The Yankees were supposed to hand the ball to new ace Gerrit Cole to face the Orioles on the road Thursday, kicking off the 2020 season on Opening Day. But Cole is going to have to wait for that start now due to the coronavirus pandemic.
How long? Well there's no telling for sure.
However, as SNY's Andy Martino pointed out earlier this week, MLB's current thinking is to salvage some sort of season this year. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also appeared on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt on Wednesday, where he said he wants to start ramping things up in May if he can.
"My optimistic outlook is that at some point in May we'll be gearing back up," said Manfred. "We'll have to make a determination depending on what the precise date is as to how much of a preparation period we need."
So, as long as we continue to combat this virus and hopefully start curbing the spread soon, a season will be played. And it may be very shortened.
Throughout history, MLB is no stranger to shortened seasons. This one is bound to be the shortest, but it has happened in the past. So let's see how the Yankees fared when 162 games weren't on the schedule, starting with the most recent:
Due to the strike during the 1994 season (we'll get to that in just a bit), the season didn't begin until April 25, causing a 144-game season to be played. The Yankees managed to go 79-65, but finished 7.0 games back of the Red Sox for the AL East title.
As a Wild Card team, the Yankees faced off against the Mariners in the ALDS, but that's as far as they'd make it. Seattle finished them off in the decisive Game 5.
But....the Yankees kicked off their late 90s-early 2000s dynasty the next season with their first of four titles in the next five years.
The '94 strike began on Aug. 11, and the Yanks definitely hated that it took place. Through their 113 games already played, they had a commanding lead in the division with a 70-43 record.
The strike later led to the rest of the season getting canceled, including the postseason. So that Yankees team never got a chance to compete for a title.
It was an extremely wacky season in '81. A strike occurred on June 12 and didn't end until Aug. 10.
So how did the league decide to compensate for those games lost? Well, the owners decided it was best to split the regular season into two halves, and the playoffs were set with the winner of each half in each division facing each other in what was the first known League Division Series -- the LDS of today.
That's why you'll see the Yankees with an overall record of 59-48, which all together was good for fourth in the division. But they had a 34-22 record in the first half, and a 25-26 in the second half.
The first half finish gave them a shot at competing for the World Series, and somehow they found their way there, only to lose to the Dodgers in six games.
The first strike in league history came in '72, but it was short-lived. After 13 days, the league was reinstated and games began on April 15 as MLB played a 155-game season.
It wasn't the best Yankee season, as the team went 79-76 to finish fourth in the division.
It wasn't the flu epidemic that cut this season short, but rather World War I that left the 1918 season without a champion.
The Yankees probably didn't mind that, though, with a 60-63 record over 126 games before it was called off.