Yankees president Randy Levine knows what sports can do for a country in times like these, and that's why he believes MLB's players recognize the type of impact they can make if baseball can return soon.
Speaking on Good Day New York on Thursday, Levine called the players "patriots" who want to help out their country by giving people the game they love back.
"I think our players are patriots," he said. "They want to do it. We all are trying to get there. The commissoner's doing a great job. So hopefully in a little bit, we'll hear, 'Play ball!'"
There is still no telling when baseball will return, but players have been vocal about their wanting to play even if it means without fans. Some haven't been fans, though, of the Arizona Plan or anything that involves leaving their families for an extended amount of time.
Whatever plan MLB decides to enact could come as early as this week, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, who reported the league is expected to give a proposal to the MLBPA to see what it would look like to resume spring training in June. That would mean a regular season could be salvaged sometime shortly after that.
SNY's Andy Martino reported last week that an agreement could be reached in May regarding a restart plan, so the work continues to be done and we could have some clarity on it very soon.
But Levine doesn't expect there to be no fans the entire season. In fact, he thinks easing fans back into the stadiums, if it makes sense health-wise, will be just fine.
"I believe that we're putting together all the protocols, but I think you ease in with fans," he said. "You start with less fans. You have temperature taking. You have health stations. You do a lot of testing. If people have a temperature or they aren't feeling well, you take them to a health station. You wear masks and gloves. You only serve food that won't impede that.
"And I think it'll be nice. I think it would be pretty cool to have some Yankee masks and gloves out there."
It's wishful and optimistic thinking at the moment, but there is a very low chance at the moment of the Yankees being able to play at Yankee Stadium this season. Mayor Bill de Blasio said as much Thursday when he answered "I don't think that's coming soon" to the very question of the players playing in the Bronx. Though MLB is reportedly wishing teams primarily play in their home parks, bigger cities like New York will make that tough.
Levine will continue to think it can happen, though, until it's set in stone. Conditions change by the day and week, so who knows what will happen months from now?
"We're very, very hopeful that we can get going," Levine said. "Baseball has stepped up in troubled times to be a leader. We're used to it. It's a distraction. It's comforting to people. It comes with the rhythm of their life."
Yankee Stadium or not, Levine just wants baseball back. And he's speaking for the rest of the players who desperately want to get back to the game they love not just for them, but for everyone who loves it too.