The New York Yankees won their Monday night game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, backed by a strong outing by their ace Gerrit Cole and two home runs from backup catcher Kyle Higashioka.
However, they didnâ€™t have center fielder Aaron Hicks in the lineup, as the Yankeesâ€™ star was shocked and with a heavy heart after he learned about the fatal police shooting of a young black man in Minneapolis, named Daunte Wright.
The Yankeesâ€™ regular designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton also considered sitting the game out. Both men were among the most vocal clubhouse leaders in last yearâ€™s Black Lives Matter movement.
The Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox suspended their game last night out of respect for Wrightâ€™s family.
The Yankees supported Hicksâ€™ decision
According to Yankeesâ€™ beat writer for MLB.com Bryan Hoch, Hicks approached him approximately two hours before the game to talk about the situation.
â€œHeâ€™s having a tough time right now,â€ Boone said. â€œWe had a conversation in my office, and he just felt like it was best to not be in the starting lineup tonight. I certainly support that, and weâ€™ll try to rally around him the best we can. The situation is heartbreaking right now in Minneapolis, and itâ€™s hit him particularly hard.â€
Hicks has roots in Minnesota, as he was drafted by the Twins in 2008 and played there until 2015. The Yankees acquired him in a trade.
â€œAaron is hurting in a huge way,â€ Boone said. â€œI think in a way he felt like it was probably the responsible thing to take himself out, knowing that it was going to be hard for him to be all-in mentally in whatâ€™s a high-stakes, difficult job to go out there and perform for the New York Yankees.â€
â€œI canâ€™t walk in Aaronâ€™s shoes, but as a teammate, my job is to support him and make sure heâ€™s doing all right,â€ starting pitcher Gerrit Cole said. â€œSo if thatâ€™s an arm around him or a pat on the butt, whatever he needs to go through emotionally, weâ€™ll be here for him.â€