Livescore Thursday, April 25

If you were anywhere outdoors at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday evening, your eyes were probably dry, your breathing more labored than usual and your nostrils filled with the smell of a campfire.

The unhealthy air quality at the ballpark was but one symptom of a larger issue in the tri-state area and other regions of the U.S., as smoke from Canadian wildfires traveled south. The smoke appeared moderate during batting practice between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., but as the 7:05 p.m. game time drew closer, the air grew thicker.

The Yankees and White Sox played the game, and while players had little to say about how it affected them (oddly, Aaron Boone, Clarke Schmidt and Josh Donaldson all strongly downplayed the obvious issue), their ability to take the field could persist as a daily uncertainty all week.

According to a person with direct knowledge of the process, air quality postponements are the purview of Major League Baseball, in consultation with the Players Association, and are out of the hands of the clubs.

In order to arrive at these decisions, MLB speaks to medical and weather experts. These experts take into account not only the air quality index (AQI) but the expected duration of the issue and whether a high AQI is expected to be sustained. When the experts recommend a postponement, the league follows that advice.

Per, an AQI of 151-200 is classified as “unhealthy;” 201-300 as “very unhealthy;” and 300+ as “hazardous.”

MLB has canceled several minor league games in recent seasons due to high AQI numbers. And in September 2020, two games in Seattle between the Mariners and Giants were postponed and moved to San Francisco.

At the start of one game in that series, the AQI in Seattle was 220. By comparison, the AQI shortly after first pitch in the Bronx Tuesday was 159.

Also on Tuesday, the Triple-A games for the Mets (in Syracuse) and Yankees (in Moosic, Pa.) were postponed with AQIs in the 200 range, dramatically worse than in the Bronx at game time — although by the seventh inning, the AQI at Yankee Stadium had risen to 196.

At the moment, MLB’s experts do not have the same concerns in New York City as they do in the aforementioned minor league towns — but the league will continue to monitor the AQIs each day this week to determine if it is safe to play baseball.

The Yankees are scheduled for two more games against the White Sox, and three against Boston beginning on Friday.

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