Life is absolutely upside down right now. I’ve been on the edge of my seat, rapidly refreshing Twitter, to find out the latest about the pandemic that is COVID-19. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, though I definitely don’t recommend it for one’s mental health. Take some time to step away, unplug, and distract yourself if you can.
Of course, it’s gotten a whole lot harder to decompress now that baseball is on hiatus. There are no games to watch, no injury updates, no Opening Day roster discussions, etc. The only baseball related news right now relates to COVID-19, as one would expect. With that, let’s take a look at some of the latest Yankees-related news pertaining to the outbreak.
Impact on Restaurants and shops around Yankee Stadium
How many of you have had pre- or post-game meals and drinks at Yankee Tavern, Billy’s, or Stan’s? Ever bought a shirt or hat from one of the shops or street vendors outside the Stadium? Like many of you, I have as well. And well, there’s no easy way to put this: these small businesses and its employees are in a lot of trouble with the season delayed.
The Daily News’ Bradford William Davis illustrated the sort of concerns the folks running these businesses understandably have right now. Bradford spoke to a couple of shop and restaurant owners who explained the predicament they’re in and how any significant delay could cause those businesses to shutter.
This is just anther example of how the COVID-19 is wreaking havoc. Small businesses around the country, not just Yankee Stadium, are going to suffer. Hopefully, the Yankees can do something in good faith to help these people in the neighborhood, from owners to employees, stay afloat. As Bradford wrote: “[The Yankees] will lose money, but with a $4.6 billion valuation, they’re all but certain to weather the storm. Other shops will follow the Yankees [by closing its doors], but it might not be temporary and it won’t be by choice”.
Yankees minor leaguer has COVID-19
General Manager Brian Cashman announced that a player in the Yankees’ system has tested positive for COVID-19. The player’s name has not been disclosed.
The good news is that the minor leaguer is already feeling better after he reported fever and fatigue on Friday. He’s still in isolation though, as per protocol. Further, Cashman stated that the is “younger” and thus was not in contact with anyone in big league camp.
As a result of the positive test, all Yankees’ minor leaguers will be in quarantine until March 25th along with some coaches and personnel. The team is providing this group meals as well. Finally, to no surprise, the team’s Minor League facilities have undergone a deep clean.
It was only a matter of time until someone in some MLB organization contracted the virus, unfortunately. This illnesses is spreading rapidly as it is, and tight knit locker rooms, clubhouses, and other baseball facilities are a breeding ground for these sorts of things.
About that two week delay…
Last night, the CDC recommended no large events or mass gatherings consisting of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. That recommendation puts us out until May 10th, well beyond the two week delay MLB initially noted last week. Granted, it was qualified with “at least”, but this latest recommendation paints a clearer picture. It’s going to be a long time until we see baseball.
Keep in mind that everyone is going to need another version of spring training to get ready once again, though perhaps it can be a brief miniature version. If, and this is a big if, things can get going again after that May 10th date, maybe the league can get its regular season going again come June. In any event, it’s pretty darn clear that the season will be delayed by more than two weeks.
Yankees’ players voted to stay in Tampa amid delay, but looks to be shortlived
The players decision is well intended as winning World Series is still on the forefront of the Yankees’ minds. Yet, as hopeful as they may have been, any sort of group workouts will be halted in short order:
MLB expected to send out guidelines advising teams to end organized group workouts at spring and home parks, sources tell me and @EvanDrellich. Camps would remain open for individual needs, but with limited staff. Idea is stricter compliance with social-distancing practices.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 15, 2020
More to come here, but I suspect that we’ll see the team depart to their homes (provided it’s safe to do so). Winning the World Series is great and all, but right now, the place to be with one’s family or loved ones. Now, I’m sure a lot of players keep homes locally in Tampa and may continue to work out individually, but that can’t be expected of everyone.