Governor Cuomo has placed the Yankees Spring Training 2 at Yankee Stadium.
Everything MLB related has gotten quite tenuous in recent days, with continuing disagreements vis a vis what an “agreement” is, and the imposition of the season still in Rob Manfred’s hands. Of course, the labor negotiations have been far from the only recent sticking point, with COVID-19 spikes limiting the viability of Yankees baseball in Florida and Arizona, and an outbreak taking over Phillies camp (and spreading to Toronto, Houston, and San Francisco’s spring homes).
But recent rumors claim that, despite mounting natural opposition, Manfred and the owners prefer to implement and schedule and then monitor the spread of the virus, rather than act preemptively.
And in the latest safety maneuver, which just became official, all MLB teams who had previously planned to train in Florida and Arizona will relocate to alternate locations.
The Yankees and Mets, as made official by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, will return to New York to train, with the NYY occupying Yankee Stadium.
Who’da thunk, when New York was COVID-19’s epicenter in April and May, and all MLB talk surrounded a possible bubble plan at Spring Training sites, that NYC would soon be viewed as the team’s lone possible safe haven?
Though this was an absolute necessity, health-wise (even the NBA should rethink its Florida plan), some questions remain. New York’s Florida facility includes eight back fields and plenty of additional space for workouts. Where will the overflow players go at this second Spring Training? The Yankees will have to make significant use of their indoor cages, and potentially even stagger arrivals and departures, to make room for 60 players’ workouts.
Luckily, though, the comfort factor is also at play here. The team’s high-priced players, many of whom have likely been in New York for a long time, may remain at home. If the season’s resumption in home parks continues unabated, this will be a seamless transition.
All in all, despite the warts, this had to be done if the 2020 season has any hopes of attaining normalcy.