullpen, especially since the microscope will be on Boone all year given his rookie status.
The way I see it, it's better to get this screw up out of the way now, during meaningless spring games, rather than during the regular season. Forgetting to call down to the bullpen to warm up a reliever strikes me as one of those mistakes a manager won't make twice.