PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Before leading their teams against each other for the first time, the Yankees’ Aaron Boone and the Mets’ Mickey Callaway took time to discuss their new gigs as managers in New York.
“I’m trying to prepare every day for what might happen,” Callaway said Wednesday before the Yankees rallied for an 11-4 spring training win. “”I’m sure at some point we’ll get blindsided for one reason or the other, but it’s been good so far.”
Callaway took over from Terry Collins, who was fired after the longest tenure of a Mets manager, seven seasons. Boone replaced Joe Girardi, who was let go after a decade.
“I haven’t been blindsided yet by anything. I know it’s coming,” Boone said. “I’m not naive enough to think that. But you don’t really know until you’re in it.”
Callaway was hired after five seasons as Cleveland’s pitching coach. Boone had been an analyst for ESPN. Both are first-time managers in a market that is unforgiving.
“We talked for a few seconds before the game, but we haven’t got to discuss in-depth what it’s been like,” Boone said. “I’m sure we’ll get that opportunity at some point.”
Callaway, 42, and his staff have had to prepare for and manage the myriad of injuries the Mets experience each spring training.
Brandon Nimmo and Steven Matz had setbacks in camp last year that hampered Collins. This year, pitcher Jacob deGrom (lower back stiffness) and shortstop Amed Rosario (sore groin) have been slowed.
“Right now I’m just try to make sure the position players are ready,” Callaway said. “I’ve always had a good feel, obviously, to get pitchers ready for the season. Position players … I haven’t had to do that before.”
Boone, who turns 45 on Friday, has experienced what he says is an exciting transition from the broadcast booth to the manager’s office.
“I can’t wait every day. I don’t feel like I’ve been overwhelmed with anything,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes into each day, but it’s really been invigorating.”
The Mets and Yankees meet six times during the season, starting on June 8 at Citi Field.
“It’s going to be a team that at some point creates an obstacle for us,” Boone said of the Mets. “But as to what it all means, it’s fun to be in any game where it matters to a lot of people.”
Notes: Callaway said deGrom could start against Houston on Sunday, depending on how his bullpen session goes this week
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