WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – As Angel Hernandez slowly jogged away from the early end of spring training, the referee uttered words that nobody hopes are right.
“I’ll see you in June,” Hernandez said to a group of baseball authors outside the Yankees clubhouse on Thursday afternoon at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
MLB suspended the spring training games and delayed the start of the regular season on Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic by at least two weeks after all 30 clubs had taken part in a conference call and consulted with the Players Association.
According to manager Aaron Boone, the Yankees have plans to continue training in Tampa and possibly hold intrasquad games to remain ready for baseball at the start of the regular season. A two-week hiatus would result in the Yankees opening the season in Oakland on April 10 if MLB picks up on the original schedule.
“In my current understanding, we are staying [in Florida] to train as a club and everything is in our club, “said Boone after a 6-3 win against the Nationals.” I suspect that it will obviously remain a fluid situation. We will take the lead from MLB and the situation and hopefully that Reach the point where we’re back out there. “
When asked if players were required to stay with the Yankees for training, Boone said he believed this was the case, but was aware that it was too early to do so with MLB and the Players Association discuss who are holding conference calls on the subject.
Boone introduced the awkwardness of the situation to what it means for teams, players and the game.
“This is a unique situation that is bigger than baseball,” said Boone. “You want to do your part for the world and not to make this a really bad situation. We will cooperatively try to play our role as best we can. “
If the regular season continues two weeks later than originally planned, the Yankees Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge could get back from injuries. They shouldn’t be ready until March 26, when the Yankees should open the season in Baltimore. Stanton recovers from a tense right calf and judge from a stress fracture in his upper right rib.
“It definitely gives the boys time to heal, but the first thing that you need to do is to help this thing not become an even bigger situation,” said Boone.
Regarding playing a 162 game season when the game resumes, Boone said, “I hear that, but I don’t [confirmed]. ’’
With no games, players can start training on Friday, but Boone said he didn’t know if the Yankees would start that soon.
“We’ll discuss that on the way home,” said Boone of the 3½ hour bus journey across Florida to Tampa. “I know there is a conference call in progress that could give us more information and clarity. Hopefully we will decide that on the way home. “
The decision was made to hold an optional training session on the Steinbrenner field on Friday.
Boone was the Red player’s representative in 2002 when the feud between owners and players came within hours of a stoppage, but not.
“I think it’s a little bit like that, just maybe we can stay together and train,” said Boone.
The question now is how long these training sessions last.