New York Post - 13.03.2020

(Ben Green) #1

New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020

By Ken Davidoff

TAMPA — In a rare mo-
ment of levity, Aaron Judge
saw the upside of Major
League Baseball delaying
the start of its season due
to coronavirus.
“For me, I wouldn’t mind
a couple more weeks to re-
cover,” the Yankees right
fielder joked Thursday
morning at George M.
Steinbrenner Field, before
making clear, “I don’t want
the season to be delayed.”

It was later announced
that MLB would push back
the season at least two
weeks and reevaluate its
Judge did report, how-
ever, that he has registered
a good six days since he
and the Yankees finally
learned the cause of his
right chest discomfort. The
stress fracture in his top
right rib feels better, he
said, and he hopes that a
CT scan next week further
diminishes the threat of

surgery to remove the rib
and permits him to move
“I’m feeling
great,” Judge said.
“We’re progressing
really well. I feel
like I might be
ahead of schedule. I
don’t know what
the schedule is, but
I feel like I’m kind
of pushing their
timeline as much as
I can. We’re going to start
ramping up things here,

and hopefully I’m trying to
get this CT scan done as
soon as I can.”
The Yankees said
on March 6 that
they wanted Judge
to rest his rib for
two weeks, so the
test would take
place on March 20.
Judge said that since
his diagnosis, which
kept him away from
swinging a bat or
lifting anything over his
head, he has spent time

working in the weight
room and training room,
“Back and forth all day.”
Asked to provide an ideal
return date, Judge said,
“Ideal is Opening Day
[which was scheduled for
March 26], but based off of
having to wait a couple of
weeks for the CT scan and
possibly another week or
two letting it completely
heal — middle, end of
April. May. I’m not too
“I really don’t want to put

myself in a box and say,
‘Hey, middle of April,’ and
then I’m answering ques-
tions on April 15: ‘Hey, why
aren’t you in there?’ Know
what I’m saying? We’ll see.
“But I’m trying to push
the timeline. I want to
come back healthy and
strong. I don’t want to
come back and rush it and
not be ready for games in
October and the rest of the
season. But I want to be
smart about it and get back
to my team when I can.”

Judge ‘feeling great’, hopeful to avoid surgery


AMPA — J.A. Happ, lucky
man, went to bed Wednes-
day night none the wiser
and didn’t know of coronavirus’
latest attack on normalcy until
Thursday morning.
“At about 6:30, I woke up and
checked my phone and saw the
news,” the Yankees veteran re-
counted, referring to the NBA’s
suspension of its season, at Ge-
orge M. Steinbrenner Field.
Maybe the same thing hap-
pened to Rob Manfred. That
would explain why six games,
with paying crowds, took place
Thursday afternoon in Florida
before Major League Baseball fi-
nally caught up and got real. The
league proceeded in canceling
the seven games in Arizona as
well as an Orioles-Twins night
game in Fort Myers, Fla., sus-
pending the rest of spring train-
ing and delaying the start of the
regular season by at least two
Clearly the NBA’s aggressive
maneuver caught the rest of the
sports leagues
by surprise, and
MLB faced the
least reaction
time given the
starting time of the Grapefruit
League afternoon contests. If it
doesn’t excuse Manfred’s slow
trigger finger — why not cancel
all of Thursday’s action at the
crack of dawn, then take the rest
of the day to figure out every-
thing else? — it at least offers
Alas, moving forward, context
will be sparse for Major League
Baseball. It owns a richer and
longer history than any of its
competitors, yet can’t pull up
any historical comparables for
what awaits the game as we wait
for games to return.
“We all have some anxieties

about this. We’re all worried
about this. For the health and
safety of our families,” Gerrit
Cole said before the news broke
(although it was expected). “As
far as our job goes, we’ve been
told nothing other than to get
prepared. That’s kind of all we
can do.”
Added Brett Gardner: “We’ll
continue to get our work in and
whenever the season starts,
wherever it starts, we’ll be
With the Yan-
kees playing the
Nationals across
the state in
West Palm Beach, the veterans
who avoided that trek normally
would be ultra-relaxed: Show up
at the ballpark in the morning
and do a couple of hours of
work, then enjoy the rest of the
day. This day lacked that easi-
ness, as everyone braced for the
bombshell to come.
It’s the uncertainty and the
lack of agency that has paralyzed
folks in the sports world, right?
A labor stoppage, the most
common cause of curtailed sea-
sons in baseball especially,
comes with control of the situa-
tion. The 1918 MLB season ended
a month early thanks to World

War I, a conscious and conscien-
tious decision made by the folks
back then with a clear endpoint.
And after the terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, 2001, Bud Selig rightly
halted action for six days, giving
the country a little time to grieve
and breathe.
This break, which almost cer-
tainly will surpass the two-week
declaration? Its length stands as
indeterminate, its fate in the
hands of doctors and politicians.
Teams will work in limbo at
their spring-training complexes,
essentially walking a treadmill
until the smoke clears.
It’s insane, in the non-medical
sense of the word, and a shame
on anyone who opines that this
“puts in perspective” the Astros
sign-stealing scandal, as nearly
all of us already viewed that hi-
larious saga in its proper per-
spective before we became fa-
miliar with COVID-19.
If we learned anything from
this winter’s succession of huge
stories, it’s that the madcap
proves no challenge against the
Zack Britton, the Yankees’
player representative, said
Thursday morning, “We’re all
just trying to wrap our heads
around, what’s the best course of
action going forward for Major
League Baseball?”
By day’s end, they had chosen
the best course of action.
Whether we’ll ever wrap our
heads around this stunning de-
velopment, though, we won’t
know that for a while.
[email protected]



MLB made right virus

call even if it came late



Not ready to say goodbye: One fan lingers in West Palm
Beach, Fla., after the Yankees played the Nationals on Thursday, prior
to MLB suspending the rest of spring training and delaying the start of
its regular season. AP

Ken Davidoff

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