The coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins had a domino impact all through Major League Baseball, with MLB delaying the New York Yankees’ Wednesday home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Yankees will presently play in Baltimore against the Orioles on Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Yankee Stadium to play their first home game of the season against the Boston Red Sox.
The cancellation of Miami’s schedule through Sunday allowed the Yankees to decide on whether to continue their season with games in Baltimore, and the group collectively chose to do as such. The Orioles had an opening in their schedule since they should have the Marlins in a two-game series beginning Wednesday.
“Coming into it, we understood that there was going to be positive tests and there could be a team that had multiple positive tests, a significant amount like the Marlins, so I think everyone understood that this was a possibility. And the biggest thing is for us to continue,” team union representative Zack Britton said Tuesday on a videoconference call from the team hotel in Philadelphia before boarding the bus to Baltimore.
“We had a discussion, first off, about what was happening here,” he added. “We were given some options on what we could possibly do. Guys felt like, obviously, we want to play. Our team has done a pretty good job, I think, overall, following the protocols, and our medical staff has done a great job of sanitizing the visiting clubhouse. And we felt like we didn’t want to take three to four days off if there’s an opportunity for us to go to Baltimore and play.”
Freely, the Yankees have been steadfast in communicating their belief that the 113-page 2020 operations manual and the protocols that have been set up are sufficient to keep them safe and on the field.
“I definitely feel great about our group. I’m sure there’s other teams that are able to handle different things, but one of the conversations we had going into this is that we always try to be prepared for adversity. We know adversity is coming our way,” manager Aaron Boone said. “And 2020 is unlike anything we’ve all experienced. We know going into this we’re going to have to prepare for some uncomfortable situations, some difficult times, some difficult days, from a baseball standpoint, from a virus standpoint, from travels, from inconveniences, and I do feel like we are uniquely equipped to handle that.”
General manager Brian Cashman, who talked on the phone with Britton, said the whole group had a bound together message, like the players’ abstain during the at times bitter come back to-play negotiations: “Tell us where, and we’ll be there.”
“We’re in a world where no one has dealt with anything like this before, so I think we all need to be pliable and be able to pivot and at least be open to adjust, and I’m really proud of our organization thus far,” Cashman said. “When I get on the phone with our manager and ask, 45 minutes before our bus is due to depart for New York, ‘What do you think if we instead pivoted and went to Baltimore so we could play some games down there?’ Everybody seems to be all-in.”
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who recorded a 4-1 win on Opening Day in the wake of contributing five innings a rain-abbreviated game, was booked to begin Tuesday against the Phillies yet will currently be the starter for the first game at Camden Yards. J.A. Happ will contribute Game 2 against the O’s.
Boone didn’t declare a starter for the Yankees’ rescheduled home opener against the Red Sox on Friday yet revealed that Masahiro Tanaka and Jordan Montgomery will begin two of the three games of the series.
The third-year manager was additionally gotten some information about Dave Martinez’s comments, wherein the Nationals’ manager got passionate while saying that he is “scared” for himself and his players after the news that 14 Marlins players and staff tested positive for COVID-19, and said he doesn’t share the sentiment. Martinez had a health scare a year ago in view of heart issues.
“I certainly get that Dave went through a lot from a health standpoint a year ago and obviously having the Juan Soto situation come up on Opening Day [when Soto tested positive for COVID-19],” Boone said. “I understand that a lot of people are going to feel a lot of different ways about this, and it hits home with people in different ways, and I certainly respect that, but I have not shared those same feelings as of yet.”
Boone, similar to his players, is focused on playing games and winning however many of them as would be prudent, significantly under the current conditions.
“Anytime I hear about these [positives], your heart goes out to whoever is infected. First and foremost, there’s the possibility that somebody becomes very sick. So first and foremost, you hope people remain mostly asymptomatic, which we’ve seen a lot of,” he said. “And then you hope that guys are able to turn it around and get back on the field because it is such a short season, and by and large, guys want to go out and perform and have a season. … As of right now, we get to continue our season, and we’re excited about that opportunity.”