Asked about “high tensions” with the Rays ahead of Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game at Yankee Stadium, manager Aaron Boone provided an honest answer.
“Well, I think it’s been two good teams kind of going after the same thing and playing a lot of games together,” Boone said. “And when you’ve got two highly competitive teams, you’ve had some situations where guys have gotten hit or knocked down or things like that. And when you’re playing against each other as much as we are and guys are good and competing for a lot, sometimes it happens and it spills over and you kind of create that rivalry or whatever. But my hope, as it always is, is that it’s about the baseball between the lines.”
Off to slow starts, the Yankees (5-7) and Rays (5-8) are both looking for a spark. But Tampa Bay took a three-game series last weekend at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Yankees have dropped five of their past seven as they enter the rematch.
“Kind of the message is what it always is, and that’s we know we’re in the grind of a season and there’s an expectation when you walk through our doors every day about the energy that you bring to the table each and every day pouring into getting ready to play and going out and letting it rip that night,” Boone said. “And then we turn the page. I think this team is, as a group, very good at that.
“So whether we’re in the midst of winning nine or 10 in a row and rolling or whether we’re hitting a bump in the road, try not to get too emotional each and every day about what that means. Obviously, when you win or lose, you reflect and enjoy that or in some cases you’re ticked off a little bit. But it’s very important and especially in this game and this sport. You’ve got to be able to turn the page, because tomorrow’s just too important.”