Results tagged ‘ Opening Day ’
There really is something cool about Opening Day. Even after seven weeks in Tampa, I felt it coming up the subway steps at 161st Street yesterday afternoon — that little jolt of excitement that tells you this is for real, this one is going to count.
By the end of what became an opener that the Yankees would prefer to forget, there was a stiff wind battering the tri-colored bunting hanging from the rafters, cold rain falling from the sky and hot dog wrappers littering the outfield.
It wasn’t exactly the way the Yankees were hoping to begin 2013, but as they — and, I’m sure, someone in every losing clubhouse on Opening Day — said, it is just one game.
“I don’t think we expected to go 162-0,” said outfielder Vernon Wells, one of six Yankees to make his team debut on Monday. “We unfortunately lost the first one, but it’s one game. That’s why you play a lot of them. You learn from the good things, and you learn from the bad things, and move on.”
The Stadium was looking pretty empty when Brett Gardner fouled out at 4:47 p.m., securing an 8-2 victory for the Red Sox, but Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said he couldn’t blame the paying crowd for heading for the streets.
“If I was a fan and it started to rain, I would run too,” Cervelli said. “It was cold, man. The weather changed in like one inning. but it’s not disappointing. It’s a long season, they always been really good with us and they support us through the whole season, playoffs, anytime. [They’re] the greatest fans ever.”
The Yankees had their Welcome Home Dinner last night, where Lou Piniella was honored. They’ll enjoy an off-day today and get back to work tomorrow against Boston at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here’s all the Opening Day coverage you need to catch up on yesterday’s action:
- Game story: CC Sabathia had another rough Opening Day outing and sparked some concerns with his velocity, which mostly sat around 89 mph. He doesn’t sound worried, and neither do the Yankees. The new-look offense went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
- Alex Rodriguez appeared briefly outside the Yankees clubhouse – the first time I’ve seen him in person since Game 4 of the ALCS – but decided not to take part in the pregame ceremonies. Rodriguez said that he didn’t need to be introduced to feel like he was part of the team. A-Rod said his rehab is going well and is trying to draw inspiration from those counting the Yankees out this year.
- Mike Bauman writes that the Yankees still believe they can get the job done without their bold-faced names. Bauman also writes that A-Rod didn’t seem to have much to say.
- One piece of good news: Mark Teixeira was in New York for a doctor’s visit and received clearance to remove the brace from his right wrist. He’s encouraged this means a mid-May return is in play.
- Kevin Youkilis is a little bit tired of talking about wearing the pinstripes. The transition period is over for him; he’s a Yankee, not a Red Sox, and he wants everyone to accept it.
- Where was Derek Jeter yesterday? Playing catch on a back field in Tampa, Adam Berry writes. Jeter is essentially starting over after his recent setback, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll be able to re-join the big league club. The Yankees won’t activate Jeter until he proves that he can play in back-to-back games at shortstop, so this could take a while.
- Mariano Rivera shagged fly balls in the outfield yesterday, his first time since you-know-when. Everything went fine, but the Yankees didn’t have a reason to use Rivera on his final Opening Day.
- Best laugh-out-loud thing I saw all day: Ichiro Suzuki’s Robert DeNiro impression on the centerfield video board. I wish I had a clip to share, but I don’t. Just watch for it this season.
- Joe Girardi had a little trouble figuring out how his lineup should look against left-hander Jon Lester. Fun note from the Elias Sports Bureau — this was the first Opening Day Yankees lineup without a switch-hitter since 1992.
- The Yankees and Red Sox paid tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and those affected in Newtown, Conn. Also, Constantine Maroulis’ rendition of the National Anthem garnered mixed reviews, from what I could see on Twitter (and in the press box). I really didn’t mind it, but then again, I thought he was pretty good when I saw him in ‘Rock of Ages.’
Opening Day is always very special, even when it’s delayed by 30 hours and becomes Opening Night. Joe Girardi said that the moment he’ll want to remember from Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Blue Jays is the final out — Mariano Rivera inducing Marco Scutaro to roll harmlessly to Robinson Cano at second base, just a short throw away from out No. 27.
That had sentimental cache for Girardi, being his first win as the Yankees manager — imagine, the first person other than Joe Torre to record a victory in that position since 1995. Since I’m not managing the Yankees, though, I’ll remember the two catches by Melky Cabrera. The first one was nice enough, crashing against the wall in right-center field, but the second one really made you go, ‘Wow,’ skidding across the turf in left-center.
Melky had a long way to run for both of those balls, and they came on back-to-back batters. That’s conditioning, ladies and gentlemen. Good thing Girardi made ‘em run in Spring Training.
The Yankees have just come off the first base line, and it seemed to me that Joba Chamberlain got the biggest cheers of any player — bigger than Derek Jeter, bigger than Alex Rodriguez. Phil Hughes also was very loudly received, as were Joe Girardi and Shelley Duncan. Like we’ve said, it’s a new team.
Mike Mussina got the moose calls. One player was booed — no names mentioned, but here’s a hint, he wears No. 48 and is a right-handed relief pitcher. Just minutes away right now from the first pitch of the Yankees season. Escorted to the mound by Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson has just thrown out the ceremonial first pitch, right over the plate to Jose Molina.
It’s been months since I sat down here in the basement at Yankee Stadium, and it certainly doesn’t seem to have gotten any warmer (but there is a nice new carpet down here!). The building is open for business and the Yankees are filtering into the building for a Sunday workout. Opening Day is really here and, after seven weeks of Spring Training, it’s about time.
The Yankees may or may not take live batting practice on the field this afternoon — it’s pretty cold as of now. The clubhouse will open to reporters at 12:25 p.m. ET and Chien-Ming Wang leads off the interview parade 20 minutes later, to be followed by Joe Girardi, Roy Halladay and John Gibbons. Should be a busy day at the old ballpark.
By the way, the new Yankee Stadium looks absolutely spectacular. I had to be careful not to rear-end the car in front of me checking the place out.