Aaron Boone jokes that he was the reason Shohei Ohtani turned down Yankees

Aaron Boone cracked some jokes with the media at his first press conference as Yankees manager. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

When trying to make a good first impression, some say it’s wise to diffuse the situation with a joke. Recently hired New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone attempted just that at his introductory press conference Wednesday.

Boone told reporters he thinks he might have been the reason Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani declined to join the Yankees.

Hey, the timeline fits. Boone was announced as the team’s manager Dec. 2. The next day, Ohtani ruled out the Yankees as a final destination.

The big question here is whether we should laugh with Boone because the premise seems unlikely, or whether there’s a nugget of truth in his “joke.”

We have no idea what Ohtani values from teams. As Brian Cashman said, he got a sense Ohtani preferred a smaller market on the West Coast. He may have already ruled out the Yankees no matter who they hired as a manager.

But that may have mattered too. By all accounts, Ohtani and his representatives are considering all factors. They not only need a manager who Ohtani can trust, but also someone who will be committed to using him different ways.

If the manager position took the Yankees out of the running, it’s more likely because they didn’t have a skipper when they filled out Ohtani’s questionnaire. That added more uncertainty to the team, and Ohtani seems to want clarity.

Boone is just fine with that. He told reporters that while he sees the value in wanting to play in New York, he respects Ohtani’s decision to choose his own path.

(BLS H/N: CBS Sports)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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