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Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he expected to be out of the team for a short time due to ongoing heart problems. The Yankees said Boone, 47, will have surgery on Wednesday in Tampa, Florida, where he will oversee the team’s spring training ahead of the 2021 season. He will be given a pacemaker.
“My beliefs are strong and my mood is high,” Boone said in a team statement. “I’m in a great mood knowing that I’m in good hands with the doctors and medical staff here at St. Joseph’s Hospital.”
Boone, a Yankees 2003 playoff hero who has been their manager since the beginning of the 2018 season, underwent open-heart surgery at the Houston Astros in 2009 to correct a problem with his aorta and aortic valve. He returned later that year to play the final 10 games of his 12-year career.
In the past six to eight weeks, Boone said, he has experienced “mild symptoms” such as lightheadedness, low energy, and shortness of breath. He said he had tests and exams by heart specialists in New York before spring training. While the heart exam returned to normal, there were signs of a low heart rate. After further medical consultations in Tampa, Boone said he needed a pacemaker.
Calling his immediate medical vacation “short term,” Boone said he looks forward to getting back to work “in the next few days.”
As a married father of four, he said his doctors were confident that the surgery would allow him to resume all of his usual professional and personal activities “and give me a positive long-term health forecast without having to change my lifestyle. “He urged people who have dealt with heart problems to remain vigilant.
“Keeping track of your health is always the first and most important thing you can do for yourself and your family,” he said.
Following the team’s announcement, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a video press conference that he was unaware of anything that would prevent Boone from returning to normal and tackling the rigors of a 162-game regular season.
Initially concerned, Cashman said Boone recently reassured him when he stated his health and that the procedure would only require a brief visit to the hospital. Cashman said Boone could be back in as little as 48 to 72 hours, but that would depend on his recovery and MLB’s health and safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.
The previous Wednesday, Boone participated in the daily video call for coaches and staff from the hospital bed, and also recorded a video for players. He joked and smiled at the call.
“It made me and all of us feel a lot better,” said Yankees bank manager Carlos Mendoza, who will serve as assistant manager during Boone’s absence. Mendoza later added, “We pray for him.”
The team’s responsibility is focused on Boone’s health rather than his return.
“Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and wellbeing and we will support him in all ways throughout his recovery,” Hal Steinbrenner, managing partner of the Yankees, said in a statement.
Under Boone, the Yankees have a record of 236-148 and have made the playoffs every season. He is the first major league manager to win 100 games in each of his first two seasons. At the beginning of the 2021 season, the Yankees were again considered contenders for the World Series.