But when a home crowd watches a crosstown rival deliver a huge late rally that enables a longtime division rival to sit comfortably with a double-digit lead in the standings, exasperated booing is bound to ensue.
Aroldis Chapman, who blew a save for the fourth time in his last nine chances, heard it when he was removed from the game. He carried a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning of the first game, but Pete Alonso homered to left and then the Mets pecked away for five more runs. The loss was only two games removed from a similar disaster at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels, who scored seven runs in the ninth — including a grand slam off Chapman — for a comeback win.
Pitcher Gerrit Cole, who signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees before the 2020 season, also heard booing, as did Boone, when he went out to remove Cole three and one-third innings into his start.
“You sign up for it when you come here,” Cole said. “It’s not a good feeling and you try to pitch well enough so that doesn’t happen.”
Yankees fans have not been in a forgiving mood lately, and for good reason. It is the midpoint of the season, and New York baseball is entirely upside down. The Mets, who have not made the postseason since 2016, lead Atlanta by 3½ games in the National League East, while the Yankees debated whether they should raise the call to surrender and trade off players before the July 30 trade deadline, as they did in 2016, or perhaps find a new manager.
The only Yankees team to recover from at least a nine-game deficit on July 4 to win the division was the illustrious 1978 team, which ultimately fell 14 games back and still caught the Red Sox. But it took one of the most memorable recoveries in baseball history to do it, and that team was not hovering around .500 on July 4. It had a relatively healthy 45-34 record that day, yet the impatient Steinbrenner still replaced Manager Billy Martin with Bob Lemon. The Yankees went on to win the World Series.
Some of those booing fans wish that Hal Steinbrenner, George Steinbrenner’s son and the Yankees managing general partner, would do the same, and they chanted “Fire Boone” last week at Yankee Stadium, to let him know. Some of them might argue that General Manager Brian Cashman should be held accountable, too.