It certainly wasn't the way Aaron Boone wanted to finish his first season as Yankees manager. Yes, he led his team to a 100-win season, but falling to the division-rival Red Sox -- on their home turf nonetheless -- left a bad taste in Boone's mouth to cap the year.
And it was even worse when Boston hoisted the World Series trophy in the end.
"The goal is clear: We want to be champions and that's what we work towards every single day during the year, the offseason," Boone told MLB Network Radio. "That's the sole focus. But seeing out friends from the north celebrate, I'm not going to lie it stung."
But Boone wanted to feel that sting as he watched the rest of the postseason on TV after his job for the 2018 season ended. He watched each game, and even the final celebration.
"I watched most of the postseason unfold," Boone said. "I watched that final game. I watched the celebration and the podium and everything. You know, I let it sink in, allowed that sting to really set in with me and I think there probably is some truth to it does add a little fuel to the fire."
The Yankees have made it known early on that this offseason will be a busy one to hopefully get an edge over the Red Sox and the rest of the MLB heading into 2019. GM Brian Cashman has already made a splash, trading for LHP James Paxton on Monday to bolster the starting rotation.
More moves are likely to come, and Boone will be charged with the duty of making sure each one work harmoniously with the rest of the team to try and outdo his rookie season as skipper. And though he earned some extra motivation by painfully watching the Red Sox celebrate, he knows donning the pinstripes is enough to live that championship mindset each and every day.
"You know when you put on the pinstripes and you're a part of this organization, you don't need much more motivation."