Bobby Valentine: Aaron Boone "Robbed" of AL MOY, 2020 Free Agency

Max Goodman

Bobby Valentine on Yankees manager Aaron Boone's performance in 2019 and a comment on New York's 2020 free agency.

When the 2019 American League Manager of the Year Award was announced last week, Yankee fans were shocked to see skipper Aaron Boone finish as a runner-up.

Bobby Valentine, who managed for 16 seasons in the big leagues, strongly agreed. 

"Oh, he got robbed," Valentine said. "I thought he had a great year of managing. I thought it was a spectacular thing to watch all year. You just were hoping a team would be formed by the end that could march into the playoffs and the world series."

Boone dealt with quite a bit of adversity at the helm in 2019, constantly adjusting to injuries -- a record-high of 30 players making appearances on the injured list, to be exact.

Valentine admitted, however, that the winner of the AL MOY Award, Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins, was a deserving candidate.

"Aaron did a great job but Rocco did a great job as well," he explained. "Teaching them to hit the ball over the fence, that’s a pretty good trait." 

Minnesota set the record for most home runs by a team in a single-season with 307 last year, breaking the previous record of 267 -- set the summer prior by the New York Yankees. Boone's Bombers were just one homer behind the Twins in 2019 with 306.

Free agency over the offseason can be a crucial component in constructing a club talented enough to win a pennant, something Valentine was a part of with the New York Mets in 2000.

When asked who he would target this winter, if he were in General Manager Brian Cashman's shoes, he kept his thoughts a secret -- at least for now.

"I'm going to ask Brian that Thursday morning, he’s speaking at a breakfast at Stamford, Connecticut," Valentine said. "I'm not going to think what he should say until he tells me what he’s thinking and then I'll think what I should say."

Jokes aside, Valentine appeared on the red carpet in part of his efforts to support Mariano Rivera's Foundation at the Hall of Fame closer's Gala on Saturday.

On Rivera, who undoubtedly gave Valentine fits over seven years managing in Flushing and one season with the Boston Red Sox, the former manager said simply, "he gets it."

"He understands what’s right and what’s wrong and it’s very clear to him,"he explained, understanding the volume of work Rivera has done in the community. "Where with other people, they get a little confused with what they're supposed to do and how they're supposed to act. He never missed a beat."

For more from Valentine, along with comments from David Cone, Bernie Williams and Rivera himself, check out our coverage of the Mariano Rivera Foundation Gala by clicking below!

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

No question Boone was the man