NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Aaron Boone woke up before heading to the ballpark for his first home opener as Yankees manager and peeked outside the window.
“Huh,” he recalled saying to himself on Monday. “It really is 100 percent chance of snow at 7 a.m.”
Two hours later, the Bombers’ much-anticipated home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays as postponed due to snow.
It will instead be played on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
The Yankees’ home opener against Houston two years ago was postponed because of a forecast of bad weather and rescheduled for the following day. In 1982, the first game of the season for the Yankees was postponed after the Bronx got 12 inches. In 2003, opening day was pushed back when four inches fell the day before.
They’ve also played through flurries, like in April 1996 and again in April 2007.
“It is a little different when I first woke up and saw the snow outside here in April, but that’s baseball. You never know what kind of weather you’re going to get,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge told reporters. “You always wish it was sunny and 75, but you got to play in some cold conditions. And we’re up for it. Now we just got to wait a day for our home opener.”
Monday’s fast-moving spring snowstorm swept through parts of the Northeast. The decision to start later in the day Tuesday was made because rain is forecast for the morning. The snowstorm was the fifth to move through the area after four nor’easters in March.
No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery remains the scheduled pitcher Tuesday for the Yankees. The Rays will shift to ace Chris Archer in place of Austin Pruitt, who won Thursday’s opener in relief.
Montgomery, a 25-year-old left-hander, is coming off a 9-7 rookie season. He said he feels more confident this spring.
“Last year was more of a roller-coaster ride,” Montgomery said. “I was feeling good and then I’d have a bad game and be down in the dumps. I feel like as a starting pitcher you’ve just got to be even-keeled with the good and the bad, no matter what, and just stick with your routine and keep your confidence.”
New York lost the final two games of its season-opening series at Toronto, settling for a split. Tampa Bay lost the final three games of its opening series against visiting Boston.
Ahead of Monday’s scheduled game, Judge said he was looking forward to getting back on the field in front of the Bronx faithful.
“It’ll be good to be home and see our fans and feel the excitement they’ve got for this team,” he said.
“This fan base is amazing. It’s been fun to see, just in my short time back, the connection they have with our players,” Boone added.
New York’s advance ticket sales for the season are up about 650,000 from last year.
The Yankees used their sprinkler system to help melt the snow, but the bigger undertaking will be cleaning off the seats for the fans.
The New York Mets also postponed their Monday night game due to the snow. It was rescheduled as a doubleheader on July 9.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)