By Otis Livingston

TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — Spring training officially began Wednesday for the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, but it’s much different than we’ve ever seen before.

The media isn’t even allowed to be in Florida as teams work through their own COVID protocols.

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A lot of Mets players have been trickling in over the past week or so, getting in some workouts after they go through testing and screening.

Wednesday was the official report day for pitchers and catchers. Thursday, they take physicals, and Friday is the first official workout for the battery mates.

Yankees pitchers and catchers also reported to work in Tampa on Wednesday, most fully masked, of course. Their first workout is Thursday.

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Manager Aaron Boone spoke about spring training during COVID.

“It is different, no question, because we haven’t gone through it yet here in Tampa,” he said. “Getting used to again seeing guys from a few feet away with masks on that you’re meeting for the first time, those kind of challenges that still exist. Fortunately, we’ve all gone through a year of this, of living through this, so I think we’re a little, much better equipped of how to handle ourselves.”

Second-year Mets manager Luis Rojas said the players are excited to start fresh with new ownership under Steve Cohen.

“The guys were like little kids out on the field, the pitchers and catchers. They were having fun. They were throwing their signs. They were looking for feedback. So yeah, you can feel that energy kind of like being passed onto the field,” he said.

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The full squads for both teams report early next week.

Otis Livingston