After making a spirited and somewhat surprising run to Game 7 of last year's ALCS, the Yankees were already inching their way back towards the "Evil Empire" moniker. With the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Bronx Bombers are a virtual lock to be one of the teams opponents will be gunning for in 2018.
"No doubt, last year we were kind of that [feel-]good story,'' Boone told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM on Wednesday. "I think non-Yankee fans, in some ways, got behind the team. I think this year, that target will exist a little bit more. Teams will be gunning for us little bit more and I think that's something that we as an organization and as a team should embrace."
Boone's comments echoed those of C.C. Sabathia, who welcomed the hate the Yankees will surely get this season.
"Last year we were the team that everybody loved, that feel-good story," Sabathia said two weeks ago. "But getting Giancarlo just brings us back to being that hated team. That's what we like. We want to go out there, put the best team on the field and crush everybody every game."
While the Yankees are already being talked about as World Series contenders, their new manager knows the competition will be fierce.
"Obviously, the Houston Astros are the world champions and it looks like they even bolstered their team even more," Boone said. "We know about the Indians and Red Sox. There are a lot of high-end teams we know are going to make it difficult."