It has been 190 days since the Yankees last played a regular season game. It’s been 194 days since they last played a regular season game that meant something. The long offseason and Spring Training are finally over, thankfully. The Yankees are back in the Bronx and play the first of 162 regular season games this afternoon.
The Yankees changed their roster quite a bit over those 190 days, most notably rebuilding the infield and bullpen. There were no major free agent splashes like last winter. Instead, the team focused on smaller moves and a lot of incremental upgrades that, on paper, significantly improved the overall team defense, which was a clear weakness a year ago. The focus is on run prevention now, which is an unfamiliar feeling.
This is also the first game of the post-Derek Jeter era. The Cap’n retired following last season and while he will be missed, the Yankees have no choice but to move move forward. “Like after Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle … life goes on,” said Joe Girardi to reporters Saturday. Jeter may be gone but Alex Rodriguez is back — A-Rod will play in his first Opening Day since 2012 this afternoon. He was hurt on Opening Day 2013 and suspended last year.
The Yankees have lost their last three and five of their last six Opening Days, yet they are still 75-38 all-time on the first day of the season. They’re also 20-3 in their last 23 home openers. That is pretty ridiculous. Also, someone not named CC Sabathia is starting Opening Day for the Yankees for the first time since Chien-Ming Wang in 2008. The times, man. They are a changin’. Here is Girardi’s very first starting lineup of the new season:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Brett Gardner
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- 3B Chase Headley
- DH Alex Rodriguez
- 2B Stephen Drew
- SS Didi Gregorius
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
The Blue Jays are in town for this three-game season-opening set. Here is their starting lineup.
The weather’s very nice for Opening Day. Partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper-50s/low-60s and just a little bit of wind. What did you expect in early-April? This afternoon’s game is set to begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. The baseline introductions are scheduled to start at approximately 12:40pm ET and I’m sure YES will carry those. The road to 162-0 starts today. Enjoy the game, folks. Baseball’s back.