TORONTO – In the hours leading to his debut as a big-league manager, Aaron Boone insisted he wasn't nervous. Even though he's now wearing the massive responsibility as the skipper of the New York Yankees.
"I'm doing all right actually. Compared to being a player, I was more anxious at this moment as a player," Boone said Thursday afternoon in Rogers Centre, a couple hours before making his debut against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"Seeing the guys this morning, they're in a really good place. They're really prepared so there's a lot of comfort in that. I'm quite certain when we run out to the line to start, I'll be nervous. But right now I'm OK."
Boone is seeking to become the 11th manager in Yankees history to win his debut and the fourth in a row, following Joe Girardi here in 2008, Joe Torre in 1996 at Cleveland and Buck Showalter in 1992 in Boston.
He joins his father, Bob, as the third father-son managerial duo in the big leagues. The others are George and Dick Sisler and Bob and Joel Skinner, a former Bisons manager who will be the skipper this season in Rochester. Aaron Boone said he talked to Bob Boone last night.
"He's pretty low key and he was last night. He was like, 'Good luck and have fun,' " Boone said. "My mom sent me a lot of emojis this morning. Lot of hearts. Prayers, the whole bit. So that was nice. I get a nice balance there. My mom fires off emojis. My dad is just chill."
The Yankees are playing the earliest season opener in their history, surpassing the March 30, 2004, opener against Tampa Bay in Tokyo. They have lost six straight openers, the longest run in franchise history. They have lost five straight on the road, dating to 2006 in Oakland.