TAMPA — After three-plus months of ready, the Yankees’ Luke Voit is among the many gamers relieved the MLB lockout is over.
“It was a good feeling getting up today and knowing I have a job again,” Voit mentioned Friday, a day after MLB and the Players Association reached a deal on a new collective bargaining settlement.
The conclusion got here solely after the primary work stoppage within the sport in additional than twenty years. As commissioner Rob Manfred famous when he introduced the deal on Thursday, there’s nonetheless work to do to easy issues over after what was a contentious combat.
“They locked us out and it took a while to get discussions going,” Voit mentioned of the delay following the Dec. 2 begin of the lockout. “That was frustrating on our end, but we were ready to go at any point.”
Voit’s concern wasn’t just for his fellow gamers.
“The fans are everything in this game,” Voit mentioned following a exercise at a native highschool, the place he was joined by teammates DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, in addition to different MLB gamers.
“We’re the product on the field, so we just want to be there for them,” Voit mentioned. “We just didn’t want to lose fans and keep pushing this and keep pushing this. They deserve for us to be out there already. We still got to 162 [games]. That was a common goal between both parties.”
“Everyone wants to play,” LeMahieu mentioned. “It’s a business, too.”
Now, they should get physicals, with a obligatory report date of Sunday earlier than a shortened spring coaching.
“I had a feeling [a deal was close] a few times already, so I didn’t get my hopes up [Thursday] before it was official,” LeMahieu mentioned. “Now it’s all about figuring everything out, how to get down here, when to get down here and when to start. I’m just excited to get going again.”
And after the mud settled, a number of Yankees did Friday what they’ve achieved constantly in current weeks throughout the MLB lockout: They performed ball, one thing they did for the final month-plus to be able to keep in form within the occasion of a deal.
They’re not alone, which is why LeMahieu doesn’t assume the abbreviated spring coaching — which will likely be fewer than 4 weeks quite than the everyday six — will have an effect on the sport that a lot.
“I don’t think it’ll have that big an impact,” LeMahieu mentioned. “I think everyone has been working and is ready to get going. I don’t think any of us sit and watch TV in the offseason. I think everyone is physically ready to go.”
Voit mentioned all of the offseason preparations should not the identical as the actual factor, which is what he’s trying ahead to.
“We try to do everything we can to stay ready,” Voit mentioned of taking stay batting follow and floor balls within the discipline. “I want to get my baseball pants on and step in the batter’s box and have an at-bat.”
He pointed to the truncated spring coaching 2.0 of 2020, after COVID-19 shut down the game for 3 months as proof gamers could be superb by Opening Day on April 7.
The course of started in earnest on Thursday, when workforce officers might contact gamers once more for the primary time because the starting of the work stoppage.
“The coaches all called [Thursday] night and it was good to talk to them and get a plan,” Voit mentioned. “Everyone was in good spirits because we could play baseball again.”