TAMPA — Carlos Mendoza was driving home from the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night when Aaron Boone called.
The Yankees manager, who was hours removed from undergoing surgery to have a pacemaker inserted to address a low heart rate, peppered his bench coach with questions about what he missed.
“As soon as he called, got on the phone, [his] first question was like, ‘How’d the boys look?’” Mendoza, who has assumed the manager duties in Boone’s absence, said Thursday morning. “I was like, ‘No no no no no, how are you feeling?’ He was like, ‘I’m great. I feel great. I can already tell the difference. I’m good. So tell me how the day went. I saw that [Corey] Kluber was good, Gary [Sanchez] hit a homer. What else went on?’
“So he goes back and tells you what type of leader he is. He’s in the hospital, he’s in bed, just got out of surgery and he just wants to know what’s going on here with our guys, what’s going on in that room.”
Boone stayed overnight at St. Joseph’s Hospital and was expected to be released at some point on Thursday, the Yankees said. General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that it was possible Boone could return to the team as soon as 48-72 hours after the procedure.
Wednesday, Boone had participated in the Yankees’ staff Zoom call from his hospital bed and also recorded a video for his players to help put them at ease regarding his procedure.
In the meantime, Mendoza was set to manage the Yankees again Thursday in an exhibition against the Phillies in Clearwater.
“This morning I texted with him. He was in good spirits, asking about guys,” Mendoza said. “Hoping he’ll be back home at some point today.”