USA TODAY US Edition
Yankees manager gets pacemaker, takes leave
Procedure went as expected for Aaron Boone, who had open-heart surgery in 2009.
TAMPA, Fla. – Manager Aaron Boone took an immediate medical leave of absence from his post to receive a pacemaker, the Yankees said Wednesday afternoon.
The surgery was performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital. As of 6 p.m. Boone was in recovery and the surgery went as expected, according to the Yankees.
According to general manager Brian Cashman, Boone could resume managerial duties as early as 48-72 hours.
“Sounds like it’s going to be a shortterm thing,” said Cashman, who was not immediately certain if Boone would require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Bench coach Carlos Mendoza will assume managerial duties during Boone’s absence according to Cashman.
Earlier Wednesday, Boone participated in a staff Zoom call from his hospital bed, when most of his coaches first learned of the procedure.
Boone also recorded a video for his players that was played for them early Wednesday afternoon and designed to put everyone at ease, per Cashman.
As a player, Boone, who turns 48 on Tuesday, had open heart surgery on March 26, 2009, to replace his bicuspid aortic valve. He returned to play for the Astros that September.
Boone had known about the congenital defect since college. When he was 36, doctors determined he should undergo the procedure.
The manager released a statement that read in part:
“Over the last six-to-eight weeks I’ve had mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath.
“As a result, I underwent a series of tests and examinations in New York prior to the beginning of spring training, including multiple visits with a team of heart specialists.
“While the heart checkup came back normal, there are indications of a low heart rate, which after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.”
Shortly after being hired by the Yankees before the 2018 season, Boone said he had had “no issues” related to the surgery since then but that he had routine exams every few years to monitor his status.
Boone added Wednesday that doctors “are confident that today’s surgery will allow me to resume all of my usual professional and personal activities and afford me a positive long-term health prognosis without having to change anything about my way of life.”
In a statement released by the Yankees, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said “the thoughts of the entire organization are with Aaron and his family as he undergoes this procedure and takes the time he needs to properly heal.
“Aaron leads our players, coaches and staff with a rare combination of work ethic, intelligence and a genuine concern for others. Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and wellbeing, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”
Boone is believed to have been the first MLB player to appear in a game after having open-heart surgery.
Entering his fourth year as Yankees manager, Boone and his wife, Laura, are the parents of four children.