Yankees Avoiding Handshakes, Change Autograph Procedures over Coronavirus Fears

Nick Laham/Getty Images

With Coronavirus a growing concern across the country, the New York Yankees are urging players to avoid shaking hands with fans and changing autograph procedures.

Questions about how the team intended to respond to the viral outbreak, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday that they had not yet gotten any guidance from Major League Baseball. But the team was instituting some preventative measures, the New York Daily News reported.

“It’s certainly something everybody’s following, and, and trying to come up with best practices and be educated and not be over-reactive, but certainly not be under-reactive at the same time. And so, it’s, it’s something that’s new, that is on the list of many things that wasn’t something we were dealing with prior,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. “We just want to apply best practices, what they are, and they’re not easy, you know… Somebody extends their hand, and you’re kind of told like, listen, it’s just best not to shake your hand.”

Still, MLB reports having launched a task force to monitor the virus and to craft suggestions on preventative measures.

ESPN reported that the league had made several suggestions:

  • Players avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs — a suggestion that will be fleshed out in training materials the league intends to send to teams — and opt against handshakes.
  • Teams open lines of communication with the local public health authority.
  • Front offices consult a local infectious disease specialist who can serve as a conduit to health officials.
  • Medical personnel ensure all players have received the 2019-20 flu vaccine and are up to date on other vaccinations.

The league, though, says it does not intend to make any changes in its upcoming schedule or the 2020 season.

Other sports have also announced measures to deal with the Coronavirus. The International Olympic Committee, for instance, said the schedule for the coming 2020 games in Tokyo will go on as planned, however, some athletes are worried over the virus.

The NCAA is being urged to hold the opening games of March Madness without any fans in the stands.

There are nearly 93,000 Coronavirus cases reported across the globe, with 3,168 deaths.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.