Yankees ready to bundle up for frigid home opener
TORONTO — The Yankees are encouraging fans to “arrive as early as possible” for Monday’s home opener against the Rays in order to avoid long lines to pass through security.
Those fans would be wise to layer up and wear boots as well.
Snow is in the overnight forecast, and though it is expected to cease by the 1 p.m. start, an estimated one to three inches very well could be on the ground by the time gates open at 10 a.m.
The first-pitch temperature is expected to be 39 degrees.
“I saw a snowflake on my [weather app],” Aaron Judge said with a smile. “Never played in snow before. I’ve played in the cold. Just have to bundle up.”
Giancarlo Stanton, who is expected to start in leftfield for a second straight game, likely hasn’t experienced a home opener like the one he’ll have Monday when he dons pinstripes for the first time in a regular-season game. Not after having spent the last eight seasons in Miami. And he won’t be the only player who will have to adjust to the frosty conditions.
The Yankee who will most have to adjust, of course, is starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery.
“I’ve thrown in the cold before,” he said Sunday. “I guess that’s why they put us up in [Double-A] Trenton and [Triple-A] Scranton at the beginning of the year. Just get ready for it.”
Though Montgomery grew up in South Carolina, he said he’s pitched in weather worse than what’s in the forecast for Monday.
“I’ve thrown in hail before,” he said. “I’d rather have snow than hail.”
He described that game as being “freezing.” How were his results?
“I think I did all right,” he said. “Had about everything I could on my hands so I could throw the ball, but I think I did all right.”
The Yankees were more than all right at home last season, going an American League-best 51-30.
“It’s going to be chilly, but I’m looking forward to it,” Judge said. “It’ll be good and see our fans and feel the excitement they have for this team, and just playing at home. We play well at home, so just looking forward to that.”
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1978 World Series championship, Mickey Rivers and ’78 World Series MVP Bucky Dent are scheduled to throw out ceremonial first pitches.
Pregame ceremonies, weather permitting, are slated to begin at 12:30 p.m.
The chilly weather forecast for the Yankees’ home opener against the Rays Monday afternoon:
Temperature: 38 degrees
Feels like: 31 degrees
Chance of precipitation: 5 percent