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#pounditSaturday, January 16, 2021

Articles tagged: New York Yankees

Longtime Yankees announcer John Sterling to return after health scare

Longtime New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling spent several days in the hospital recently, but he is expecting to return to work at some point this week.

Sterling told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that he was hospitalized for four days due to an infection in his blood. The 82-year-old said the infection fortunately did not reach his heart and that “everything is cool” now.

Sterling, who also tested negative for COVID-19 during his hospital stay, is planning to return to work either Tuesday or Wednesday, which would be in the middle of the Yankees’ series against the Philadelphia Phillies. He said he believes he would feel well enough to return Tuesday but may just wait until Wednesday with rain in the forecast for Tuesday, anyway. WFAN could also insist he take more time off to recover.

Marchand noted that Sterling sounded as though he was in good spirits. The longtime announcer has been doing the radio play-by-play work for the Yankees for more than 30 years. He took time off last year for the first time since 1989 because of some health issues. Fans of the Bronx Bombers will be happy to hear him back on the airwaves.

Marlins games postponed through Sunday due to outbreak

Miami Marlins logo

Major League Baseball has announced some scheduling changes brought about by the coronavirus outbreak with the Miami Marlins, including postponing all Marlins games through at least Sunday.

Miami’s series against the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals have been postponed. The Philadelphia Phillies, the last team the Marlins faced, will not play their scheduled games against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Instead, the Yankees will play the Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday.

Here is the full press release, which also states that no team besides the Marlins has had positive COVID-19 tests since July 24.

No games have been canceled, so the plan is to make them up at some point later in the year.

There was initially talk on Monday that the MLB could shut the season down over the Marlins outbreak, but it does not sound like that was ever a consideration. The league prepared for this type of situation and knew it was a possibility once play began.

MLB reportedly cleared Yankees of alleged sign-stealing video

A video that surfaced on social media this week claims to show a New York Yankees employee illegally recording an opposing catcher’s signs, but Major League Baseball apparently looked into the footage and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Michael Schwab, an executive producer who used to work for POLITICO and USA Today, said Monday that he was told by sources that a video he shared on Twitter shows a Yankees staffer filming an opposing catcher to steal signs. The act was supposedly committed during the 2018 ALCS, when the Yankees were playing the Boston Red Sox.

SNY’s Andy Martino refuted the report, saying he is fairly certain the footage was taken during the regular season using an MLB-approved camera that would not be used to steal signs. Martino also said the video has been cleared by MLB.

According to TMZ, multiple players strongly believe the video is proof the Yankees were attempting to steal signs against the Red Sox in the ALCS. However, MLB came to the conclusion that it was taken during the regular season and “found nothing in violation of our rules.”

We have heard a lot recently about the Yankees supposedly stealing signs, but as of now it does not appear MLB is considering any disciplinary action.

Yankees-Phillies game postponed due to Marlins’ coronavirus situation

Monday night’s scheduled game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies has been postponed due to the developing COVID-19 situation with the Miami Marlins.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Monday’s game would not go ahead as scheduled. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia clarified that, for now, the game is postponed and not canceled.

The Phillies are awaiting test results on their own players and staff after at least 14 members of the Marlins’ traveling party tested positive for the virus, leading to the cancellation of their scheduled home opener in Miami on Monday. The Marlins played in Philadelphia over the weekend and there is concern about exposure that Phillies players may have had as a result. The Yankees also would have been expected to use the same visiting clubhouse the Marlins were just in.

As of Monday morning, the games in Philadelphia and Miami are the only two on the MLB schedule that will not go ahead as planned, with the rest remaining on track to play.

MLB opening night drew record ratings after sports hiatus

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball officially returned on Thursday night with the start of the 2020 regular season, and the ratings for the two games prove just how much fans missed live sports.

The first game of the night between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals drew 4 million viewers, which was the largest audience ever for an Opening Night. The contest was also the most-watched regular season MLB game in nearly a decade, according to a press release from ESPN.

Yankees-Nationals drew an 8.4 rating in the Washington, D.C., market, making it the most-watched MLB regular season game ever on ESPN in that market. The 7.8 rating in New York was the highest for a regular season game for the network in that market since 2015.

The second half of ESPN’s double-header was nearly as popular. That game, which featured the San Francisco Giants hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers, drew a 6.9 rating in the San Francisco market, making it the highest-rated regular season game on ESPN in that market since 2013. The 6.8 rating in Los Angeles was topped only by the Dodgers’ 2018 tie-breaker game against the Colorado Rockies.

MLB’s return marked the first night where fans could watch a live, regular season game from one of the four major American sports in over four months. The ratings from “The Match” gave us a hint that Opening Night would be a success for MLB, and the numbers were definitely eye-opening.

Yankees top prospect Jasson Dominguez is looking massive

Jasson Dominguez is the most exciting player in the New York Yankees’ farm system, and it appears he is also the largest.

Dominguez, a 17-year-old outfield prospect whom the Yankees signed last year, is a five-tool player who can hit from both sides of the plate. He was listed at 5-foot-11 and 195-pounds when New York first signed him, but he looks closer to about 250 now. Dominguez shared some videos on Instagram Wednesday that show him smashing balls into orbit.

Dominguez is the No. 1 prospect in the Yankees’ system and 54th in all of baseball. His nickname is “The Martian,” which really needs no explanation. He’s considered by many to be the most promising prospect coming out of Latin America in the last decade, which is why the Yankees gave him a record signing bonus.

It will be interesting to see how long the Yankees can keep Dominiguez in the minors. He looks like he could hit cleanup for the Bronx Bombers right now.

H/T Barstool Sports

Andrew McCutchen critical of Yankees’ hair policy

Andrew McCutchen

The New York Yankees are known for having a strict policy about hair, and Andrew McCutchen thinks it’s time to leave the policy in the past.

McCutchen spent 25 games with the Yankees at the end of the 2018 season. When joining the team, he had to shave his beard. He also reflected on the fact that if he had still had dreadlocks at the time, he’d have had to cut those, too — a fact that doesn’t sit well with him.

“Because that was who I was,” McCutchen said on “The Sports Bubble” podcast, via Jared Schwartz of the New York Post. “That was how I expressed myself. That’s who made me Andrew McCutchen. That’s how people noticed who I was, it made me unique. I think, especially in this year, the year of 2020, I just feel like these things are, or should be, things that people should take at heart and realize that we have a way of expressing ourselves in different ways.

“I definitely do think it takes away from our individualism as players and as people. We express ourselves in different ways.”

McCutchen added that it was an “honor” to play for the Yankees, but felt there should be “some change” to the policy.

The Yankees’ grooming policy dates back to 1973 under George Steinbrenner’s ownership. Players are prohibited from growing hair past the collar or having facial hair anywhere but the top lip. The policy has been continued by Steinbrenner’s son Hal. It’s become something of a theme for players with long or unkempt hair to get their haircut immediately upon signing with or being traded to the Yankees, though at least one player has actually refused to play there because the policy.

Report: MLB plans to open season with Nationals-Yankees on July 23

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball is planning an exciting matchup to open its abbreviated 2020 season.

According to Joel Sherman and Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, the league is currently planning a primetime matchup between the New York Yankees and reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals to open its season on July 23. This would be played in Washington, and would be the highlight of an abbreviated Opening Day schedule.

This game would likely serve as Gerrit Cole’s Yankees debut, and would see him go up against Max Scherzer in a very exciting pitching matchup.

MLB knows it has to do something exciting to get fans interested after the bad-tempered negotiations between players and owners that dominated the news over the last few months. This is certainly a pretty good way to do that. It would also be unique, as an interleague game to open a season would be a first.

A lot has to be sorted out in order for this to happen. Even if it does, one of the most prominent Nationals players might not be there.

Yankees president explains why teams would win grievance with players

MLB players are expected to eventually file a grievance against team owners after commissioner Rob Manfred scheduled the 2020 season without an agreement in place, but the league does not seem concerned about losing.

One of the main reasons the MLB Players Association voted no on MLB’s latest proposal for a 60-game season was that the players wanted to preserve their right to file a grievance. That grievance would claim owners intentionally delayed the season in order to avoid paying players for more games. While SNY’s Andy Martino was told by sources that owners would likely try to settle to avoid having to open their books and reveal information about revenue, New York Yankees president Randy Levine says teams have nothing to worry about.

“It’s got a 90 percent chance of the clubs winning [the grievance],” Levine says. “I know good faith. This was good faith. We’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars. There is no secret. It’s very obvious. There are no fans in the seats. They are not eating or drinking in the seats. There is no place to hide money. Discovery of what? This concept of ‘they are hiding money’ is just not true.”

Part of the issue is owners agreed back in March to pay players 100 percent pro-rated salaries for however many games are played. They then went back on that agreement, citing the loss in revenue from potentially having to play in empty ballparks. However, it was known at the time that fans likely would not be permitted to attend games.

It shouldn’t be hard for owners to prove they have missed out on a massive amount of revenue, so you can understand why Levine is confident MLB would win the grievance. The only argument that could be made is that owners continued to drag out the negotiations intentionally and knew they were making proposals players wouldn’t accept, but that also seems like an uphill battle for the MLBPA.

5 MLB teams that can dominate a shortened season

Justin Verlander

How will a shortened season work for every MLB team? With only 60 games, one hot streak could push an unlikely team into the playoffs, while a cold streak could prove fatal to someone’s playoff hopes. No team is really truly built for this, but some might be more well-equipped than others to handle the situation.

Here are five MLB teams that could really put up a lot of wins in a shortened 60-game season.