This just in from ESPN: Aaron Boone will be their new baseball analyst. Boone broke the hearts of Red Sox fans in 2003 when, as a New York Yankee, he hit hit a home run in the 11th inning of the seventh game of the ALCS, ending the game, the series and the chance for Boston to play in that year's World Series. I'm not sure that Red Sox fans are going to want to watch or listen to this guy, but who am I to second guess ESPN? They seem to know what they're doing. Anyway, here's what they sent over:
Aaron Boone today formally announced his retirement from Major League Baseball after a 12-year career and his new role as an ESPN baseball analyst.
Boone will mainly be seen on Baseball Tonight (debuting in March), in addition to select appearances as a game analyst. He worked for ESPN Radio as a guest analyst during the 2009 National League Division Series.
“It is with a sense of pride, sadness, and enthusiasm that I formally announce my retirement after 16 years of professional baseball,” Boone said. “It has been a privilege and honor to have played in the Major Leagues for 12 seasons for six different clubs.
“While it's tough to leave the game as a player, I am eager to start my next career with my new team at ESPN. I am very grateful that I'll be able to stay in the game as an ESPN analyst and work with people who share the same passion for baseball that I do. I really appreciate ESPN giving me the opportunity to evolve in the sport that I love.
“Finally, I'd like to express my thanks to everyone that treated me so well throughout my Major League career.”
Jay Levy, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said, “As a player, Aaron was a tremendous competitor known for one of baseball's most dramatic postseason walk-off home runs. He offers an important perspective, being recently removed from the game and having deep baseball roots, which will make him a great addition to our team.”
Boone played 12 Major League seasons (Cincinnati Reds, 1997-2003; New York Yankees, 2003; Cleveland Indians, 2005-’06; Florida Marlins, 2007; Washington Nationals, 2008; and the Houston Astros, 2009). Boone had his best season in 2003, when he was an All-Star splitting time between the Reds and Yankees and amassing a combined 24 home runs, 96 RBI and a .267 batting average. That year, he famously hit a game- and series-clinching home run in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, giving the Yankees a 6-5 victory over their rival, Boston Red Sox.
Boone, as a member of the Houston Astros in 2009, is believed to be the first player to return to the Major Leagues after open-heart surgery. He underwent the procedure in March ’09, and returned to the field in September, only six months later when he made his Astros debut against the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in 10 games over the remainder of the season.
The Boone family has produced three generations of Major League talent – former All-Star third baseman Ray Boone (Aaron’s grandfather), former All-Star catcher and manager Bob Boone (Aaron’s father) and retired All-Star second baseman Bret Boone (Aaron’s brother).