Game 1: The birthday present that keeps on giving

Once last Johan Santana gasp
Opening Day Night postponed

Yankee Stadium has never looked better. For more lego stadiums, check out Home Run Derby.

On Saturday, I celebrated my birthday. Two days later, Major League Baseball is giving me the best present for which any obsessed Yankee fan could hope: Opening Day.

Today, Chien-Ming wang turns 28. His birthday present? An Opening Day start.

There’s really nothing like Opening Day when everything says zero, and everyone has their hopes and dreams. It’s the day when we know spring is here even if the weather tells us otherwise. It’s the day when we know summer will be on the way soon.

It’s the day when the clock starts ticking. No longer are we left debating trades that were and weren’t made. No longer are we left sitting here wondering about missed opportunities and an invasion of midges. No longer are we left scrutinizing meaningless spring training stats and wondering what kind of manager Joe Girardi will be in New York. Today is the day when everything starts all over again.

For the Yankees, it’s a new year, a new team and a new look. A lot of the names we’ve heard about made their ways to the Bronx last season. We saw 70 innings of Phil Hughes, three starts of Ian Kennedy and some mighty impressive 8th inning work by one Joba Chamberlain. Ross Ohlendorf, in a late-season call-up, showed off a heavy sinker and a tendency to throw strikes. This year, all four begin the season in the Bronx.

Of course, the old guns are back too. Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera returned to the Bronx while Alex Rodriguez locked up a deal that makes him a Yankee for life. In fact, at some point this September, A-Rod will probably find himself a Yankee for longer than he was in Seattle or Texas.

And then we turn to the Cathedral in the Bronx. As the Yankees take the field today, they will do so for their final home opener in Yankee Stadium. It’s a bittersweet day to be sure.

For the Yanks, they have their work cut out for them today. They haven’t lost on Opening Day since 2004 when the Devil Rays beat them in Japan. At home, they’ve been perfect since April 11, 1997 when Aaron Small and the A’s outlasted Jeff Nelson and the Yankees 3-1 in 12 innings.

Today, the Yanks face Roy Halladay while Chien-Ming Wang pitchers for the Yankees. Two of the game’s most winningest pitchers over the last three season square off. Someone’s gotta give. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. on YES and ESPN.

Time, they say, begins on Opening Day. To me, life begins on Opening Day. It’s a day for promises and hope that after 162 games, there will still be more to play. Let’s get this season started.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Cano 2B
Posada C
Matsui DH
Cabrera CF

Wang P

Notes: Please pledge to join the RAB Big Three K’s Craniosyntosis fund drive. We’ve raised a total of $3.17 per Big Three strike out so far…Please take a minute to read the RAB Commenting Guidelines…While Bob Sheppard is out, Derek Jeter will still be announced by the Voice of the Yankees. Jeter recorded Sheppard saying his name last year. That’s smart thinking by the captain.

Update 12:14 p.m.: ESPN is reporting that the first pitch will be pushed back to 2 p.m. due to rain in the New York area. Tomorrow is a scheduled off day, but the rain is supposed to continue on and off throughout the next few days.

Update 2:10 p.m.: The game is still delayed. We may not see baseball in New York until Wednesday.

Once last Johan Santana gasp
Opening Day Night postponed
  • Freddy

    I’m stuck at work today so I have to listen to the radio broadcast. I’m not looking forward to listening the irritating sound that is Suzyn Waldman’s voice.

    Other than that…here’s to a great season. LETS GO YANKS!

  • Jamal G.

    YES’ new studio looks great.

    BTW, listening to the Max Kellerman show on ESPN 1050, they were making a great point about the Yanks lineup agains the other powerhouse lineups in the AL. The 7-8-9 hitters of the Yankees beats out everybody. Looking at the Tigers, they have Edgar Renteria, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jacque Jones to go up against Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, and Melky Cabrera. Who in their right mind would not take Posada/Matsui as 7-8 hitters over Renteria/Rodriguez? Then going to Boston, they have Youkilis at #7, Varitek at #8, and Lugo at #9. And again, how could you not possibly take the Yanks in this matchup. They brought up the Tribe I guess just as filler because there’s no comparison.

    The Yankees have hitters in their #7 and #8 holes that are middle-of-the-order guys, guys who on pretty damn good teams can hit #3 and #4 and dominant teams would hit between 5-6-7. People can boast about that Tigers offense all they want but I’ll gladly take the Yankees offense any day of the week….and thrice on Sunday.

  • Ivan

    Gotta love opening day. As a yankee fan, this might be the most intriguing year since me being a fan. Alot guys are down on this team and rightfully so, yes we do have some holes.

    Nevertheless, I think the yankees will do well.

    My WS picks Dodgers vs. Yankees.

    • Count Zero

      OMG I hope that doesn’t happen. Can you imagine Buck and McCarver? Every other pitch we’d be looking at a shot of either Torre or Girardi. And God forbid the Dodgers won…the media would bury us with I told you so stories for the entire offseason.

    • TurnTwo

      on the flip side, imagine being a Baltimore or San Francisco fan right now. Yikes.

      • Whitey14

        Yep, one happy day and then six months of misery…

  • Freddy

    According to CBS radio, an announcement from the National Weather Center was reported at Yankee Stadium stating that it looks like the rain will not let up and may worsen…much to the chagrin of the stadium crowd.

  • Back Bay Yankee

    It’s going to NYY vs. NYM in the WS.

  • Jordan

    It’s my birthday too.

  • Rich

    Is meteorology really a science?

    • Ben K.

      Meteorology is a fine science; it’s everyone else who doesn’t understand weather reports that represent the problems.

      Meanwhile, so far, the weather reports have been dead-on accurate for today. Rain was predicted and rain was delivered.

      • Rich

        Yes, but every report I heard said that the weather wouldn’t threaten the game. Now, according to Abraham, it has been postponed.

        • Ben K.

          The weather I heard last night pretty much indicated this game wasn’t going to be played. They’ll be lucky to get it in tomorrow night too.

          And why according to Abraham? We had the same info :)

  • kunaldo

    it’s effing drizzling!!! what has baseball become that they can’t play in a little rain??

    i feel really bad for the fans that are there…i’d be much more pissed

  • Jamal G.

    OK, tomorrow night isn’t bad.

    …God Damn rain.

  • Freddy

    At least us working folks will get to watch the game on TV.

  • bostonsucks@life

    What a crappy day, even with the damn package there is 1 game on cause its raining everywhere.

  • Jamal G.

    You see baseball, that’s what you get for having 3 God Damn Opening Days in one year.

  • wayne’s world

    This is a great post. Really nails what opening day is all about. As to the weather, this is a lesson from above to those who lost all sense of perspective and gave into the urge to pay inflated ticket prices.

  • Pingback: River Ave. Blues | Game 1: Let’s try that again

  • Victoria

    I, for one, am still wondering about invasions of midges and what might have been otherwise.