New York has gone from an early COVID-19 hot spot to a potential landing spot for Major League Baseball teams in search of a relatively safe place to play.
At least that was the pitch that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made on Tuesday when he invited teams to play games in New York if need be.
“New York state could host any Major League Baseball game for any teams that want to play and they could play those games in our stadiums,” Cuomo said.
“New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. New York state has a full department of health protocol systems in place. We have a testing system in place."
Any team that takes up Cuomo on the offer would have to quarantine its players in hotels and test them there. Players and staff only would be allowed in public to travel to the stadiums to play.
Cuomo’s invitation came in the wake of an outbreak among the Miami Marlins in which a total of 17 players and other team personnel reportedly tested positive.
The Yankees were scheduled to play Monday and Tuesday against the Phillies in Philadelphia, where the Marlins played over the weekend, and were to play the Phillies in the Bronx on Wednesday and Thursday.
All four of those games were postponed. Instead, the Yankees will play the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I offer to MLB, if you’re having problems playing in other states, come play here,” Cuomo said. “We will set up a health protocol, they could fly their team in on a private aircraft. They could go from the airport to a hotel where they would be quarantined.
“We would test everyone. We would get the test result back and then they could play ball in our stadium. Then they could get on a plane and fly home. We have the ability to do it. We have the testing ability to do it.”
After Cuomo made his invitation, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone weighed in by offering up Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, home of the Long Island Ducks.
"Suffolk County extends an offer as well," Bellone wrote on Twitter. "We are ready to host @MLB teams at #BethpageBallpark — home of the @LIDucks. This would be a home run for everyone!"