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Aaron Boone ponders retirement

Aaron Boone's game-winning home run

Aaron Boone's game-winning home run (Credit: Newsday / David L. Pokress)

Aaron Boone was nice enough to call this morning to chat about the ALCS.

OK, actually he called because an MLB Network p.r. person asked him to, to promote his appearances through Wednesday on "MLB Tonight: League Championship Series."

But how do you turn down a chance to talk to Aaron Boone when the Yankees are in the middle of an ALCS?

Here are some questions and answers from our conversation:

After coming back from open heart surgery in March to play for the Astros in September, do you plan to play in 2010?

"I don't know. I'm only in the middle of October. I'm just kind of waiting to see. I'll probably make that decision in the next month when I start working out and see how I feel and what's potentially out there." [Boone, 36, went hitless in 13 at-bats in '09.]

How do you feel?

"From a heart standpoint, I'm great, all the way back, I would say, and then some. I feel really good. I plan on having a normal offseason physically."

Are you interested in a TV career after you retire from playing?

"It's something I'm interested in. It's a great opportunity to come here and do this. I got to call some games in the Dodgers-St. Louis series, and being able to do this at the MLB Network has been really neat . . . It's something I'm looking forward to doing this week. Long term, who knows? There are a lot of things I'm interested  in, and this is one of them."

Are you surprised the Yankees have not won an ALCS since 2003 (when Boone's home run won Game 7 over the Red Sox)?

"Obviously in the mid-to-late ‘90s and early 2000s . . . those who cheer for the Yankees got spoiled with the fact, 'Oh, we’ll be in the World Series every year.' Like that's just the way it is. But it's a lot tougher than that, as we’ve found out the last six years."

Are you still greeted warmly because of '03 when you are in New York, even though you were only here a short time as a player?

"Yeah, that's been one of the neat things every time I come back here . . . The reaction I get from people all the time is overwhelmingly positive and something I certainly appreciate and enjoy.

"It's something I used to distance myself from, but as time goes on I think I've learned to embrace it and appreciate the fact I get to have a small little part of a storied rivalry."

Photo: Newsday/David L. Pokress

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