Unless Aaron Boone hires Bucky Dent to be his bench coach, we can rest assured that the hiring of Boone to be the next Yankees manager was in no way an attempt by New York to stick it to Red Sox fans again.

But in the name of the unprintable middle name Red Sox diehards bestowed on Dent and Boone, that sure was one bold leap of faith of a hire the Yankees made.

The most successful franchise in baseball history opted for youth, communication ability and playing experience over a single day of minor or major league coaching or managerial duty by hiring Boone.

In that way, the Yankees followed yet again the Red Sox playbook this offseason.

The Red Sox were quick to fire their manager, John Farrell, who guided the club to two consecutive AL East titles.

The Yankees took more time but eventually let go Joe Girardi, who guided a surprising and young Yankees team to Game 7 of the ALCS.

And last month the Red Sox hired a new manager without any big league managerial experience in Alex Cora.

Thee Yankees followed suit. But besides Cora and Boone both being infielders, there’s not a great deal of resemblance.

Boone is 44, three years older than Cora, but Cora’s WBC Puerto Rico managerial and Astros bench experience makes him look like Connie Mack compared to Boone, who has not worn a baseball uniform since retiring in 2009 after his successful 12-year playing career.

But that’s the way baseball is thinking these days. As the success of young and relatively new and inexperienced managers A.J. Hinch of the Astros and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers showed this past season, big league managing experience isn’t valued like it used to be.

Just ask Farrell. Or Girardi. Or Dusty Baker.

Boone’s resume includes only a 54-game stint in 2003 with the Yankees, highlighted in the Bronx and lowlighted around these parts by his extra-inning walkoff home run off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the ALCS.

The impact was devastating – until the following year, of course, when the Red Sox gained full revenge.

That Boone broke his leg playing basketball in the 2003 offseason led directly to the Yankees searching for a third baseman, a search that brought them to the last Bronx baddie, Alex Rodriguez. Boone’s role only shackled him closer to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Baseball fans familiar with Boone’s amiable and knowledgeable style because of his stint as an ESPN analyst already know he in no way resembles a villain.

He’s sharp, and way too amiable and easygoing to engender, for now, any animosity from Red Sox fans other than what we all partook when news leaked that the Yankees had decided to go him.

Boone should prove to be far less edgy and standoffish than Girardi could sometimes get. That will be a respite for the Yankees media but that’s not behind his hire. In Boone, the Yankees gain an approachable and young enough face for their young core to feel comfortable with. And in Boone, the Yankees have someone comfortable with implementing the reams of data their analytics staff generates.

That description fits Boone as easily as it fits Cora, Hinch and Roberts, so in that sense the Yankees’ hiring doesn’t stand out.

Beginning five minutes ago, we will soon learn more and hear more from Boone as he gets grilled and micro-analyzed by the formidable Yankees press corps.

Chief among their concerns will be what kind of coaching staff Boone will put in place. Already speculation swirled that – sorry, Bucky – former Cleveland and Seattle manager Eric Wedge, who was also a candidate for the job Boone won, could become the bench coach.

Wedge was drafted by the Red Sox and caught 39 games for them between 1991-94.


The Red Sox villain could have an embedded Red Sox alumnus right by his side.

Now that would be just about perfect.