NEW YORK – Aaron Boone was entering the entrance of his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, last Thursday, taking his 8-year-old daughter Bella home for his wife to take her to a dance class and noticed a missed call from Brian Cashman.
Boone called the general manager of the New York Yankees while his wife looked at him and told him that Cashman told him: "Hey, first of all, I want to make sure you are completely on board and understanding the level of commitment that now it is expected of you ".
"If that's the case," Boone reminded Cashman saying, "I'm going to recommend to the property that you're the guy we're going with and we're focused"  And with that, at the age of 44 Boone he had secured his first position as coach or coach of any kind since his retirement as a player eight years ago.
Boone was introduced on Wednesday as a New York manager during a press conference at Yankee Stadium. where televisions throughout the stadium showed images of him surrounding the bases in triumph after his homer in the 11th inning against Tim Wakefield of Boston won Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series for the Yankees.
"It's certainly something I'm known for in my life in baseball, obviously, and somehow it probably contributes with me to being here today," he said.
Among the six candidates for the position, Boone impressed Cashman and his staff so much that a second round of interviews was not needed.
"The interview process is to try to determine how Aaron brands and whether it is an extension of our philosophies or very close to an extension of our philosophies and what kind of decision-making process would gravitate," Cashman said. "That does not mean there will not be some growth pains in the beginning, and we agree with that."
Cashman recommended Boone after consulting with a mixed mix of his current office: GM assistant Jean Afterman and Mike Fishman, vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring, senior director of player development Kevin Reese, assistant director of exploration professional Dan Giese, director of quantitative analysis David Grabiner, director of mental conditioning Chad Bohling, athletic trainer Steve Donohue and vice president of communications Jason Zillo.
"There was a difference of opinion among participants about who was option number two or three, but there was little or no difference of opinion about who their number one choice was," Steinbrenner said. "I was not even close."
Cashman remembered when he was assistant general manager and owner George Steinbrenner promoted him to succeed Bob Watson as general manager.
"I took a risk in 1998, and here I am 20 years later," Cashman said.
Boone became the first manager hired by the Yankees since moving to his new stadium in 2009 and since George Steinbrenner died the following year.
Hal Steinbrenner, son of The Boss, spoke briefly with Boone outside Donohue's office when Boone interviewed on November 17. Steinbrenner had originally said that he and his brothers would meet candidates who reached a second round.
"When I get that kind of recommendation from my most important people, I just did not see the need," he said.
Boone had worked for ESPN since he retired as a player. He acknowledged that one of his first tasks will be to convince his players that he can do the job.
"I believe that in a short time I will be able to gain that respect, that they will be able to look at me, trust me, know that I have an interest in their hearts, but I know I hope to know what the hell I am talking about," he said. "That's something you have to win during the first days of spring training, in the season."
Boone received the 17th uniform, his number with Cincinnati and Cleveland; pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has the No. 19 jersey that Boone used with the Yankees in 2003.
The Boone are the first family to produce three generations of Major League Baseball. His grandfather, Ray, participated twice in the All-Star Game since 1948-60. His father, Bob, was a four-time All-Star catcher from 1972-90, and then ran Kansas City from 1995-97 and Cincinnati from 2001-03. His brother, Bret, was a three-time All-Star second baseman in a Major League career since 1992-05.
"It was evident when talking with him and the questions that were asked him that he was imparted great wisdom all his life," Steinbrenner said.
Boone anticipates living in a New York suburb with his family. His wife, the former Laura Cover, was Playmate & # 39; s Playmate of the Month in October 1998, and they have three children besides their daughter: Jeanel (15), Sergot (13) and Brandon (12). He said his two dogs are a reason not to live in Manhattan: a Black English Lab and a French mastiff.
Boone can see difficult administrative decisions. He was sent to the bench by Joe Torre against starter Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series in favor of Enrique Wilson, and then entered as an emerging runner.
"I'm really interested in these guys, I hope I love these guys and they'll love me back, but when you have to make tough decisions you have to be honest in your evaluations," he said. "So sometimes I feel that there is the potential to cloud because you like a man or you want a man to do well and you wait."
He expressed confidence in catcher Gary Sanchez, who on his first shot the entire season had 33 homers and 90 RBIs in 122 games. Sanchez, who turned 25 last weekend, allowed 16 past balls, tied with the Major League lead, and was behind the plate for 53 wild pitches.
"My expectation is that he will be one of the great impact players on both sides of the ball for a long time to come," Boone said. "My relationship with my receiver is a really important relationship."
Boone quickly learned his new prominence on Friday, when news of his hiring became public while he was attending the Pac-12 soccer championship won by Southern California, the school he attended.
"My phone exploded," said Boone. "It was really fun to watch the game, watch the Trojans win and be with my best friend, one of his sons and my son, it was a few great hours."
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