BALTIMORE – The Yankees schedule is in flux. Again.
Just a day after their schedule for this week and next was redone as a result of the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak on the Marlins came news of the Phillies’ weekend series against the Blue Jays being wiped out after two members of their organization tested positive for the virus.
“I don’t really know anything as far as, does that impact us at all next week? I guess in some way it could,” Aaron Boone said before his team played the Orioles Thursday night, a second straight game vs. the Orioles at Camden Yards not on the original schedule.
The games here were added when the Yankees’ games in Philadelphia Monday and Tuesday were postponed and the Marlins’ season was indefinitely suspended (the Orioles were one of the teams Miami was to play this week).
Part of the rejiggered schedule that Boone announced Wednesday afternoon had the Phillies playing at the Stadium next Monday and Tuesday, followed by two games in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. But those games now appear to be very much written in pencil and it isn’t clear when the Phillies will retake the field.
“I have no directive from anywhere right now, and I’m sure the league probably doesn’t know exactly how next week’s going to unfold,” Boone said. “So our focus is on the here and now. We know we’ve got the Orioles tonight and then are heading home for a weekend series. That’s where my focus lies.”
Not surprisingly, the extensive list of protocols spelled out in the 2020 operations manual has come up repeatedly in recent days in the Yankees clubhouse, with players stressing the importance of following them.
“We’re following the rules, we’re being as safe as we can,” lefthander Jordan Montgomery said. “Guys wearing masks everywhere, cleaning up in the weight room. I think everybody’s being really responsible about it. It only takes a couple of guys to not really follow protocols and it [the virus] kind of catches like wildfire. No one wants to be that guy and derail this train. So I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Keep it clean
Montgomery, scheduled to start the home opener Friday night against the Red Sox, said he won’t be cutting loose with any X or R-rated material if things go sideways. That has been one consequence in some cases of fanless games – clearly audible expletives uttered by the occasional player.“Nah, I know my mom’s watching,” Montgomery said with a smile. “Try to keep it PG out there.”
Silence is golden
The Yankees were among the most vocal teams – with Gleyber Torres among the more vocal – in obliterating the Astros in the spring in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal and lack of punishment handed out by MLB.
But Torres did not have much to say publicly regarding the Dodgers’ Joe Kelly getting suspended for throwing at two Astros and the ensuing reaction among non-Astro players, reaction that for the most part seemed to side with Kelly. “I prefer not to comment on that,” Torres said. “Too many things, so I don’t want to say something wrong. It is what it is, I guess.”