BOSTON — It doesn’t sound as if Aaron Boone will be holding a strip-the-paint-from-the-walls team meeting in an attempt to inspire his club anytime soon.
“I don’t feel that need,” Boone said before Sunday night’s series finale against the Red Sox. “If I sensed that our guys weren’t preparing right or were struggling in different situations, [I might], but I really feel their focus is good, I think they’re able to turn the page. So I have no issue.”
They’d better be able to turn the page after Sunday night’s stunning 5-4, 10-inning loss at Fenway Park, a game in which they brought a 4-1 lead into the ninth.
The Yankees are 18-20 in their last 38 games. The Red Sox have gone 29-8 in the same span to turn a two-game deficit into a 9 1⁄2 -game lead.
Of course, when a team struggles, the “they need a team meeting” narrative almost always crops up as if it’s a cure-all. Never mind the fact that bad teams generally have the most team meetings. They’re just never talked about.
“I think at times they can be good,” Boone said. He added that more times than not as a player, “I’ve been in ones that it’s kind of like, ‘all right, great.’ ’’ His tone indicated one more word: ‘’whatever.’’
Boone said he addressed the team before the start of spring training and had one group gathering before the Yankees departed for the All-Star break.
“There are times when you have to address your team, obviously, as a whole group,” he said. “I would never necessarily shy away from that, but I don’t think it’s usually necessary. I think you can get messages across in many different ways.”
Boone said the Yankees should know by Monday night if J.A. Happ, who missed Saturday’s scheduled start with hand, foot and mouth disease, will be able to take his next turn in the rotation Thursday at home against the Rangers.
“I spoke to him about an hour ago,” Boone said. “He’s played catch the last couple days, he’s been able to work out, he feels really good. As long as tomorrow if the virus is out of there, we think there’s a real chance he’ll pitch Thursday.”