TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is impressed with Aaron Boone without seeing him manage a regular-season game.
Boone was hired to replace the fired Joe Girardi on Dec. 4. He went to the broadcast booth after his career ended in 2009 and has no major league managing or coaching experience.
Steinbrenner likes what he has seen from Boone during spring training.
“Calm, cool, collect, got a good sense of humor,” Steinbrenner said. “Has a really good rapport in a group setting or individual setting with the players.”
Boone is part of the first family to produce three generations of major league players. His father, Bob, had a 19-year career and his grandfather, Ray, spent 13 years playing. His older brother, Bret, was on the field for 14 years.
Bob Boone also managed Kansas City (1995-97) and Cincinnati (2001-03).
“He’s a knowledgeable guy,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s had a lot of help along the way from grandfathers, fathers and his own experience. I think he’s going to be great.”
Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia had no doubt that Boone had what it takes to manage when they were teammates with Cleveland in 2005-06.
Boone, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Friday, dissected the game like a manager while sitting on the bench.
“He was serious with it,” Sabathia said. “He was really good at it. I’m just happy people are going to get to know his personality like I do. I think we just hit it off right away.”
Sabathia’s leadership will play a key role in the clubhouse as the Yankees look to reach the World Series one year after losing Game 7 of the ALCS to Houston.
“Just now being here with him and as the elder statesman, as the veteran that he is, his impact in our room is enormous,” Boone said. “I think he touches a lot of guys in there with his professionalism and his willingness to be a mentor. I think it’s important you have guys in a clubhouse where messages don’t always have to come from me or my coaching staff.”
It’s a role Sabathia accepts.
“I think that’s what I’m here to do,” Sabathia said. “Obviously perform and try to pitch well, but to also try to be that presence and be here for guys. I can’t say I was the leader when Derek (Jeter) and Andy (Pettitte) and those guys were here, but I felt like I was one. But it naturally happened when those guys starting retiring.”
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