For New York Yankees fans, what could be more perfect than a hot, humid summer night at Yankee Stadium and the beginning of a four-game series between the long-standing rivalry of the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox? Nothing, it’s a baseball fan’s dream. But that dream may have been thrown under the bus, no players on the field, no fans in the stands, and no hot dogs sold. Not because the tarp was on the field, Not because thunderstorms were forecast, It was because the horrid coronavirus has not left us.
Just like the Miami Marlins and the St. LouisÂ Cardinals last year lost games to the coronavirus, the Yankees have lost at least one game to the ugly virus. The Yankees had to postpone two games earlier in the season against the Phillies when 8 in the traveling squad had to go under the MLB mandated Covid protocols. Back then, it was staff, not players. This time that caused the postponement, it’s the players that have been affected.
Three players have tested positive, pitchers Nestor Cortes Jr., Jonathan Losisiga, and Wandy Peralta. Three others are waiting for further tests due to testing positive on a first quick test. Those include Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and catcher Kyle Higashioka. The pitchers were all vaccinated. Of those that have tested positive, all but one received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The New York Yankees were the first team in baseball to reach an 85% vaccination rate.
No vaccine ever developed has been 100% percent effective, and that is why we continue to see uncommon breakthrough cases, cases where individuals that have been vaccinated get the virus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the least effective of the three vaccines. It is 72% effective against getting the virus, moderate Covid-19, and 85% effective against severe Covid-19. According to a March report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 90% effective at preventing infections following full vaccination.
With the new Delta variant of the virus, people are still dying from this dread and preventable disease. As an example, Connecticut has one of the fewest new infection rates in the country. Nevertheless, it is one of 42 states that has had increasing rates in the last two weeks, primarily due to the Delta strain that is far more infectious. In the past two weeks, the infection rate has nearly doubled from 0.67 to a 1.29%. The new infection rate means they had 126 new cases yesterday. Over 90% of the new cases are among people who have not been vaccinated. The only way we can return to complete normal is if everyone is vaccinated. There are extremely few valid reasons not to get vaccinated.
Adding to the alarm for the New York Yankees and all of baseball is that slugger Aaron Judge traveled to the All-Star game last week, where he accompanied Yankee ace Gerrit Cole and closer Aroldis Chapman and came in contact with dozens of other players from across the country. This leads to the assumption that the All-Star game could potentially turn out to be a spreader event.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke to reporters Thursday night.
“We have three positives, and we have three pending that we’ve had rapid tests on,” Cashman said, saying the three positive rapid tests are being confirmed with additional lab work.” He further added that the two teams are scheduled to play Friday night at Yankee Stadium. However he added the caviate “we are in a very fluid situation right now.”
It has yet to be seen what impact this will have on the New York Yankees short term. But losing their best reliever Jonathan Loaisiga and one of the best new starters in Nestor Cortes Jr. certainly won’t be helpful as the Yankees try to dig themselves out of a hole in the AL East. If slugger Aaron Judge and third baseman Gio Urshela lose time it could be catastrophic.
It has yet to be determined if the entire series will be played or if a weekend doubleheader will be scheduled to make up for the postponed game. Stay with EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the latest Yankee developments.