New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is taking a immediate medical leave of absence after having a surgery Wednesday to get a pacemaker, the group reported.
The group said Boone’s medical procedure went “as expected” and that he will go through the night at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, to rest and recover. Boone was “in good spirits,” the group said.
General manager Brian Cashman said Boone could get back to the group in a few days.
The 47-year-old Boone, who had open-heart medical procedure in 2009, said in an articulation that he has had gentle indications of discombobulation, low energy and windedness in the course of the last six to about two months. He said further tests in New York prior to spring preparing showed he had a low pulse, requiring the surgery.
“My faith is strong, and my spirits are high,” Boone said. “I’m in a great frame of mind because I know I’m in good hands with the doctors and medical staff here. … They are confident that today’s surgery will allow me to resume all of my usual professional and personal activities and afford me a positive long-term health prognosis without having to change anything about my way of life.”
Boone, entering his fourth season as chief of the Yankees, said he looks forward “to getting back to work in the next several days.”
Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as acting director for Wednesday night’s presentation, a 4-1 success over Toronto in Tampa.
Mendoza, 41, was a minor leaguer generally with San Francisco and the Yankees from 1997-09 and is beginning his thirteenth season working for the Yankees. He joined the significant alliance staff as quality control and infield mentor under Boone in 2018 and succeeded Josh Bard as seat mentor for 2020.
“The mindset doesn’t change,” Mendoza said. “We have a really good group of coaches here and really good personnel that are going to continue to get these guys ready to play the regular season.”
Boone recorded a video that was given to players.
“He just wanted them to continue to get our work in, continue to do [things] the right way, the same way we’ve been doing here, and that made all of us feel a lot better,” Mendoza said of the players’ reaction.
Brett Gardner, the Yankees’ senior player, said the video helped comfort players. He said Boone had referenced a couple of days prior when passing in a corridor that he was feeling tired.
“I think it was a shock to most of us,” Gardner said. “I think his first concern was making sure that we would continue to go about our business the right way with him being gone and, obviously, to kind of ease our minds that we weren’t too overly concerned about him and this procedure.”
“It’s a necessary step,” Cashman said of Boone’s surgery. “It’s something that’s not avoidable and needs to be taken care of, but he has no fear and I know he’s just in great hands and it’s just a temporary timeout. He looks forward to getting back to doing what he does best and doing what he loves, which is baseball.”
Cashman said that, from the start, he was frightened by the information, yet was “comfortable” after talking to Boone about the medical procedure.
“When you hear ‘pacemaker,’ it kind of sets off a lot of alarms of concern,” Cashman said. “No one’s going to do more research than the person that’s going to be going through this, and I felt so comforted by the way he communicated with me on it that he put me at ease.”
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said “the thoughts of the entire organization are with Aaron and his family” in a statement released by the team.
“Aaron leads our players, coaches and staff with a rare combination of work ethic, intelligence and a genuine concern for others,” Steinbrenner said. “Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”
Boone played in the major leagues from 1997 to 2009. He was an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 quickly prior to getting exchanged to the Yankees. Soon thereafter, his eleventh inning homer off Boston’s Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series won the flag for New York.
Boone is a third-generation major leaguer; his grandfather Gus, father Bob and sibling Bret likewise played in the major leagues, and his nephew Jake is a small time player in the Washington organization.