TAMPA — Aaron Boone is already enjoying being at spring training as the first-year manager of the Yankees.
“It was a bit surreal,” Boone said on Tuesday.
Boone discussed his plan for the spring.
“In spring training it’s about getting individual guys ready to play,” he said.
The Bombers are in World Series or bust mode.
“We understand the expectations,” Boone said. “A lot of these guys came of age and viewed [last year] as a very successful season, but what stands out being in that room right now, each guy I’ve spoken to, there isn’t satisfaction.
“From what I can tell, the hunger in these guys is real.”
Dellin Betances indicated Boone isn’t the only one with lofty goals for this season.
“If we don’t win (the World Series), I think it’s not a great year for us,” Betances said Tuesday.
One of the major questions facing Boone is how he plans to manage the outfield with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who had offseason shoulder surgery.
“We’ll certainly be as cautious as we need to be in the early days,” said Boone. “The one thing that’s exciting about both of those guys is we’ve got two tremendous players. Both guys are really good defenders as well, and both guys — you can tell that it’s about winning for them. It’s about trying to chase down that championship for them. With that comes some sacrifice, and so far I think there’s a lot of buy-in from those guys about being in some different spots in different scenarios.”
Boone said that the center field competition, which is Aaron Hicks’ to lose, will also play itself out during the spring. But the manager didn’t write off Jacoby Ellsbury.
“Ellsbury has a lot of good baseball left in him,” Boone said.
Boone said he could absolutely see the Bombers leaving camp with rookies at second and third base.
“We’re not going to run from (expectations),” he added. “We’re going to embrace that. We’re going to expect to be great.”
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