New York Yankees News/Rumors: Does MLB have a clue? Read, Smile, and Weep

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Aaron Boone
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) answers questions from media during a press conference before game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Will there be a baseball season?

For the New York Yankees and fans everywhere, emotions have been on a roller-coaster as we have seen spring training cut short, and the season delayed by two weeks.  Then it appeared that the season would start later than that.  As the coronavirus spread and more people died, it suddenly appeared that there might be no baseball season at all. Now with cases reaching their apex and many areas, it seems more likely that there will be games played in some form at some point.  What the season will look like is still an open question.

The Arizona Plan

Over the last weekend, MLB formulated a plan to have baseball start as early as next month.  It is dubbed the Arizona Plan, a plan to have all of baseball for 30 MLB clubs, including the New York Yankees held in a bubble. Games to be played at Chase Field domed home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and another ten minor league parks along with some college fields, all within 50 miles of downtown Pheonix, Arizona.  There are multiple obstacles to this idea, including Yankee players playing in searing 120-degree temperatures, playing two or three games in the same park each day to get as many games in as possible.

Baseball from coast to coast?  Not quite!

No sooner than the Arizona Plan was introduced, the MLB floated the idea of a Grapefruit League, and Cactus League played in both Arizona and Florida minor league parks.  Add to that; they have also proposed the possibility of realigning the divisions, which would be more or less geographic.  This would have teams from both the American League and National league playing regularly against each other instead of the traditional divisions. To this writer, this is totally messed up.  It will not be a season with a giant asterisk after it, but something that baseball has never seen before, and would have no relationship to any other previous season.

Baseball:  The new experiment, will baseball ever be the same?  The evolution of the game

Necessity is often the catalyst for creative ideas.  Baseball and the New York Yankees want to get a baseball season in and may be open to all types of changes to make that happen.  Changes like seven-inning doubleheaders, no more mound visits by the catcher, and electronic strike zone, players in the stands and not the dugout, and the changes go on and on.  Some of these changes are out of social distancing and necessity and may be temporary, but some just may stick and become part of the game going forward. The most likely to hold is how the players interact with the media and the electronic strike zone.

Play Baseball and they will come… probably not!

  1. With the coronavirus, all baseball fans, including the fans of the New York Yankees, are starved for some baseball and now realize that many familiar things about baseball won’t look the same and are willing to put up with the changes just so that we can watch some baseball.  One of the first ideas to have some ball games was to play them without fans in the stands.  That may now be a moot point.  Seton Hall University released a poll that indicated 72% of respondents wouldn’t feel comfortable attending large sporting events before a vaccine for the coronavirus was widely available.  So with that vaccine at least a year away, it seems if finally, fans can attend games, they may not come anyway and may remain mostly vacant.

MLB has decisions to make, and they need to do it fast

With each passing day, the major league baseball season becomes shorter and the likelihood of baseball reaching into November becomes more realistic.  With all the different plans proposed by MLB, these plans need to start to come together, so that the most games can be played.  Of course, the progress of the coronavirus will control what the Yankee baseball season ultimately looks like.  It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that if the downward curve is steep enough that games could actually be played in home parks around the country.  The one thing that is certain is that this season will look like no other.