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Yanks’ Boone getting pacemaker

he Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is taking a leave of absence from the team to get a pacemaker and intends to return to work in a few days.

New York said the procedure was likely to be performed later Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Boone said in a statement the medical team is “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.”

The 47-year-old is entering his fourth season as Yankees manager. The team started the exhibition season Sunday and was scheduled to play its fourth game on Wednesday against Toronto in Tampa.

“As many of you know, I underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, and I wanted everyone to understand where I’m at regarding the procedure that’s taking place today,” Boone said. “Over the last six to eight weeks I’ve had mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath. As a result, I underwent a series of tests and examinations in New York prior to the beginning of spring training, including multiple visits with a team of heart specialists. While the heart checkup came back normal, there were indications of a low heart rate which, after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.”

Boone played in the major leagues from 1997-2009 and was an All-Star for the Yankees in 2003.

Lester leaves for surgery

Washington Nationals left-hander Jon Lester is leaving spring training camp to have surgery for the removal of his thyroid gland, manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Lester was to travel from West Palm Beach, Florida, to New York on Wednesday; the Nationals said the operation is planned for Friday.

“Hopefully he can pitch again in about a week,” Martinez said in a video conference with reporters before Washington’s exhibition game against the Miami Marlins.

Martinez said the Nationals “still have plans, as of right now, that he will start the season with us on his scheduled day, but we’ll have to see — after this procedure’s done — how he’s feeling.”

In 2006, Lester’s rookie season with the Boston Red Sox ended early because he was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma.

He underwent chemotherapy treatments and returned to the Red Sox at spring training before the following season.

One-time O’s manager dies

BALTIMORE — Joe Altobelli, the manager who led the Baltimore Orioles to their most recent World Series title in 1983, has died at the age of 88.

Altobelli was hired by the Orioles before the 1983 season — replacing future Hall of Famer Earl Weaver — and immediately found success. The team’s roster included future Hall of Famers like first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and pitcher Jim Palmer.

The club won the AL East by six games over the Detroit Tigers and then dominated in the playoffs, beating the Chicago White Sox 3 games to 1 before rolling to the World Series title over the Philadelphia Phillies .

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