Mariano Rivera has Boone's back: 'He did a great job'

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has come under fire for his team's disappointing American League Division Series defeat to the Boston Red Sox.

One person, however, is lauding the skipper's inaugural campaign in the Bronx: former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

"I can’t say nothing bad about Boone. He did a great job. An amazing job," Rivera said, according to Laura Albanese of Newsday. He added that Boone kept players "motivated - pushing and pushing and pushing. To me, he did an outstanding job, absolutely great job with those guys and hopefully next year, you give him the help that he needs to get to the next level."

One of the biggest criticisms has been Boone's decision to stick with starter Luis Severino in the fourth inning of Game 3. A three-run deficit ballooned into a 10-run gap quickly, and the Yankees fell out of contention.

Rivera, however, said New York's shortcomings came down to a lack of timely hitting in key situations. Other than the blowout loss in Game 3, the Yankees could have won either Game 1 or Game 4. Both ended with New York losing by a single run.

"If we would’ve had a hit or two in the later innings, we wouldn’t be talking about this," he said. "I’m disappointed."

Despite the early exit - and the jeers in Boone's direction - the Yankees still won 100 games and hit more home runs than any team ever in a single season.

Boone is slated to return for a second campaign.

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