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Yankees manager Aaron Boone defends center fielder after lackadaisical effort leads to brutal error

New York Yankees fans made their frustration with Trent Grisham known Thursday, but he didn’t get the same reaction from his manager — at least not publicly.

With their game against the Cincinnati Reds already a blowout and the Bombers trailing 8-4 in the ninth inning, Reds batter Jeimer Candelario hit a ball to center field. 

Yankees outfielder Trent Grisham, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner in center, took his time to corral the ball and then fumbled it as he tried to set himself to throw it back to the infield. Candalerio made a heads-up move and advanced to second.

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Manager Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout after a pitching change during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field April 14, 2024, in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The boos rained down from Yankees fans, whose team has lost 14 of its last 19 games.

Aaron Boone admitted the error “[looked] bad in the moment, especially going through what we’re going through as a team right now.”

However, he chalked it up to how Grisham plays the position.

“It’s also the way Trent Grisham, a Gold Glover, plays center field, like that relaxed, easy nature,” Boone said after the game. “Do I want him to square up to it and tackle it like you and I might in a side game? Not really. I want him to catch the ball and get it in and keep that guy off second base.

“But he has a track record of outstanding play out there, and that’s kind of the way he does — kind of a slow heartbeat, motor and that when you’re through it doesn’t look great. I understand that.”

Trent Grisham bobbles the ball

Trent Grisham of the New York Yankees commits an error against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium July 4, 2024, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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Boone said Friday that he had spoken with Grisham but reiterated his stance.

“It’s a bad look,” Boone said Friday, “but, at the same time, one of the reasons he’s a Gold Glove center fielder is because of his heartbeat, the reads, the jumps, the ease with which he plays the position. So, you don’t want to lose that in there. But with that, just be mindful of certain routine things.

“If Grish makes a mistake in the field or if Gleyber (Torres) makes a mistake in the field, the way they play the game, it’s not going to have a good look to it,” Boone added. “It’s not going to look like you and me playing softball, where we’re going to take it off the chest and off the chin, but we suck.

“Believe me, that lackadaisical look sometimes is what makes Trent Grisham a Gold Glove center fielder. He plays the game with an ease and a flow. Now, catch the ball. We don’t want that guy on second. And it gets magnified a little bit when we’re going through a spell like this.”

Trent Grisham runs the bases

The New York Yankees’ Trent Grisham tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning June 9, 2024, in New York.  (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

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Boone recently benched Gleyber Torres for a lack of hustle despite originally defending him because he had been dealing with a sore groin. But Grisham is in the starting lineup Friday. Although, with the team’s injuries, there isn’t much of a choice.

Grisham is hitting just .165 this season.

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