Mets' Luis Rojas shares heartfelt message for Yankees' Aaron Boone: 'I have so much respect for him'

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Alex Smith
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New York Mets manager Luis Rojas spring training workouts
New York Mets manager Luis Rojas spring training workouts

The Mets fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 14-9 in Wednesday afternoon’s spring training contest, but after the game Mets skipper Luis Rojas made sure to share that he was thinking of Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

Boone and the Yankees announced on Wednesday that the 47-year-old former third baseman would be taking an immediate medical leave of absence to receive a pacemaker.

Unprompted, Rojas took a moment at the end of his postgame media availability to let reporters know that he’s thinking and praying for his crosstown managing counterpart, saying that Boone has been nothing but welcoming to him since Rojas became the Mets’ manager.

“I do want to close up with something. I heard about Aaron Boone by the way, guys, and I wanted to share with you guys my respect for Aaron, first of all,” Rojas said. “He was very welcoming to me when I came into my position, you know, fellow manager from the same city, and I have so much respect for him.

“I’ll find out more details, but my prayers and thoughts are with him and his family right now. I just want to pray for the best with him. I wanted to share that with everyone here, because I found out when I was in a game. The word [was] spread around real quick.”

Boone, who had open-heart surgery in 2009, said via a statement Wednesday that he has been experiencing “mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath,” and after consulting with doctors, determined that the pacemaker was a necessity.

“My faith is strong, and my spirits are high. I’m in a great frame of mind because I know I’m in good hands with the doctors and medical staff here at St. Joseph’s Hospital,” Boone said. “They are confident that today’s surgery will allow me to resume all of my usual professional and personal activities and afford me a positive long-term health prognosis without having to change anything about my way of life.

“I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days, but during my short-term absence, I have complete trust that our coaches, staff and players will continue their training and preparation at the same level as we’ve had and without any interruption.”