Detroit — Notes, thoughts, items after the Yankees showed how you handle a hot ballclub, and a frigid week in southeast Michigan, by beating the Tigers, 2-1, on Thursday for their third consecutive bopping of Detroit.
Scheduling by weather will never work in big-league baseball.
You hear this every spring, particularly on days such as Thursday, when it was 36 degrees in Detroit with snow flurries. People wonder why April games are scheduled in the north as opposed to the West Coast, or Texas, or Florida, or in some sun-blessed town that makes nine innings of baseball easier on players and fans.
Except for a hundred or so problems that render the concept unworkable.
You can't put northern teams on the road for most of April any more than you can tell teams in California or Arizona or the Deep South to stay put for the first few weeks of a new season.
It means cold-weather clubs necessarily would play the bulk of their games at home during the season's second half. And how advantageous would it be for a team fighting for a playoff ticket to know it would play 30 or more of its final 40 games on home turf?
Sun Belt teams, meanwhile, would be packing suitcases for all of September. They would view this as a penalty imposed by climate.
Their business offices, which aren't wild about having an overload of home dates while spring school is in session, would also scream about a stacked deck.
And so would people in the north. Consider Detroit's weather earlier this month. April was relatively comfortable. A town and its fans itching to see a Tigers game would not have been thrilled by a 21-day trip.
This idea of playing warm-weather baseball also suggests you could arrive at a fair means for determining which teams play at which balmy-weather sites.
You can't. There would still be an imbalance because baseball's geography is imbalanced. And so rather than turn a schedule into a political grenade, baseball's overseers have concluded that everyone's in this game together, weather realities included.
Scheduling, Part II: Some want April games eliminated.
This isn't going to fly, either. Owners aren't parting with a month of gate and concessions revenue. They aren't buying into a reduced television and radio schedule. There is big money in April, for all teams, including the Tigers, who have sold 313,000 tickets even before this weekend's home set with the Indians.
It's easy this week for fans to say: Throttle back on the calendar. But there isn't an owner in the big leagues who will say goodbye to April. And the more fans think about abandoning April games, the more they would probably agree spring is about baseball, April is spring, and losing big-league baseball for a month isn't the most appealing of options.
How a Yankees catcher helped steal a game Thursday.
In the seventh inning Thursday, with the score 1-1 and J.D. Martinez on second base with one out, Masahiro Tanaka threw two pitches to Yoenis Cespedes that hit the dirt and easily could have bounded past catcher Brian McCann.
But no. McCann snared both. And he did it again two batters later, when Martinez had moved to third and Yankees reliever Dellin Betances heaved a nasty one-hopper McCann also snared.
These were three potential wild pitches McCann handled in what became a one-run Yankees victory.
His counterpart, Tigers catcher James McCann, who is not related, was asked after the game about those three potential gremlins and the fact his namesake had grabbed each of them.
"Big time, big time," said James McCann, who pinch-hit in the seventh and nearly ripped an extra-base hit by third baseman Chase Headley, which Headley instead turned into a force at second.
"(Brian McCann) made that one play (Betances' pitch in the dirt) when I thought it was behind him and going to the backstop. He corralled it so well I couldn't even go to second base. He doesn't do that, it's a different ballgame."
Baseball. So many skills, all intricate. They make this game a fascination as well as a steady lesson in how talented are the men who play it.