Today is Jackie Robinson Day across MLB. It was moved to this date as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting its traditional celebration on April 15th. The timing couldn’t have aligned better with what we’ve seen in this week with (some) professional athletes and teams. Players are taking a stand after frustration with league’s whitewashed efforts for social justice. These players are represented in the short film above narrated by Mookie Betts, and I’m proud to mention that our blog’s co-founder Randy Wilkins directed it.
A few months ago, I wrote a twitter thread that challenged MLB in the wake of the country’s social uprising. The thread was really an outlet for me to vent my frustration. I didn’t look for attention. Now, I’m the proud director of this Jackie Robinson short film for @MLB. Wild. https://t.co/AFp1gTsiiQ— Randy (@pamsson) August 28, 2020
If you’re on Twitter, give Randy a shout out for this alongside everyone else he worked with to get this done.
Before I get to baseball to be played today, I want to share one more piece that I thought was terrific. It’s free to read over at Baseball Prospectus: Dear Jackie, by Shakeia Taylor.
Alright, as for the Yankees today. Per Aaron Boone, the team met for an hour earlier today and decided to play. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I hope we see some sort of action taken if they’re not going to sit out in solidarity with others. These are the lineups for the first game:
New York Mets (13-16)
- Jeff McNeil, 2B
- J.D. Davis, 3B
- Michael Conforto, RF
- Pete Alonso, 1B
- Robinson Canó, DH
- Wilson Ramos, C
- Dominic Smith, LF
- Jake Marisnick, CF
- Amed Rosario, SS
RHP Michael Wacha
New York Yankees (16-11)
- Luke Voit, DH
- Clint Frazier, RF
- Brett Gardner, LF
- Gary Sánchez, C
- Mike Ford, 1B
- Miguel Andújar, 3B
- Estevan Florial, CF
- Thairo Estrada, 2B
- Tyler Wade, SS
LHP Jordan Montgomery
News & Notes:
- You read that right: Estevan Florial is starting, batting seventh, and playing center field. It’s his major league debut. He’s the 29th man for the doubleheader today. Florial has never played above High-A (!!!), so this is a massive jump for the 22 year-old prospect. Injuries and a ridiculous amount of doubleheaders have really forced the Yankees hand.
- Can’t go a day without another injury: Gio Urshela has a bone spur in his elbow, but the team doesn’t think it’s a long-term thing. Where have we heard that before? (Erik Boland)
- There are other roster moves, by the way. Aaron Judge is back on the injured list with that same calf strain again. Sigh.
- The team released lefty reliever Luis Avilán, who was on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. It sounds like they want to bring him back, but the 40-man crunch left the team no choice because…
- …Jordy Mercer’s contract was selected from the Alternate Site. He’s added middle infield depth with DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres out.
- Speaking of LeMahieu, it seems like he’s getting closer to returning. He’s playing in a game at the Alternate Site today.
- As for Torres, he’s expected to miss 3-6 weeks. Yikes.
Today’s action gets underway at 4:05 p.m. EDT on YES, and MLB Network (out-of-market). WFAN and WADO have the radio calls. We’ll give game two’s lineup in the first game’s recap. Enjoy the games.