New York fans got some exciting news as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during a press conference Saturday that the Yankees and Mets will resume spring training in New York City if the MLB season is to resume.
The change of scenery for the New York clubs comes after Major League Baseball closed all of their spring training facilities due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Philadelphia Phillies’ Clearwater complex. Five unnamed players and three employees tested positive for the virus. Furthermore, one player for the Toronto Blue Jays tested positive for the virus, forcing the Blue Jays to shut down their facilities.
This was the first time that an MLB team had an outbreak of coronavirus since the virus washed up on American shores months ago.
Governor Cuomo, during the press conference, stated that he was excited for the teams to return, but tweeted that “NY will review the teams’ plans to make sure the trainings are safe.” What that will look like remains to be seen.
The change comes as no shock for baseball fans as most MLB teams were already concerned with the spike in coronavirus cases coming out of Florida, the home of MLB spring training. The state has partially reopened, but more people are coming down with the fatal virus, sparking fear into Major League Baseball, as well as many government officials.
Several players for the Yankees were already working out at the facilities in Port St. Lucie and Tampa, as reported by Deesha Thosar of the NY Daily News, and now they will be forced to relocate once spring training resumes.
It is a big step for New York City’s economy as two of the most well-known franchises in both the New York area, let alone around the world, return to their stomping grounds to finish up spring training. The question of whether they will have the rest of spring training is still unknown. Though fans will not be allowed to attend, New York residents are at least happy to see some sort of professional sports team playing in the New York area.
Even with the change, there is still a massive question mark hanging over if there will be an MLB season. The league recently rejected the players’ union offer of a 70-game proposal with prorated salaries and this recent outbreak in MLB facilities gave a stark reminder to fans and league officials’ that the pandemic is not over. Only patience and time will tell if the MLB season will happen in 2020.