Hence the temporary name.
"It's better than the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Rochester/Syracuse/Batavia/Lehigh Valley Yankees," Phelps joked to a clubhouse attendant during a spring training game. And given all the bus travel, Phelps added, maybe spicy food should be kept off the postgame spreads on getaway nights.
At Frontier Field, the Yankees will be taking over the visitor's clubhouse — with a third clubhouse created for teams that come in to play Red Wings and the Yankees. It remains to be seen whether they'll attract fans at their various venues — not that they have that many to begin with. Last year Scranton averaged 4,586 for 65 home games, next-to-last among the 14 teams in a league with an overall average of 6,956.
Players who figure they'll start the season at Triple-A have been talking with each other about the logistics and asking questions of Vinny Colangelo, their clubhouse attendant. There haven't been a lot of answers yet. Since clubbies don't usually travel in the minors, Colangelo figures he'll have to pack the club with both home and road uniforms on some trips. He's already determined it all will fit under the two buses the team uses.
As for housing, players will have to make their own decisions, paying for their own accommodations.
"They can do hotels, they can do apartments," said Curt Camoni, Scranton's vice president of stadium operations. "They'll set that up in the Rochester area however they want to handle it."
Pitching coach Scott Aldred plans on getting his own place in Rochester.
"You just deal with it. It's not a great situation, but hopefully the stadium is much nicer when we return to it. This year will be a little tougher on everybody, but you grind through it and we'll be OK," he said.
Veterans at spring training on minor league contracts say there's no point in dwelling on a possible assignment to the Wanderers.
"I'm planning not to go to Triple-A. My focus is on making the big league team," said Russell Branyan, a veteran of 14 major league seasons.
And that's understandable.
"That's what they're all thinking. Stark reality comes into play in early April," Newman said. "Then they'll be (angry) anyway, so why not throw that in there?"
Looking ahead, there could be another scramble in 2013. Construction at PNC Field still hasn't started.
Russo figures all the chaos will push him even harder to make it back to the major leagues for the first time since September 2010.
"There's always enough incentive," Russo said. "A little more is always good."
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