How Yankees’ Austin Romine goes extra yard to prepare for his chances

Sonny Gray’s personal catcher spends about two-thirds of Yankees games sitting on the bench.

Austin Romine treats them all as if he’s behind the plate.

I call games in my head every time I’m watching a game, Romine said Wednesday before catching all 13 innings of the Yankees’ 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, the first eight from Gray and then five from the bullpen. It’s just something I do. I’m looking at count situations and who’s up and who’s coming up. I think along with the game.

A plausible argument could be made that the close relationship between NFL teams and the publicly-owned stadiums transforms everything about the situation into a public event. Ultimately, an anthem-based fight would play out in every publicly-funded stadium, with careful inspection of the leases needed to determine whether there may be any plausible basis for arguing that private employers cannot infringe upon First Amendment rights in an inherently public setting.

A battle that head coach Doug Pederson tried very much to downplay.

If the tags go up at the same rate this year as last, it would cost the Raiders $17.4 million to tag Mack and the Rams $15.1 million to tag Donald in 2019. Those are bargain prices. And if Donald doesn’t report by August 11, he’ll lose the accrued season, and the Rams could put a restricted free agent tender on him next year, which, at the first-round level, would cost around $4 million (though another team would likely come in and poach him at that rate). Usually, these numbers can serve to set the framework for a deal.

Training on my own, Gronkowski said, via Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston. Felt like it was the best thing for me. . . . Felt like it was a good decision.

Gronkowski insists he remains on good terms with the team despite training elsewhere, but he was happy to see his teammates again.

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