With air quality in the Bronx registering at “hazardous” levels because of smoke from wildfires in Canada, Major League Baseball postponed a game between the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, which had been scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
The game will be made up on Thursday as the first game of a single-admission doubleheader, the Yankees said. That could change if the air quality conditions do not improve.
A game between the Phillies and the Detroit Tigers in Philadelphia was also postponed on Wednesday, as was a W.N.B.A. game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Liberty in Brooklyn.
The decision to postpone the M.L.B. games — made at the league level with input from the teams, the players’ union and weather experts — came at 4:30 p.m. Eastern, with the air quality in the Bronx registering at 413 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, according to AirNow. Philadelphia’s A.Q.I. was at 233.
The Yankees and the White Sox played through a night game on Tuesday in which the A.Q.I. was higher than 150 at the first pitch and was registering at higher than 200 shortly after the game ended. (Anything from 101 to 150 is classified as unhealthy for sensitive groups. From 151 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and anything over 301 is hazardous.)
Several players worked out on the field at Yankee Stadium during the day on Wednesday, including Carlos Rodón, a starting pitcher trying to work his way back from the injured list. But with conditions worsening, the decision was made to postpone the games, which brought M.L.B. in line with the decisions made at the minor league level in Syracuse, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa., on Tuesday.
Other M.L.B. games in the Northeast were not postponed on Wednesday because the conditions in those cities were not as severe. The Pirates played an afternoon game against the Oakland Athletics in Pittsburgh with an A.Q.I. in excess of 150 at various points. The Guardians were expected to play their night game against the Boston Red Sox in Cleveland with the A.Q.I. at around 100.
While there were numerous complaints from journalists and fans on social media about the decision to play the full slate of games on Tuesday, players and coaches for the Yankees played down the difficulty. Third baseman Josh Donaldson said that it seemed foggy but was “nothing out of the ordinary,” and Manager Aaron Boone compared it to the smog that teams are used to playing through in Southern California.
A situation similar to this week’s events played out on the West Coast in 2020. The Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners played a September doubleheader that season with an A.Q.I. of 220 at the first pitch, also as a result of wildfires, only for M.L.B. to relocate the Mariners’ next two games to San Francisco after criticism from players and fans.
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