Mark Teixeira played eight seasons under Joe Girardi with the Yankees, and he worked this past year with Girardi’s incoming replacement as manager, Aaron Boone, at ESPN.
The former Yankee first baseman says he immediately thought Boone would be a good fit for the criteria GM Brian Cashman was seeking after Girardi was let go in October.
“Great hire. Not surprised that Cash went with a Boonie-type, just because of how well-respected he is in the baseball industry, not only from his knowledge, but also just the way he communicates and gets along with people and understands the dynamics of the clubhouse so well,” Teixeira said Saturday in a phone interview. “I played against Boonie for years during my career and I got to work with him this entire year at ESPN.
Aaron Boone throughout his career
Aaron Boone throughout his career
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: Aaron Boone #19 of the New York Yankees eyes the batted ball as he looks to make the catch against the Kansas City Royals on August 11, 2003 in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals defeated the Yankees 12-9. (Photos by Dave Kaup/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 21: Former player Aaron Boone talks to television analysts Al Leiter and Pat Tabler during batting practice before the start of the New York Yankees MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 21, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
06 May 2009: Houston Astros third baseman Aaron Boone (8) looks on prior to the Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros baseball game at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday May 6, 2009 in Houston, Texas. Boone made his first visit since undergoing open-heart surgery prior to the season. (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 8: Infielder Aaron Boone #8 of the Houston Astros sets for play against the Pittsburgh Pirates March 8, 2009 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: New York Yankees third baseman, Aaron Boone, raises his hands during a Yankees pep rally at City Hall October 17, 2003 in New York City. Boone hit an 11th-inning home run as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox October 16 at Yankee Stadium and will now try to win the team's 27th World Series by playing the Florida Marlins. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
New York Yankees Aaron Boone celebrates the Yankees victory against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City, New York. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS 6 to 5. The Yankees won the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox 4 games to 3. (Photo by Allen Kee/WireImage)
Aaron Boone (Photo by Allen Kee/WireImage)
16 Oct 2003: Aaron Boone and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees celebrate Boone's game winning home run after the Yanks 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in game 7 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium in New York, NY. (Photo by John Dunn/Sporting News via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Yankees player Aaron Boone leaps onto home plate with teammate Derek Jeter on his back after his game-winning home run. The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox in game seven of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 16, 2003. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Florida Marlins first baseman Aaron Boone throws to Sergio Mitre at first to get out Los Angeles Dodgers Wilson Betemit in the seventh inning at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, May 10, 2007. The Marlins defeated the Dodgers 3-0. (Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI - JUNE 24: Aaron Boone #8 of the Florida Marlins looks on during the game against the Minnesota Twins at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on June 24, 2007. The Twins defeated the Marlins 7-4. (Photo by Victor Baldizon) MLB Photos via Getty Images)
MIAMI - OCTOBER 22: Aaron Boone #19 of the New York Yankees hits a RBI single in the second inning against the Florida Marlins during game four of the Major League Baseball World Series October 22, 2003 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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“When the job opening came up with the Yankees, internally at ESPN we all were like, ‘Hey, they need to interview Boonie.’ He’s exactly the type of guy they should be looking for and that’s exactly what happened.”
Boone, 44, never has coached or managed at any professional level, but he indicated last month that he’s been “preparing for this job” his entire life. Boone and his brother, Bret, were third-generation big leaguers after his grandfather and father also played in the majors.
“While he hasn’t been a manager, his experience is vast in every other aspect of the game and understanding what a manager’s job is,” Teixeira said. “I believe the reason he was hired is the Yankees have a great young core of players, super-talented. But there’s gonna be ups and downs and times when these players are going to get tight. It’s the manager’s job to let these guys know that he’s got their back, that the team has their back, and to go out there and play loose and have fun.
“The last thing you want is for young players to play tight and be afraid to fail. I think Boonie’s communication skills will help with those young guys.”
Joe Girardi through the years
Joe Girardi through the years
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees is seen before Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1989: Joe Girardi #7 of the Chicago Cubs looks on during batting practice before an Major League Baseball game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium circa 1989 in Queens borough of New York City. Girardi played for the Cubs from 1989-92. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 10: St. Louis Cardinals runner Bernard Gilkey (L) is tagged out at home plate by Chicago Cubs catcher Joe Girardi 10 April,1992. as he tried to score on a Pedro Guerrero pop-out in the ninth inning. The Cardinals won 2-1 in 11 innings. AFP (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH, 1995: Catcher Joe Girardi #7 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait circa March, 1995 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
TAMPA BAY, FL - MARCH 4 : Joe Girardi #25 of the Yankees looks on during spring training work out on March 4 , 1997 at Legands Field in Tampa Bay, Florida. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (R) celebrates his team's win over the Cleveland Indians at the end of the game with catcher Joe Girardi in game One of the American League Divison series, September 30 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won the game 8-6.
New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte hands the ball to manager Joe Torre (L) in front of catcher Joe Girardi as he is removed from the game during the fourth inning in Game 3 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves October 26.
Chicago Cubs catcher Joe Girardi teaches Japanese and American children how to pitch the ball during a baseball clinic at the US Camp Zama, 45km (28 miles) southwest of Tokyo March 26. The Chicago Cubs arrived on Saturday for the Major League Baseball Opening Series 2000 against the New York Mets. Marking the first time for Major League Baseball teams to play regular-season games outside North America, the game will be played in Tokyo March 29 and March 30.
Chicago Cubs catcher Joe Girardi dives to tag Minnesota Twins pitcher J.C. Romero as Romero dives into home plate on a single by Jacque Jones in the fifth inning in Chicago's Wrigley Field, June 15, 2001. Girardi was late with the tag, and Romero, coming in from second base, was safe on the play.
Chicago Cubs player representative Joe Girardi makes his way through
the media on his way to the Major League Baseball players' union
representative meeting at the O'Hare Hilton hotel in Chicago August 12,
2002. REUTERS/Frank Polich
Florida Marlins new manager Joe Girardi stands prior to a game against the San Diego Padres during MLB action at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, April 11, 2006. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Joe Girardi holds up his New York Yankees jersey after being introduced as the baseball team's new manager in New York, November 1, 2007. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi plays with his daughter Lena on the field after the Yankees come-from-behind win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 5, 2008. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi stands in the dugout during the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, September 23, 2008.
REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (L) argues a call with first base umpire Bill Welke in the sixth inning at their MLB Inter-League baseball game in Atlanta, Georgia, June 24, 2009. Girardi was ejected from the game. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi speaks to reporters at Yankee Stadium during "workout day" before the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series between the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies in New York October 27, 2009. Game 1 of the World Series is scheduled for October 28 at Yankee Stadium. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi holds the World Series Championship trophy after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series for their 27th World Series win in New York November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi watches the Yankees players on the field during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida, April 9, 2010. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
U.S. President Barack Obama stands next to N.Y. Yankees manager Joe Girardi as Obama hosts the 2009 World Series Champions New York Yankees in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL POLITICS)
American League All-Star manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees takes the field during practice for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Anaheim, California July 12, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez (L) and manager Joe Girardo speak to reporters at a news conference following the death of Yankees' principal owner George Steinbrenner, in Anaheim California July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (L) congratulates batter Juan Miranda after he drew a bases loaded walk to beat the Boston Red Sox in the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi watches during Game 1 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, October 15, 2010. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi poses during media photo day at the team's spring training camp at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi throws a signed baseball to fans before his team met the Miami Marlins during their MLB spring training baseball game in Miami, Florida, April 1, 2012. The game is the first Major League game played in the new Marlins Park stadium. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Second base umpire Jeff Nelson ejects New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi as he argues a call during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the MLB ALCS playoff baseball series against the Detroit Tigers in New York, October 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi celebrates with batter Vernon Wells (R) after he drove in the winning run to beat the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 5, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Feb 11, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi introduces new right hand pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, during press conference at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (28) looks on during workouts at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
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Asked if he believed that was Girardi’s biggest downfall, Teixiera added: “As an analyst I’ve had to be very candid about this. I tell people that everyone likes Joe. Joe was well-respected, universally respected throughout this organization, but the issue is the uptightness that he can sometimes show in his actions and in the clubhouse and not being able to communicate with players. That’s not what you want for good, young, talented players. The worst thing a young player can do is play tight and not know where he stands with his manager, with his front office, his teammates. I think that was one of the things that Joe wasn’t the best at, and ultimately that’s why Cash went with an Aaron Boone-type guy.”
Teixeira also praised Cashman’s “for taking his time” and for his diverse choices as the six candidates interviewed for the vacancy: former manager Eric Wedge, longtime Yanks coach Rob Thomson, up-and-comers Hensley Meulens and Chris Woodward, and like Boone, inexperienced Carlos Beltran.
To that end, Teixeira believes Beltran – his former teammate with the Yankees – will get the opportunity to manage in the majors in the future.
“Absolutely,” Teixeira said. “I think Carlos is probably best off taking a breather. I know this past year for me was so great, just staying far enough away from the game where I didn’t miss being on the field. I think ‘Los deserves that time with his family this year and then when he wants to get into it, he’s gonna have people lined up to interview him. He’ll be a great manager someday.”