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Newsday (New York)
Aaron Boone woke up early Monday morning in his temporary living quarters in the city, looked outside and saw what everyone else in the tri-state area saw.
Lots of snow.
" 'Hmm,' " he said of his first thoughts, " 'there really is a 100 percent chance of snow at 7 a.m.' I peeked out the window and thought, 'This is going to be interesting.' "
It soon became apparent that there was little chance that the Yankees' home opener against the Rays, scheduled to start at 1 p.m., would be played. Indeed, players and staff were informed just before 9 a.m. that the game had been postponed.
"Obviously not a surprise to get here and hear it was called pretty quickly," Boone said.
The game is scheduled to be made up at 4 p.m. Tuesday, delaying Giancarlo Stanton's debut in pinstripes for another 27 hours.
"Just adds a little extra anticipation," Stanton said with a smile Monday morning. "It's going to be fun."
Like Boone, Tyler Wade woke up early and in the city. He initially held out hope that the game might be played, but that changed soon enough.
"I didn't realize how bad it was until I started driving on the FDR and I was seeing everyone's cars and was like, 'Man, that's a lot of snow,' " Wade said. "Looked like when I got closer to the stadium, it had let up a little bit, but apparently not."
Brandon Drury, who hit his first homer as a Yankee on Sunday in Toronto, drove in from his place in New Jersey.
"I had heard we were going to try and play," he said. "I didn't know. But when I got told it was postponed, I wasn't surprised."
Inclement weather has played havoc with Yankees games in April in previous years. Most recently, frigid cold and rain caused the 2016 season opener against the Astros at the Stadium to be postponed.
More famously, the Yankees' home opener in 1996 wasn't postponed but was played in swirling snow flurries from beginning to end. Their season opener in 1996 was postponed because of snow in Cleveland. In 1990, rain postponed the season opener in Cleveland, with the following night's game snowed out in the fourth inning.
"You want to play, especially the home opener in front of your crowd," Wade said. "But you just wait until tomorrow."
The forecast for Tuesday isn't dramatically better, with rain predicted for the morning and a chance of rain much of the day. Still, playing Monday wasn't an option.
"It was going to be quite an ordeal to have any kind of a chance," Boone said.
The postponement delayed Boone's first exposure to the home crowd, not necessarily a bad thing. A decision made by Boone, which had plenty of backing from the pure numbers, backfired in Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays, causing a fierce reaction among Yankees fans on social media.
With the Yankees leading 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Boone chose to have David Robertson intentionally walk Josh Donaldson (who had good career numbers against Robertson but hadn't been good in most of the four-game series) to load the bases for Justin Smoak (who had poor career numbers against Robertson but had been red-hot all series). After fouling off several of the best curveballs Robertson had to offer, Smoak hit a grand slam on a misplaced full-count fastball.
"I don't deal with the second-guessing. I don't pay attention to it," Boone said. "We're prepared. My coaches and I . . . we feel good about the decisions we make, we feel good about the decisions we have made."
As for trotting out on the baselines for the first time in front of Yankees fans, Boone said he's excited about it.
"I'm looking forward to putting the pinstripes on and walking out on the field with this team," he said. "That's what I'm looking forward to. This fan base is amazing. It's been fun to see, just in my short time back, the connection they have with our players."
If you have tickets: Gates will open to ticketed fans at 2 p.m. Tuesday, with pregame ceremonies scheduled for about 3:30 p.m. . . . Fans with paid tickets for Monday's game can use them Tuesday or exchange them for any regular-season game at Yankee Stadium during the 2018 season . . . Fans with complimentary tickets for Monday's game must use them for Tuesday's makeup game.
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