Friends, the last day of Spring Training has come and gone. It’s time for the Yanks to travel back to New York for Opening Day, where they’ll take on the Toronto Blue Jays this Thursday. Just because today was the last day of spring, however, does not mean that it was uneventful. Far from it, in fact.
More on that in a second. First, the Yanks played a game today and they lost it to Detroit 5-2. They finished the Grapefruit League season 14-12, if you’re one of the 5 people in the universe who cares about that. Next time they play, the game will count. I can’t wait for that. On to the final news and notes of the Grapefruit League season after the jump.
Good morning. We’re just a week out from opening day, and I don’t know about you, but I’m dealing with some major spring training fatigue at this point. The games are a bit of a slog now and my lone concern is player health. Wake me up in a week, please.
In case you missed it, Bobby penned his thoughts yesterday. His last section, about the players he’s most excited to watch this year, definitely helped me snap out of my March malaise a bit. Just need to have some patience over this last week. Anyway, let’s move forward and break down the latest and greatest in the Yankees’ world:
The Yankees were off from Grapefruit League play today, so there’s little to report in terms of on-field stuff. There are no more days off until the mini-break between the end of spring training and opening day, which is now about a week and a half away. The Yanks do return to the schedule tomorrow, albeit it not on TV. You can watch them again on Monday, but there is a radio broadcast of Sunday’s affair.
The big story: Fans in the stands
As anticipated, fans will be allowed to return to the seats in Yankee Stadium come opening day. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (along with representatives from the Yankees and Mets, including CC Sabathia) announced that 20 percent capacity will be permitted in April. That means Yankee Stadium could have more than 9,000 fans in the seats early in the season. This applies for the team’s homestands from April 1st to the 7th and 16th through the 21st. No word yet on capacity for games thereafter, but there’s optimism for an increase.
Each fan in attendance will need to provide one of the following:
Negative results on PCR or antigen (i.e. rapid) COVID-19 test, or
Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination
Face coverings are required, except while eating or drinking.
If you’re a Yankees season-ticket licensee and want to attend one of these games, you’re in luck. You get first priority on buying tickets, which will be sold in “pods” of one to eight tickets. Anything unsold will then go to the general public.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the stadium’s vendors will be cashless during these games. Apparently there will be “reverse ATM machines”, though.
This is exciting news, even if we’re not out of the woods with the pandemic yet. Outdoor activities with limited capacity and social distancing should be pretty safe, though as we’ve seen from some sporting events in recent weeks and months, enforcement of mask-wearing isn’t very good. Still, being outdoors, unlike NBA and NHL games, should be a little more advantageous.
It’ll be really nice to hear authentic crowd noise rather than getting it pumped in like last season. It’s been noticeable and pleasant in spring training games, so hopefully it’ll have a similar feel early in the regular season.
As always, keep masking up, get your vaccine when you can, and maintain social distancing so we can get closer to full capacity by season’s end.
Another day, another Grapefruit League win for the New York Yankees. That’s eight in a row now, and today’s was a pitching beauty: 9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K. Props to Jordan Montgomery, Jhoulys Chacin, and Lucas Luetge for this gem.
The Yankees played a Grapefruit League game today. They won that game. That’s the 7th game in a row now. Look, Spring Training is silly and all, but it’s nice when the Yankees win. Even in March. Let’s keep this energy up all season, guys.
Gerrit Cole took the hill. I’ll have more to say about that in a minute, but here is today’s Spring Training video courtesy of Bryan Hoch:
And, with that out of the way, let’s get to the news.