TAMPA — Although the 2021 season is each week outdated, the Yankees will get an disagreeable reminder about how closing 12 months ended after they go to the Rays on Friday for Tampa Bay’s home opener at Tropicana Area.
“They positively acquired the very best of us final 12 months,’’ Brett Gardner stated. “They have been the higher staff. They beat us and moved on. There’s positively a bitter style from that, and we’d prefer to get again on high, win the division and the American League and get to the World Sequence.”
First, they’ll have to watch Tampa Bay present its AL pennant.
“I hope this 12 months we’ll take that crown from them,’’ Gardner stated. “Seeing them elevate the flag will carry again these reminiscences and is a reminder that we have to get higher.”
The ALDS ended when Aroldis Chapman allowed a game-winning homer to Mike Brosseau in Sport 5.
It was the latest chapter in a contentious rivalry between the two teams, which intensified closing season — largely when Chapman threw a 100 mph fastball near Brosseau’s head all through a recreation on Sept. 1 that resulted in Chapman being suspended for two video video games, a ban he served to start out this season.
As DJ LeMahieu acknowledged, there are a whole lot of acquainted faces from every teams this season — along with Chapman and Brosseau, along with Aaron Boone and Kevin Money.
“We’re excited to go down there and play them as soon as extra,’’ LeMahieu acknowledged.
The Rays obtained eight of the ten regular-season matchups between the teams closing season.
“I believe there’s positively, of their thoughts, some unfinished enterprise, and that’s simply going to gasoline the rivalry a little bit bit extra,’’ Brosseau stated. “We’re going into the season realizing that they’re going to be proper there with us.”
However Brosseau isn’t so sure how a whole lot of closing season will proceed into 2021.
“I don’t know if we anticipate an excessive amount of to roll over from final 12 months,’’ Brosseau stated. “However I believe simply the final competitors can be intense.”
Gardner expects it to be. He was among the many many players to take care of the workers following their playoff defeat closing October and outlined what his message was to his teammates.
“The wanting it was, ‘There’s no ensures,’ ” Gardner acknowledged. “Issues aren’t given to you. Final 12 months, with the pandemic and the various things that we went by, nothing’s assured. No person is aware of what the longer term appears like. I believe our guys have come into camp and completed a very good job of getting our work in making ready for the season. We’re excited to get going.”
Boone stays unsure when Rougned Odor could also be accessible to affix the roster after going by COVID consumption following his commerce from the Rangers. … Justin Wilson is anticipated to return again off the IL Friday after missing the beginning of the season with left shoulder tightness. The Yankees have carried out with merely 25 players after optioning Michael King to the alternate site in Scranton, not wanting to utilize up a 40-man roster spot to convey someone up.