TAMPA — Pretty much everything else around them has changed, so the Yankees who have chosen to stay in Tampa to work out are trying to maintain their baseball routines as much as possible.
A day after DJ LeMahieu said the work at Steinbrenner Field keeps him “sane,’’ two teammates echoed that sentiment.
“The great thing is they have this open so we can come here and do some baseball activity and stay ready,’’ Aaron Judge said Friday outside the facility. “You still kind of feel like we are in baseball mode, but it is kind of when you go home … I have some stuff to do around the house, put some stuff on the wall and cleaning. But I think after I get all the stuff done in my apartment, I think I will kind of [go] crazy.’’
Tyler Wade, like Judge, is a California resident and has been a regular at Steinbrenner Field. And the utility infielder is making the most of his time there while MLB is shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I like coming here,’’ Wade said. “I trust everybody in the facility. Everything is clean and people are wearing gloves. I see people once they touch something they take off the gloves and throw it away.”
Added Wade: “Coming in here, I almost feel this is the safest place to be.’’
Judge, Wade and LeMahieu were joined Friday by Clint Frazier, Luis Severino and Mike Ford.
Participating in small groups has been beneficial for Wade because he has gotten a closer look at LeMahieu’s attention to detail.
“It’s not necessarily what he is saying, it’s what he is doing,’’ Wade said. “I just watch. It is crazy how routine-orientated this guy [is] and how professional he is. If I look at the clock, I know exactly where DJ is at. His routine is so on point.’’
With the possibility that Steinbrenner Field will be off-limits to players at some point, Wade and others might be forced to vacate the Tampa area.
“I don’t know, that is something I would have to think about,’’ Wade said of potentially having to leave. “Maybe [go to] Arizona. There are a lot of guys out there. But hopefully since our numbers are very small that is beneficial toward us.’’
In the meantime, he said he’s passing the vast amount of dead time watching Netflix and participating in a “Madden” football video game tournament with teammates that is in the final stages.
— Additional reporting by Dan Martin