The Red Sox had everything but power last season, and while they had a manager in John Farrell who let negative situations in the clubhouse fester, they still managed to win the division. With additions of NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, third baseman Brandon Drury and prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar wading in the weeds to be called up, the allure is back.
And if he needs any reminders, he'll have Stanton to lean on.
"I would say not try to be better than he was previous year", Stanton said.
"I would say not try to be better than he was previous year". Know you're going to do well and that you set yourself up to do well. "At certain stations at Yankee Stadium they have a machine that will allow you to put the Yankees players' faces on the beer".
The next season, the Yankees were back up to third and reached the highest payroll in the majors from 1994 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2013, a run interrupted by one season (1998) in which the Baltimore Orioles led the league spending $207,000 more than the Yankees.
Only three other active managers accepted their first major league managerial role without previous coaching experience at any professional level.
"I see people that have succeeded, and haven't succeeded, and I just take a little bit from both", said Stanton.
But he hasn't had to deal with any issues yet. Both teams boast young stars, pitching depth and sluggers ready to swing for the fences.
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Stanton insisted he won't change during those times.
"It's going to be unbelievable, something I've never experienced before", Stanton said. "You don't worry about "What if I do this, what if this guy throws me this, what if I have a bad series here?' All those 'what ifs" are basically concrete".
Willits, who played parts of five seasons with the Angels, is the Yankees' new first base and outfield coach, tasked primarily with helping Judge and Stanton learn the intricacies of playing left field instead of only right field.
"He's really focused", Boone said of Stanton.
"I've been in Oakland most of my career".
Life as a roving outfield and baserunning instructor in the New York Yankees' minor league system was good.
The Yankees are depending on it. His attitude, though, hasn't changed.
"With the team we've got, there's no pressure", Judge said, per Coley Harvey of ESPN, when asked about how he will follow up a sensational rookie campaign. "You've still got to prove yourself". We'll go around the diamond and look at how the four contenders stack up. "But we feel like we got some answers". Neil Walker will also see time at first, depending on matchups.
While the loss of Bird casts a bit of a pall over the opener, Boone said he's trying to think long term.