BOSTON -- This weekend's tough series at Fenway Park might have others panicking. Aaron Boone, however, isn't the panicking type.While acknowledging the hole his Yankees have dug for themselves since the start of July, Boone has declined to lose his temper or even call a team meeting."I hope they look
BOSTON -- This weekend's tough series at Fenway Park might have others panicking. Aaron Boone, however, isn't the panicking type.
While acknowledging the hole his Yankees have dug for themselves since the start of July, Boone has declined to lose his temper or even call a team meeting.
"I hope they look at me as emotionally stable -- and understand that I'm going to be consistent and, in a lot of ways, the same guy every single day," Boone said before Sunday night's series finale against the first-place Red Sox.
"I don't want them ever to look at me and have anxiety come to them through me. It's really important that I'm consistent -- consistent with who I am, consistent with how I treat them, consistent with how I talk to them."
Boone addressed his entire team in Spring Training, and he acknowledged doing so just before the All-Star break, too. He has made on occasion what might be perceived as a postgame speech to most (but not all) of his players in the clubhouse. He has dropped into hitters' meetings to address all of his position players at once. He has dispatched his coaches to express certain sentiments to certain groups -- or certain individuals.
But he hasn't felt the need to call a classic team meeting to try to turn things around.
"I would never necessarily shy away from that," he said, "but I don't think it's usually necessary. You can get messages across in many different ways."
If ever there was a time for a manager to do something drastic to send a message, this weekend would seem to be it. Saturday night's loss dropped the Yankees to a season-high 8 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East. They're barely over .500 since the start of July.
Not many teams have overcome a deficit this large this late. The Yankees, of course, are one of those teams, having previously overtaken the Red Sox despite trailing by 14 games in mid-July and 8 1/2 games as late as Aug. 20. But it's not easy to do -- and it's especially not easy to do with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on the shelf.
The extent to which the Yankees will push Judge and Sanchez to get back on the field will be telling, as will the extent to which they lean on such back-end relievers as Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Albertin Chapman and Player Page for David Robertson.
"We're in a tough spot," Boone said, "but I also really believe that our guys know they're really good -- and know we're really capable of doing special things."
Happ to undergo tests Monday
J.A. Happ will find out on Monday whether he's free of the hand, foot and mouth virus that put him on the shelf.
If he's deemed free from ill effects as well as from being contagious -- he'll be waiting at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to start against Texas. If he's not, it's safe to assume that youngster Chance Adams will get another opportunity. Adams yielded three runs in five innings in his big league debut on Saturday against the Red Sox.
Brian MacPherson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.