Aaron Boone’s animated home-plate tirade earns Yankees manager ejection in another frustrating loss

Aaron Boone had seen enough.

On a night where his Yankees racked up 12 strikeouts, the New York manager left it all on the field in a tirade directed at home plate umpire Laz Diaz. His eighth-inning performance Monday night earned him his sixth ejection of the season during a 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

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The final straw was a called third strike on shortstop Anthony Volpe for the first out of the inning. Boone initially gave Diaz an earful from the safety of the dugout steps. It didn’t take long for the confrontation to escalate to face-to-face.

Boone left the dugout to meet Diaz at home plate, where the two yelled at each other in very close proximity. Boone took a break from the confrontation to draw a line in the dirt to indicate that he believed that Bryan Shaw’s latest pitch was, indeed off the plate. Then came perhaps the finest moment of the performance. Boone stood up and delivered a demonstrative strike gesture, clearly mocking Diaz.

By this time, Boone appeared to have already been informed that he was ejected. But he wasn’t done. Neither was Diaz. The two continued to yell in extremely close quarters before Diaz appeared to respond repeatedly: “Just go. Just go.”

By this time, umpire Andy Fletcher intervened and nudged Boone toward the dugout.

Diaz got the Volpe strikeout right

Volpe was the fourth Yankee called out on strikes Monday. It turns out that Diaz got that one right. Video shows that Shaw’s last pitch to Volpe was clearly over the plate. That, of course, doesn’t mean that all of Diaz’s calls were correct. And Volpe wasn’t the last Yankee to be called out on strikes.

One batter later, Kyle Higashioka watched a third called strike on an 0-2 count. Jake Bauers capped the inning with a swinging strikeout on four pitches.

Aaron Boone let Laz Diaz know what he thought of his strike calls. (Jamie Sabau/Reuters)

Aaron Boone let Laz Diaz know what he thought of his strike calls. (Jamie Sabau/Reuters)

Boone said after the game that his outburst was sparked by a number calls throughout the game.

“I was pretty upset,” Boone told reporters. “I just think there were a ton of pitches all night.”

The loss marked by another tepid offensive performance dropped the Yankees to 58-55, 12.5 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and 5.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL’s final wild-card berth.

“It’s not about the umpiring,” Boone added. “We’ve got to capitalize.”

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