The Yankees problems run deeper than just resuming the 2020 season

Vendors - A Ballpark Staple

While the Yankees main focus stands on MLB’s efforts to adopt a plan to resume the season, the team also faces other issues percolating on the back burner.

The Yankees have no choice but to operate in a vacuum of hope that the 2020 season is still salvageable in some meaningful way.

At the moment, though, the decision-making rests in the hands of the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and Rob Manfred, acting as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB),

At the same time, though, there is cause for concern regarding the Yankees stand-still approach to issues that need the team’s attention in a more timely fashion.

Let’s examine a few of them.

Yankees: Where’s The Ticket Refund Policy

This should be a no-brainer for the wealthiest franchise in baseball. And if the Yankees don’t move soon, the team could be in for a significant public relations embarrassment.

It’ll be based on the result of a class-action suit working its way through the courts on behalf of both Mets and Yankees fans holding purchased tickets with no value.

Yankees ticket buyer waiting... (NY Post)
Yankees ticket buyer waiting for their money(NY Post)

Officially, there isn’t a single major league game on the 2020 schedule that’s been canceled. For the record, games have been “postponed.”

But any plan to re-open the season is not going to have a full schedule of 162 games. At most, the regular season will be eighty games, with half of them played at Yankee Stadium.

The logical move for the Yankees to make is to propose a “Pay-It-Forward” plan encouraging fans not to request a refund but to apply a credit towards tickets for 2021.

For the Blue Seats, this will not be a problem. But for the dad who bought four seats for his wife and family for a game with the Red Sox for $500 after taxes, handling, and other fees – it becomes a different scenario.

The issue is a ticking time bomb for the Yankees, and for every day they kick the can down the road, fans are waiting for the procrastination to stop and for the team to do the right thing.

The Yankees Inaction On Expiring Contracts

In theory, the Yankees could be without the services of these players for the 2021 season. Opt-out and renewal decisions are looming. (Source:

By far, the most impactful on the Yankees are Masahiro Tanaka, DJ LeMahieu, and James Paxton – each of who becomes an unrestricted free agent whenever the 2020 season ends.

Brett Gardner has a team option for 2021, but given his age at 37, his status with the team is tenuous.

Not likely but still available as the player’s choice is an opt-out for both Giancarlo Stanton and Zack Britton.

Even with the economics of baseball currently in flux, it is curious why the Yankees are not taking advantage of this lull to engage Tanaka, LeMahieu, and Paxton in at least preliminary talks to keep them in the fold.

Okay, the Yankees want to see Paxton in action following back surgery before making what is expected to be a handsome multi-year offer to the towering left-hander.

But surely, Tanaka and LeMahieu are of another species – reliable, dedicated, and most of all – productive Yankees. No?

I Sell Peanuts For A Living

According to Career Bliss, Yankee Stadium Vendors earn $30,000 annually, or $14 per hour, which is 7% higher than the national average for all Vendors at $28,000 annually and 74% lower than the national salary average for ​all working Americans.

It’s not much, but for the guy chugging up and down the steps of Yankee Stadium aisles, carrying a boatload of water on his back in 95-degree heat – it’s a job – and it puts food on the table for his family.

Here’s a peek into a day in the life of a ballpark vendor.

Much like the ticket refund resolution, the New York Yankees only stand to lose on this one if they choose not to re-compensate stadium workers for hours and days lost during the shutdown.

Meanwhile, The Hunt For A Season Goes On

Meanwhile, the Yankees and baseball fans sit back, waiting for the miracle cure that will reset the 2020 season.

The latest and greatest proposal to open the season is on the table now. It may or may not be given the blessing of the CDC or MLB.

But in the interim, the Yankees not responding with their usual ingenuity and force to the issues presented here? Why is that?

And by the way, has there been a sighting of Brian Cashman in the last month or so?

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.