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Boone relishes moment of first team address

MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Yankees gathered for their first full-squad workout of the spring on Monday morning, Aaron Boone stood in the center of the home clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field, addressing his team for the first time as a big league manager.

The brief speech, Boone said, proved to be one of his most enjoyable moments in the 75 days since his official introduction.

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Yankees gathered for their first full-squad workout of the spring on Monday morning, Aaron Boone stood in the center of the home clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field, addressing his team for the first time as a big league manager.

The brief speech, Boone said, proved to be one of his most enjoyable moments in the 75 days since his official introduction.

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"It meant a lot to me," Boone said. "It was special to me to get to stand up there in front of guys that I already have a lot of respect for. I feel like it was really important. It felt important to get this first step and this connection and launch off Spring Training. It was something that I won't forget."

Boone spoke to the Yankees' pitchers and catchers last week, but the content had not been as in depth as his remarks on Monday morning. Boone utilized videos to communicate his talking points, which included compliments about the energy and pace of what he characterized as a "smooth" camp so far.

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"It was awesome," Giancarlo Stanton said. "He got straight to it, got to the point. Exactly what we need to do, the focus for spring, focus for leading up to the year. It's going to be good."

"Just like any other speech: Go get 'em, guys," Aaron Judge said. "Normal introduction of everybody, go out there and get it. The past couple of days have been great, so keep it up."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he has been impressed by Boone's performance in the early days of camp.

"He's very knowledgeable, very comfortable," Cashman said. "He's a man with a plan. That's why we hired him. There's nothing that is going to happen down here that is going to change that. Spring Training is such a great, relaxed atmosphere. It's a good way to start your bonding process.

Tweet from @AaronBoone: 1st Full Squad workout. #Yankees pic.twitter.com/7YKcAkY5CM

"He's already started that in the wintertime with all our players. He'll cement it when he's down here, when he'll get to know the guys better and the guys will get to know him better. At the end of the day, it's the players' game. They'll take us wherever they'll take us."

The sky-high expectations surrounding the Yankees were also a topic, said Boone, who told his players that they have a very good team with a lot of potential. Now, they must prepare to back that up between the white lines.

"We're really going to grind away on the little things, where we can add to the margins," Boone said. "We want to go from being a good team to a championship-caliber team, and I think you do that by being good at the little things where the game gets really hard or when you're struggling, you're still able and capable of winning a ballgame.

"That's something that I wanted to impart on these guys, understanding that the expectations are huge. We will embrace that, and I want them to walk out there understanding those expectations are there."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees