|Yankees Manager Aaron Boone in 2019. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees announced on Wednesday afternoon news that is nothing short of stunning. Manager Aaron Boone will be taking "an immediate medical leave of absence to receive a pacemaker."
The surgery took place at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa late Wednesday afternoon, and the Yankees tweeted (@Yankees) the following at 6 p.m.: "Manager Aaron Boone is out of surgery and in the recovery room at St. Joe's Hospital. The procedure went as expected."
Boone spent the night at St. Joseph's Hospital, sticking to the plan heading into his surgery. A missive from the Yankees at 9:10 p.m. said that "he is currently in good spirits."
Boone, who will turn 48 on March 9, is entering his fourth year at the helm for the Yankees, and has led them to the postseason in this first three seasons as manager. He also has a place in Yankee history for hitting the pennant-winning home run in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against Boston.
In a statement released by the Yankees, Boone said, "As many of you know, I underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, and I wanted everyone to understand where I'm at regarding the procedure that's taking place today. 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 were indications of a low heart rate which, after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.
"My faith is strong, and my spirits are high. I'm in a great frame of mind because I know I'm in good hands with the doctors and medical staff here at St. Joseph's Hospital. They 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.
"I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days, but during my short-tern absence, I have complete trust that our coaches, staff and players will continue their training and preparation at the same level as we've had and without any interruption.
"I also want to take this opportunity to remind all those dealing with heart issues to remain vigilant in your care and to reach out to your doctor should you have any symptoms of discomfort or trouble. Any issue involving the heart has the potential to be serious. Staying on top of your health is always the first and most important thing you can do for yourself and your family."
Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement, "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 well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery."