New York Yankees: Still more unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 virus

William Parlee
New York Yankees
May 19, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of Kauffman Stadium during a game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

The longer the delay in the start of the baseball season, the New York Yankees and all of the sports find even more unexpected consequences of the shutdown of the sports world.  We all know by this time that spring training was canceled, and the baseball season delayed.  It was originally delayed two weeks, but that now has passed an additional two weeks with no concrete date for the baseball season to start.

The closure has affected the players, scouts, club owners, revenues for past stars, international scouts that can’t travel home and are stuck in hotels around the country, free agents in limbo, and the list goes on and on.  Today we are going to talk about exhibition games that are canceled around the world and other unexpected consequences of a closed down baseball season.

International games canceled or in limbo

From the time that Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled spring training and delayed the beginning of the regular season one by one games that were to be played at international sites have been canceled.  One of the games the most looked forward to is the London MLB Series.  Last year it pitted the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in the series, which was a fantastic success drawing thousands of fans.  The Series was swept by the Yankees.  The purpose of the games it to promote baseball in the United Kingdom.

This year’s exhibition series was to be between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  The games to begin on June 13th have been canceled.  The MLB Mexico City series was supposed to start on April 18, but it too was canceled.  Originally the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks were to played in the brand new Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium in Mexico City.  The World Baseball Classics qualifiers for the 2021 Classic in Puerto Rico were supposed to take place beginning on March 13, but they too were indefinitely delayed.

Long-awaited Field of Dreams game in limbo?

A stadium is being constructed in the cornfields of Iowa.  When complete, it was to replicate the movie of the same name, the Field of Dreams.  The 1989 movie featured an Iowa farmer that heard voices coming from his cornfield telling him to build a baseball diamond in his fields.  He did and the 1909 Chicago White Sox came.

This year’s game was to be played between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.  Thus far, there’s been no change in the status of the Iowa game that was to be played on August 13.  Whether the game will be canceled remains up to MLB.  The fact that construction is still ongoing is a sign of hope the game can be pulled off.

After the game was played the stadium holding 8,000 fans is being built right next to the field in the movie.  The stands are slated to be demolished after the game is played and will become a baseball diamond for Little League and other ball games.

We wish we could watch the grass grow!

By now, baseball fans, including New York Yankees fans, are sorely missing baseball games that have been delayed.  The only hope fans have at this point is that there will actually be a baseball season.  If there is a season, it will most likely not start until June at the earliest, and when it does start, there probably will not be fans in the stands, at least at the beginning.  We don’t know if that Arizona Plan will be implemented or if games will be played in home parks.  There should be some indication by MLB in the coming weeks.

One thing that does not change whether baseball is played or not is that the grass keeps going around the country.  This, of course, excludes Rogers Center in Toronto and Tropicana Field in Tampa, as both have artificial turf.  The New Globe Life Field home of the Rangers will experiment with a new synthetic material that isn’t grass, and the home of the Diamondbacks have switched from grass in their retractable roof stadium to turf for the 2020 season.

In empty stadiums all over the country, groundkeepers will have to mow grass and tend to the fields even though the stands are empty.  LongtimeYankee Stadium Head Groundskeeper Danny Cunningham and his crew are still tending to the beauty of Yankee Stadium, whether games will be played there or not.  Other maintenance staff is tending to all the repairs necessary to keep the Stadium in top-notch shape. The only thing he won’t be doing is rolling out and pulling in the rain tarp as the grass will be enjoying all the rainfall.