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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/2/20

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Rob Manfred says more than 60 games was never an option; several players report to camp; Cardinals replace Yankees in Field of Dreams game

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: Rob Manfred should be getting a gift basket from the MLBPA’s lawyer after the union inevitably files a grievance, after claiming that “we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went.” Obviously, the commissioner is certainly going to try and spin that he’s being misquoted, likely arguing that he’s referring to the fact that the pandemic will make playing games harder, and that a 60-game season is all that would have been allowed. However, given the fact that the league is attempting to start up the season while cases are spiking makes this argument ring a bit hollow, as a month’s worth of “summer camp” could have been held in between the initial and most recent spikes.

Manfred, unsurprisingly, has received a lot of flak and mockery for his statements, with Yahoo! Sports noting that his revelation was surprising not because of content but because “Manfred said it out loud.” Dan Symborski of FanGraphs, meanwhile, tweeted that Manfred did not say the quiet part out loud, but “the thing that you shouldn’t say quietly to yourself, at 2 AM, in the bathroom, in the dark, after you’re the only person left on the planet, ever, at all.”

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: In real baseball news, several Yankees players reported to Summer Camp yesterday, and although players have yet to arrive en masse, they have arrived en mask. Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Gleyber Torres, and Gio Urshela were among the players spotted reporting to the Stadium to receive physicals. More players will be arriving today, with workouts scheduled to begin Saturday, on the Fourth of July. There’s a bad joke about the War for Independence in there somewhere...

ESPN | Associated Press: Who else was excited about the Field of Dreams game in 2020? Unfortunately, while the game is still on the schedule, it won’t be as magical, as the St. Louis Cardinals have replaced the Yankees in the game. This was the inevitable result of the division-based schedules, and while it doesn’t come as a true surprise, it’s still a shame for fans of the movie.