Yankees are experiencing awkward situation with Tampa prior to start of series

New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays have an awkward situation brewing: 

It was inevitable the New York Yankees would end up facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS of the postseason. With both teams sweeping their opponents in the Wild Card, they will now continue their beef into exhibition play.

In what might be one of the more exciting series of the entire 2020 season, the recent history between the Yankees and Rays is tumultuous. Both teams have chirped at one another and taken potentially severe actions during live-action.

The most problematic action was by closer Aroldis Chapman, who threw an errant ball at the head of Michael Brosseau. A 100 mph fastball can threaten a man’s life, and that is exactly how Tampa took the stray ball.

One awkward situation is brewing between the two teams, who are currently staying at the same hotel prior to the start of the series. Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner spoke to the media via Zoom on his experience, so far.

“Nobody that I try to avoid on purpose,” Gardner said. “Nobody that I’m too scared of. Obviously, Kevin Cash is an old teammate of mine and some other guys over there I know kind of well. As I said, there was a lot of drama between the two teams over the course of the season. A lot has been made of that but our focus, I can’t speak for them, but our focus is on trying to beat these guys.”

Gardner understands that being mentally focused is the most important part leading up to Monday’s opening game. Distractions can often be the cause for failure, and the Yankees are doing everything they can to remain positive.

“I know they got in late (Friday night),” Britton said, “we were there pretty much for a whole day by ourselves. I expect both teams to be professional at the hotel. There’s families there. I wouldn’t expect that to carry over away from the field. It’s all about the competition on the field. Obviously we’re two passionate teams, so I don’t expect there to be any issues in the hotel. And if we see each other I’m sure it’ll be a friendly nod and just go about our business.”

Considering how hostile the games were, I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened at the hotel. Nonetheless, hostility will likely be saved for game day, in which the Yankees and Rays have plenty of time to go back-and-forth at one another. This should be one for the ages, my friends.