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’03 Yankees playoff hero Boone faces heart surgery



Aaron Boone’s first priority is the long-term health of his heart. Later on, he’ll decide whether to resume his baseball career.

The Houston Astros infielder announced Wednesday that he’ll have open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. He said he’s known about his heart condition since college but tests after his routine physical determined he required surgery. It’s not an emergency, but doctors indicated the procedure was needed.

A playoff hero with the New York Yankees in 2003 with a seventh game home run, the 36-year-old Boone said doctors told him he could play baseball when he recovers, but he’s not sure whether he will.

“We’ll see where I am a month from now, two months from now, three months from now,” he said.

An emotional Boone delivered the news in Kissimmee, Fla., flanked by general manager Ed Wade and manager Cecil Cooper in front of a somber room filled with teammates and Astros officials.

In other news:

• Kevin Youkilis will miss the rest of the World Baseball Classic because of a sprained ankle, the latest in a wave of injuries that has plagued the United States squad. His absence left the Americans without many options at first base as they prepare for the semifinals in Los Angeles this weekend.

• Tom Gorzelanny, one of Pittsburgh’s top two starters at the beginning of last season, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis in a surprising move.

• The Nationals added reliever Joe Beimel and released oft-injured starter Shawn Hill, who beat the team in salary arbitration. Beimel, a left-hander who turns 32 next month, got a $2 million, one-year contract and will become the primary setup man for closer Joel Hanrahan.

• Hideki Matsui, recovering from left knee surgery, won’t play the outfield for the Yankees until at least interleague road games in June. He’ll be restricted to designated hitter and pinch-hitting appearances until then.

• Boston released Josh Bard, just 2 1/2 months after signing the backup catcher.

• Left-handed reliever Jimmy Gobble was placed on release waivers by Kansas City.

• All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez was scratched from Florida’s lineup for a second straight game because of discomfort in his right shoulder.

• Randy Johnson is scheduled to start for San Francisco against Seattle on Monday after skipping a turn because of soreness in his biceps.

• Cleveland reliever Adam Miller is facing career-threatening finger surgery if he’s unable to find a new way to pitch effectively.

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This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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