The Yankees are chronic violators of MLB’s Safety Practices, and they don’t have a leg to stand on if they deny it. Forgive them for being ballplayers.
The Yankees game with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium (another win) was televised nationally by FOX.
Cameras do not lie. If Commissioner Rob Manfred’s threat to stop the season if players don’t shape up has any teeth, the Yankees made sure to provide him with a mountain of evidence that demonstrates he’s right to worry about behavior taking place on the field.
But here’s the rub Commissioner, and you should already know this. Major League ballplayers are creatures of habit and routine. In many cases, it’s precisely those traits that enable them to block out the surrounding noise so they can square up on a 97mph two-seamer coming in hard and high from Gerrit Cole.
How Yankees Aaron Judge Inadvertently Making The Case
During last night’s game, Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge drifted back on a routine fly ball hit his way with two outs. As expected, the ball settled into his glove.
Before trotting in towards the Yankees dugout for their half of the inning, though, Judge casually reached into his glove, taking the ball while barely looking, and tossed it underhand into the stands.
Regular, routine, it happens during every game as a way for players to say to fans – we appreciate you, and thanks for coming to the game today.
Except for this time, there was an inconsistency. There were no fans on the stands to receive the toss.
The Yankees “Sins” Continued
Throughout last night’s game, the Yankees continued to behave like what they are – ultra-competitive athletes who live the ups and downs of a baseball season, both individually and as a unit.
The photos that follow were all taken last night, and by now, each of us can point out what’s “wrong” with each picture.
But just as significantly, as fans of baseball at its highest level, we should also be able to see the routines and habits that settle into the Yankees team – the ones that make them a winning team.
Rob Manfred: Good Intentions – But Let The Players Play
The Yankees, together with 870 of their peers, have been coping with the implications of playing through a pandemic. No one knows what happened in Miami, with 20 of their players testing positive. Still, we do know that teams, and particularly the Yankees, have been religious in their dedication to adhering to the protocols in place.
But we also know that when the Yankees, or any team, step onto the playing field, another gear that is instinctive kicks in.
Everyone is rooting for the season to reach its conclusion with all players safe and accounted for, but it’s too much to ask the players to be something they are not or have ever been when the game is on.
No one is standing there with a whip forcing a player to perform. No one on the Yankees has chosen to opt-out of playing this season, even though the choice is solely an individual one, and there are no repercussions for doing so. (list of players opting out for 2020)
Commissioner Manfred needs to step back when it comes to what he sees on the playing field. High-fiving, no masks in the dugout, six-feet social distancing narrowed down to six inches – none of these are to be condoned or encouraged.
Yes, the Yankees were notorious in their non-compliance with established COVID protocols.
But they also put on one helluva show – and that’s what this is all about – isn’t it?