Fans and members of the New York Yankees can talk all about one thing these days. COVID-19, aka the coronavirus. There are some good things to happen to the Yankees, and some bad things to happen to the Yankees, as more information comes out about the disease itself, as well as the future of the 2020 regular season.
Let’s start with the Bad
Denny Larrondo was the first major league baseball player to test positive for the novel coronavirus. As I’ve pointed out, the virus spreads faster than any of the other past diseases we’ve had to deal with in the past 20 years, making it possible that one regular-season home game for the Yankees could result in 30,000 people getting infected. But, as our own Alexander Wilson reported, a second minor leaguer tested positive with the coronavirus.
Furthermore, the baseball season won’t begin until (hopefully) sometime in May. If the season were to begin in May, and the full 162 game season be played, realistically the offseason would consist of one month before Spring Training resumes in February 2021.
What makes things even worse for all of baseball amid the uncertainty of players receiving compensation during the coronavirus lockout, is that the current baseball CBA doesn’t expire until December 2021. We’re applauding basketball teams, and players like Zion Williamson, who are paying the hourly employees at these stadiums their wages during this social distancing period. But things are much more uncertain in baseball, with the Mets setting the bar early. If baseball screws the pooch on the Astros cheating scandal, AND properly compensating their players during this confusing time for everyone, we may see another strike in 2022.
But There is Still Some Good… Even if Minimal
The impact of Luis Severino’s absence in our starting rotation will be greatly reduced. I stand firm that MLB has no other choice but to shorten the season as they did in 1995. With a shortened season, that’s less time to scramble and find an adequate replacement for Severino, who won’t be back in action until sometime in 2021.
Which will also mean more reinforcements arrive sooner, rather than later. Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t expected to make Opening Day due to his calf strain. Now, he’ll be fully recovered and ready to hit the ground running. James Paxton may have an opportunity to play a couple of the make up Spring Training games baseball is expected to put on, as a tune-up for all of the players to be ready for the 2020 season once we have a better handle on the current coronavirus situation. Gary Sanchez suffered ANOTHER injury setback, on top of a coronavirus scare of his own. This extra time away will give him the opportunity to recuperate, recover, and give us the closest thing to a full season of Gary Sanchez.
Then there’s Aaron Judge. His worst-case scenario was always going to be his rib being surgically removed. Now, he’s got an extra month to do everything under his power to rest and repair that fractured rib (Mayor DeBlasio is talking following San Fransisco’s approach to containing the spread of coronavirus. If that means he doesn’t go to the gym to keep aggravating that rib, GOOD!).
And the best possible news is that while it’s unfortunate that Yankee minor leaguers are testing positive for the coronavirus, the 40 man roster seems spared of contracting the disease. I wish the speediest and most complete recovery to the minor league Yankees who have contracted the disease, but with all the injury problems the 40 man has sustained on the Yankees since 2019, the 40 man roster needed this win.
All of us at EmpireSportsMedia.com will continue to give you updates as coronavirus effects our daily lives, and our sports teams. Stay safe, and stay healthy everyone.