BY RONALD BLUM
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Boone acknowledges that one of his first tasks as New York Yankees manager is to convince his players he can do the job.
Boone was introduced as Joe Girardi’s successor at a Yankee Stadium news conference on Wednesday. Boone has never managed or coached at any level, working as a broadcaster since last season after retiring as a player in 2009.
“That’s a respect you earn, and hopefully I think in short order I’ll be able to earn that respect, that they’ll be able to look at me, trust in me, know that I have their interest at heart, but know that hopefully I know what the heck I’m talking about,” he said. “That’s something that you have to earn over the initial days in spring training, in the season.”
Boone’s 11th-inning home run off Boston’s Tim Wakefield won Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series for the Yankees against the Red Sox.
“I’m certainly confident in my ability,” he said. “Big league players are great at understanding who’s for real or not, and I’d like to think that they’ll know that in very short order.”
Boone will wear uniform 17, his number with Cincinnati and Cleveland; pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has the No. 19 jersey Boone wore with the Yankees in 2003.
Boone was a big league third baseman from 1997-2009 and an All-Star in 2003, when New York acquired him from the Reds at the trade deadline. Boone tore the ACL in his left knee during a pickup basketball game in January 2004 and was released by the Yankees, who claimed he violated a prohibition against basketball in the guarantee language of his contract. He was replaced at third base by Alex Rodriguez.
The Boones are the first family to produce three generations of major leaguers. His grandfather, Ray, was a two-time All-Star infielder from 1948-60. His father, Bob, was a four-time All-Star catcher from 1972-90, then managed Kansas City from 1995-97 and Cincinnati from 2001-03. His brother, Bret, was a three-time All-Star second baseman in a big league career from 1992-05.
Aaron Boone will be part of only the third father-and-son pairing to manage in the major leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. George and Dick Sisler, and Bob and Joel Skinner are the others.
Five days after New York lost to Houston in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Oct. 26 that Girardi was not being offered a new contract after 10 seasons, the team’s 27th World Series title in 2009 and a 910-710 regular-season record. Cashman later said he was concerned over “ability to fully engage, communicate, connect with the playing personnel.”
Boone becomes the 17th of 30 managers working his first major league managing job and just the third with no previous managing or coaching experience at any level, joining Mike Matheny of St. Louis and Craig Counsell of Milwaukee. But Matheny spent two seasons as a special assistant in player development that included spring training work as a catching instructor, and Counsell was a special assistant to the Brewers’ general manager from 2012-15.
Boone is the third new manager among the 10 teams that reached this year’s playoffs after Boston’s Alex Cora and Washington’s Dave Martinez.
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