Bad news, Yankees fans! It’s unclear which of the two teams Judge will be playing for. The Yanks’ new-look 2023 schedule was released on Wednesday afternoon, and Rob Manfred absolutely, positively had a hand in the decision to send one of Judge’s top free agent suitors to the Boogie Down for the opener.
March 30 will be eventful in Yankee Land. The bunting will be laid out along the concourse. Every other MLB team will also be opening that day! For the first time in a long time, it’ll be a true event.
And for the first time since 2016, the San Francisco Giants will be gracing the Bronx with their presence to kick off MLB’s new realignment that forces each team to play the entire rest of the league over the course of their 162-game seasons.
No word yet on whether the No. 99 Giants jersey will be worn by Judge or sitting dormant beneath a locker, but one thing’s for sure: Gabe Kapler’s definitely stitching it himself for their free agency presentation.
Yankees 2023 Schedule: Notable Dates
Having MLB’s WAR leader in the Yankees’ Opening Day showcase feels like a must, but Hal Steinbrenner and Co. will have some work to do if they want to fulfill their outfielder’s dreams and make him a “Yankee for Life.”
MLB’s trying something new with their schedules for next season (other than possibly breaking hearts in the Bronx from Day 1), adding interleague matchups between every single team to the docket, as well as reducing division rivalry battles from 19 games per season to 12.
The Yankees’ slate with the Red Sox doesn’t begin until June, and occurs entirely between June 9 and Sept. 14. It’ll make every battle with the team a smidge more meaningful, but reduces the possibility of pain by 37%, knocking off seven potentially excruciating matchups. Ultimately, you’ve got to be in favor of that.
At least, if Judge departs, the Yankees won’t be traveling to San Francisco to watch his grand emergence from the locker room on his new home turf.
Sources say the welcome won’t be too kind in the Bronx, though, if he does decide to don the black and orange.
Paul O’Neill winked and nudged at Judge this past weekend that there’s “nothing like” the Bleacher Creatures in New York. If he returns on Opening Day wearing NL West garb, he’s not going to like the unmatched energy they’ll be bringing.