Aaron Boone on Yankees’ mindset ahead of Opening Day: ‘Hungry’
The New York Yankees will embark upon the 2021 MLB season as one of the prohibitive favorites to reach the World Series. After some disappointing conclusions to postseason runs in recent years, the team is eager to get things rolling with Opening Day on Thursday.
Ahead of the impending regular-season grind, Yankees manager Aaron Boone used one word to describe the team’s mindset: “Hungry.”
Boone went on to describe how the team coming up short on its World Series aspirations in recent years has led to an overreaching desire to “kick the door in” and finally break through.
“We understand we’re a talented team, but we also understand we haven’t done anything yet,’’ Boone said Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, via the New York Post. “We hope we started to lay a foundation to be a championship club. A lot of guys have been here now for a few years and experienced a lot of highs and playoff success, playoff failures and disappointing ends to the season.
“We’ve gone through a lot as a team and we’ve added to the mix some ingredients we think can get us over the hump. I’ve felt this way the last couple years: We have a very hungry group and we want to kick the door in in the worst kind of way.”
Boone, who recently underwent a a surgical procedure to have a pacemaker implanted due to a low heart rate, believes a run at a title is there for the taking.
“We’re like-minded,’’ Boone said of the Yankees. “We want to be a championship team. We understand there’s a lot of baseball to be played and hopefully we have the opportunity to play for that at the end of the year.”
Injuries, primarily to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, have derailed things a bit for the Yankees over the past few seasons. That being said, both superstars “dramatically” changed their approaches to the offseason. The hope is that the alterations to their traditional regimen will lead to better health and less time on the injured list.
“I feel confident we’re cut out for it and ready for it,’’ Boone said of how the Yankees will approach the potential of injury setbacks. “Now it’s about following through and living that out consistently. It’s easy to talk about, but another thing to go live it every day.”
The Yankees open the season Thursday with the start of a three-game series against the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. As Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently stated, the team is “about to find out” whether it can indeed compete for a World Series championship.