Aaron Boone’s Down Season

It turns out there is crying in baseball. Last July, when Cincinnati Reds third baseman Aaron Boone learned he’d been traded to the Yankees, he wept at the press conference. But soon fans were the ones weeping. The 31-year-old all-star batted just .170 during the playoffs. He redeemed himself by knocking the Red Sox out of World Series contention with his eleventh-inning home run. But then, three months later, after signing a $5.75 million deal, Boone blew out his knee playing basketball, violating—and thus voiding—his contract. He’s now undergoing physical therapy, and Alex Rodriguez has taken his position. A chat with Mr. Last October.

Is it painful to watch the Yankees play without you?
I’m watching the Yankee game right now.

But surely not having that money must hurt? When will you play again?
Hopefully, I’ll be able to start my spring training in July. And I’m a free agent—that’s one good thing. If I’m the player I think I am, I’ve got plenty of time to make a lot of money.

In the meantime, what are you doing all day?
I’m up early every morning doing rehab. And I don’t think I’m driving my wife too crazy.

Have you spoken to Joe Torre lately?
During spring training. And Joe told me to call whenever I just wanted to talk.

How about George?
No. [Pause.] No.

Aaron Boone’s Down Season