Two days after having heart surgery to insert a pacemaker, Yankees manager Aaron Boone found himself back at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., not to manage the game against the Tigers, but to deal with the COVID-19 intake process.
Boone, who hopes to be back in the dugout in the next couple of days, said he feels so much better than he did before the surgery. He felt lightheadedness, fatigue and shortness of breath. It didn't help that Boone had a low heart rate, either. Now, though, it’s a different story. As he put it, he and his “new buddy” -- the pacemaker -- are doing fine.
“The last couple of months have not felt anywhere close to how I felt this morning, even yesterday morning getting out of the hospital,” Boone said. “I’m really excited about it, really excited to get back, but I just really wanted to extend my gratitude to everyone.”
Boone ended up having his second heart surgery in the past 11 years. In 2009, Boone underwent open-heart surgery as an active player to replace an aortic valve.
How energetic was Boone on Friday? He had had his morning coffee and was ready to go back to work. Boone acknowledged that he didn’t want to leave Steinbrenner Field after taking the COVID-19 test, but he had to walk away and go home.
“I feel ready to go and ready to tackle things. And honestly, siting here, it’s different a couple of days ago and the last few months,” Boone said.
Even general manager Brian Cashman was amazed by how good Boone looked. A few hours after the surgery, Boone FaceTimed Cashman, who noticed that Boone’s energy was off the charts.
“The personality was so vibrant. He goes, ‘What are you doing?' … It was a real tip of the cap to the expertise in the medical field and what these exceptional doctors in their specialty areas are able to do for people. It’s just incredible."
In the meantime, bench coach Carlos Mendoza will continue to manage the club. Boone appreciates what Mendoza has done during his absence.
“If Mendy has to miss any time, then we are in trouble,” Boone said. “We are such in good hands.”
“I like to practice defense all around,” Sánchez said “Right now, I feel really good receiving and throwing. I’ll keep working.”