NEW YORK—Responding to criticism about the team’s slow start to the 2022 season, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone attributed the team’s offensive slump Thursday to terrified hitters closing their eyes during swings. “What reporters and fans have to understand is that the ball comes at our guys very fast, and they’re all really scared,” said Boone, adding that hitting coaches were working with struggling Yankees sluggers Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Judge to not be so afraid of the ball. “We know we’ve got some work to do at the plate, but honestly, it’s a miracle we can even get those guys to stay in the batter’s box while the other team’s pitcher is winding up. The other day, we had to practically drag Gleyber [Torres] out there; he’d been hiding under the catcher’s gear and kept saying we couldn’t make him go out there. I understand this is not the offensive output we’d like to see from this team, but eventually they’re going to adjust to how fast the balls go and open their eyes when they swing, and when they do, we know good things will happen.” Yankees officials are reportedly petitioning MLB to allow Boone to enter the field during their most fearful players’ at-bats to hold the bat with them while they swing.