* The Yankees left 13 men on base and were 3-for-14 with RISP.
* Mark Teixeira is killing us with the bat, although he’s still a genius with the glove.
* Jeter isn’t a very impressive leadoff guy right now.
* Randy Winn is about as good a left fielder as I am.
* Kevin Russo, a call-up from Triple A, is our hottest hitter.
* Phil Hughes wasn’t sharp, but three runs shouldn’t have been insurmountable.
* Chan Ho Park isn’t getting people out.
* I miss Damon and Matsui.
* I sound like a yapping dog, but I can’t help it.
…and it would be exciting. They have a way of turning even the mundane into the dramatic. Not that today’s home opener was mundane – far from it – but there was so much emotion packed into one baseball game that my head almost exploded while I was watching on TV.
I mean, how about long-time head trainer Gene Monahan, in the midst of treatment for cancer, showing up to receive his World Series ring?
Or what about Steinbrenner putting in a rare appearance and Jeter presenting him with his ring?
And could there be a more moving moment than when the players mobbed Matsui or when the crowd gave him a huge ovation?
And, of course, I have to mention Bernieeeee throwing out the first pitch.
Sweet. And then there was the game itself. Pettitte never ceases to amaze me. Year in and year out, he’s on the mound delivering when it counts. Six scoreless innings against a very tough opponent? He took care of it, getting in and, more importantly, out of jams.
Nick Johnson smacked a homer in his first at bat, reminding us that number two hitters don’t have to be named Johnny Damon. Jeter and Posada, as they have on many an Opening Day, provided offense. Cano continued to hit the ball hard. Swisher made a tremendous running catch that ended in one of these.
In fact, for most of the game it felt as if the Yankees could do no wrong and the Angels would keep looking flustered and off balance – the exact opposite of the bad old days when the Yanks couldn’t buy a win from the Halos. But then came Chan Ho’s homer to Morales – one mistake pitch that cost him – followed by a truly lousy outing by Robertson, who hasn’t been as sharp in 2010 as he was last year. The only good thing about Abreu’s grand slam was that it created the need to bring in The God of Closers.
I suppose it was only fitting that Mo get the save, given the occasion. Oh, and the other positive aspect to the Angels’ late rally was that it made the final score:
Which made contest winners out of three lucky commenters on this blog who predicted the outcome:
Congratulations to them! A Vintage Yankee Stadium Tin filled with Cooperstown Cookies will be headed their way as soon as they send me their addresses. I hope they’ll report back after they’ve sampled their prizes. I also look forward to hearing from those who were at the game today. Watching it on TV was better than nothing (even though I was stuck with the Angels feed here in California), but being there in person must have been a day to remember.
The Yankees flew north today, prepared to fight for another championship.
All the talk about whether Joba should start or relieve, whether Johnson should bat second instead of Granderson, whether Vazquez will be better the second time around, whether the Yankees will be weaker without Damon and Matsui…none of it matters now. The roster is set. The team is ready to go. I am ready to go.
Actually, I haven’t decided if I’ll resort to the lucky pizza for tomorrow night’s game. It’s only Opening Night, not the World Series, so probably not. On the other hand, it was really, really good.
Now that our long national nightmare is over and Johnny Damon has made a deal with the Tigers, it seems appropriate to bid him – and other former members of the 2009 Yankees – a formal farewell. Let’s start with Damon himself.
From now on (or at least for the 2010 season), his uniform will have one of these on it.
Judging by the one-year, $8 million the Tigers are said to be paying him, he should have stayed with the Yankees. The weather’s better in New York and so are the restaurants. But farewell, Johnny. Good luck to you.
Jose Molina won’t be wearing the pinstripes either.
Instead, his uni will have a little birdie on it.
He wasn’t much of a hitter, but I sure liked his catching and I know the Yankees pitchers did too. Goodbye, Jose. Have fun in Toronto, eh?
Melky has already been photographed in his Braves uniform and it’s not all that’s changed about his appearance. He’s grown a beard, if you can call it that. (Hat tip: LoHud)
Oh, Melk Man. You weren’t the greatest outfielder we ever had, but I’ll miss all those walk-offs. What I won’t miss is your habit of sliding into first. May the Tomahawk Chop be with you.
Hideki Matsui in an Angels uniform was jarring at first.
But didn’t I just read that his knees are hurting already? Not a good sign. I send him greetings and best wishes. I hope he gets more of a kick out of the rally monkey than I do.
And finally, I must bid a final adieu to Brian Bruney and C-M Wang. Here’s one last look in their Yankees garb…
…because the next time we see them they’ll be sporting this.
Oh. I just realized I forgot Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. Out of sight, out of mind. Baseball is a cruel business.
After I saw Harold Reynolds’ sit down with The Captain via LoHud, there was no question what tonight’s post would be. If you haven’t seen the MLB interview, it’s worth a look. Does Jeter seem relaxed or what? During the season he answers questions with his standard cliches, but – except for repeating the “Bottom line, we just have to win” mantra – he had some interesting things to say. His remarks about Matsui were very heartfelt and made me wish the Yankees hadn’t let Hideki go. Waaah. And it was gratifying to hear him talk about the need to “stay hungry” after winning a championship. Of course, my favorite part was when Reynolds said Jeter was in good shape for his age and Derek’s retort was, “You’re in good shape for your age too.” (I’m paraphrasing.) All in all, a very pleasurable way to spend a few minutes.
I’m keeping this short because I’m teaching my Muse Madams writing workshop tonight. I’ll try to go easy while critiquing the aspiring writers in our group. I am not Simon Cowell after all!
With nothing much going on in Yankeeville and nothing but awful news going on everywhere else, I was in need of a pick-me-up. So imagine my excitement when I checked out the River Ave Blues blog tonight and found this. OMG. I’ve now seen the video six times and am about to take another look. It never gets old. In fact, it gets better with every viewing. Was the 2009 season magical or what? The only hard part is having to watch Melky, Matsui and Damon, knowing they won’t be back. Well, I’m still holding a good thought for Johnny.
P.S. Thank you, Yankees, for donating $500,000 to the Haitian relief effort. You make me proud.
Before the holiday weekend was over, I figured it was my solemn duty to pay a visit to Bill Connell and let him know he won the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video – as voted on by readers of this blog.
It was a beautiful afternoon here in Santa Barbara, so he had a long line of customers for his hot dogs. But he managed not only to give my husband a complimentary “jumbo jumbo dog,” but to let me shoot his acceptance speech and get his thoughts about the 2010 Yankees. Here he is – unplugged and unhinged.
As you can see, Bill got a nice haul of Yankees merchandise for Christmas. I wonder if his prediction about Vazquez will be as accurate as his prediction of the Yankees winning the World Series in six games. After I turned off the tape, he invited me to go with him to the Santa Anita race track next week. Do I dare? Something tells me the experience wouldn’t be dull.
But wait…there’s more. Just as I was closing out the holiday weekend, I had a visit from Amanda Rykoff, a California born/New York based Yankee fan and sports junkie whose blog is definitely worth checking out. I “met” Amanda on Twitter during baseball season. When she said she was coming to Santa Barbara to see her two-month-old nephew, I asked her to stop by and say hi. We had a great time sitting outside on my deck, talking about life and the Yankees. I was skeptical about Twitter when everybody kept telling me to sign up last year, but thanks to people like Amanda I’m a believer. Here she is waxing poetic about football and the Yanks via the She-Fan Cam.
The New Year is off to an excellent start!