One of Aaron Boone’s first priorities once he was told he got the job as Yankees manager was to contact some of his new players.
“I’ve reached out to a lot already,’’ Boone said at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. “I’ve texted with a lot of them. I’ve spoken with a handful. Obviously, I know some guys pretty well.”
Perhaps the most important player on that list is Gary Sanchez, who spent his first full season in the majors continuing to put up historic offensive numbers, but also continuing to frustrate Joe Girardi, the man Boone is replacing in the dugout.
Asked if he felt he needed to establish a good relationship with Sanchez quickly, Boone said he did.
“I have a priority in that Gary and my relationship is important,” Boone said. “I expect it to be very strong. My expectation is that he’s going to be one of the great impact players on both sides of the ball for a long time to come. I’ve already texted back and forth with him a little bit and I expect to meet up with him at some point in the next couple of weeks.”
see also> he criticized Sanchez publicly — something Girardi rarely did — and even benched him for two games.
The 25-year-old committed 16 passed balls in the regular season — as many as anyone in baseball — and allowed 53 wild pitches to get by him, a number surpassed only by Jonathan Lucroy. Though Sanchez’s attention to detail appeared to improve slightly down the stretch, it remains an issue.
“We forget how young he is and how great he’s been so far,’’ Boone said. “How massively successful he has been at one of the most demanding positions in all of sports. We’re going to continue to support him and continue to build our relationship so that we can grow him in every facet. That’s our job.”