The New York Yankees still plan to embark on their first Old-Timers’ Day since the pre-pandemic days of 2019, which will take place on July 30 at the stadium. But based on Friday’s information, does it even qualify as the same event?
The Yankees released their list of attendees on Friday morning, which represented the franchise’s glory days, but included fewer names than what fans are typically used to. 2019’s edition featured 44 former Bombers or Bombers Adjacent, while 2022’s return features 28 honorees, some of whom … were required to be there anyway, regardless of what day it was.
Will fans give David Cone a standing ovation? Sure! But is it a welcome surprise to see Aaron Boone don the pinstripes again? Not particularly! No mystery about what that might look like!
Which brings us to the central issue here. In the olden days (of 2019), it would still be quite enjoyable to watch Cone, Boone, John Flaherty and Co. take the field with their old cohorts and play a few sloppy, strange and mic’d-up innings.
This year? The Yankees announced the returning guests won’t even be playing! They’ll just be … waving.
Yankees’ first Old-Timers’ Day since 2019 will look different for … some reason
It’s the kind of alteration that makes you wonder what the goal is here. Were the Yankees unable to field a large enough fleet of returnees for some unspoken reason, and axed the game because of it? Did they deem the game less important than the smiling and waving? Is it just too f***ing hot for a short baseball game between the middle aged and the elderly? If that’s the calculus, it makes sense, honestly. But it certainly is a departure from the traditional event.
Across town, for the first time in a long time, Steve Cohen’s Mets are bringing back their Old-Timers’ Day festivities, and based on current information, it seems as if there’ll be a game at Citi Field and Dwight Gooden will pitch. Did the Yankees want to give the Mets the spotlight this year? Or are they just letting the Mets figure out the hard way that the game has lost its shine?
Either way, the Yankees’ event certainly feels like a chintzy reason to pay extra for a ticket. Come early, eat more, and watch Bernie Williams wander around from thousands of feet away?
The clientele is packed with Hall of Famers, All-Stars and Shane Spencer this year, but there won’t be much of a crescendo after the initial burst of applause.
Maybe next year.