Smoke from wildfires around Quebec City began rolling into New York City on Tuesday afternoon, sending the Big Apple’s Air Quality Index (AQI) soaring, and by nightfall, NYC had the worst air quality of any major city in the world:
New York City now with the worst air quality in the world among major cities: pic.twitter.com/JcqCznCwWE— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) June 7, 2023
Yet, we still had Yankees baseball in the Bronx. But as conditions continued to worsen throughout the day Wednesday, it became clear that that wouldn’t be the case tonight. Sure enough, they announced a postponement late in the afternoon on Wednesday. New York and Chicago are scheduled to play a twin bill tomorrow:
Tonight’s Yankees-White Sox game (Wednesday, June 7) is rescheduled because of poor air quality due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires and will be made up tomorrow, Thursday, June 8, as the first game of a single-admission doubleheader, which will begin at 4:05pm. pic.twitter.com/nx1WxqUaTU— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 7, 2023
Per YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, Luis Severino will start Game 1 and Randy Vásquez will come up from Triple-A Scranton to serve as the “27th man” and start Game 2.
As things stand, the air quality in New York City is almost twice as bad as any other major city in the world, with conditions jumping from the merely “unhealthy” to the “extremely hazardous” range:
New York City's air quality index -- highest among world cities -- is an unfathomable 342. That's in the top tier CODE MAROON range -- which is hazardous, signifying "emergency conditions." Current levels to "likely crush" records, says @ryans_wx.— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) June 7, 2023
A live look... (1/2) pic.twitter.com/5c8TqRScfs
These are certainly unusual circumstances, especially for the East Coast, but the Yankees probably shouldn’t have played yesterday either. There’s no telling how long the haze will linger around the northeastern seaboard, but early estimates suggest it will be here through at least Thursday, endangering the Yankees’ planned doubleheader tomorrow before likely causing other postponements to the south and west of New York. (The Tigers-Phillies game in Philadelphia was also postponed today.) Further, this is only the beginning of the summer and thus the wildfire season—that is, these may not remain unusual circumstances for much longer. Hopefully, MLB will at least be more prepared going forward, prioritizing the health of players and fans first and foremost.
While baseball should be the least of our worries at this juncture, if the Yankees can’t finish up their series with the White Sox in New York this week, they face a bit of a conundrum. The White Sox won’t return to the Bronx for the rest of 2023, their lone visit to Queens will occur when the Yankees are in Anaheim, and it’s tricky to find a good common offday. There could be an opportunity for the Yanks to play as the “home” team when they head out to Chicago’s South Side in August; the series is scheduled for three games, and both teams will be off immediately thereafter, so they could even make up both games if they double up one day and sacrifice their rest day.