The Yankees Could Probably Open An Envelope…

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…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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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:
Yankees 7
Angels 5
Which made contest winners out of three lucky commenters on this blog who predicted the outcome:
Virginia
djfarenheit
Pinstripe Mike
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.

36 Comments

Nice win.. I can imagine what a special home opener it was. It was fantastic that Matsui got a standing ovation.
Oops, I forgot to put in my guess. I knew I forgot to do something!!!
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

There’s no doubt they got today right. I missed the cookies by one run.. I had Yankees 8-5. Can I have a consolation Ring Ding?
Mike

well it was fun to win on ring day and opening home day but then again it’s fun to win any day. i went into a meeting and it was 5-0 and came out and it was 7-5. i guess i’m glad i missed that part. it was so hard to be an appropriate supervisor and not stop each meeting multiple times to check the score. so what’s up with robertson? i thought he was the closer in waiting, the savior to be. opps not yet.
i am so thankful for the internet. there is this blog. there is access to quick scores and there are videos. so i watched all 30 minutes of the yes pregame ring ceremony and all the game highlights. not as good as being there or seeing it live but not something i would have had in the old days. i am also thankful for andy.
now if only javier can be good….
barbara

I came within 1 run of winning cookies too. Oh well. I’ll take a Yankees win anyday. It was a very emotional event – the positive aspects of the game only added to it. I loved seeing Yogi and Whitey, of course but seeing Monahan and his reaction was amazing. I also can’t wait to hear from those fans who were lucky enough to have been there – it sounded to me like Mariano got the biggest cheer but I’m sure Matsui was close. And how great was the National Anthem?

It was a special day at the Stadium, and a great day all the way around. I thought the players and fans treatment of Hideki Matsui was tremendous and well deserved. It was good to see that George Steinbrenner was able to make the trip, and of course, Gene Monahan too. There was simply too much great about yesterday to mention everything, but I hope we can experience another one like it again in the not-so-distant future!
-
Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Ah… bummer… I didn’t win. I liked the whole Hideki homecoming thing but I still don’t like when opposing teams fraternize with one another. Just sayin’…
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Wonderful day! The Yankee organization does know how to put on a show, but I think they also have a keen understanding of what the fans enjoy. It was classy to have Monahan out there first, so he could get that rousing ovation and know it was all about him. It obviously meant a lot to him. And then to have Matsui go last and everyone swarm him – it was great.

The NY Times has a slide show of the ring ceremony. I think this link will take you to the fourth picture, which is an adorable photo of the players checking out their rings.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/04/13/sports/20100413-YANKEES-SS_4.html

Yogi, so tiny and 85 years old, looked great.

This Yankee team is looking very good.

Melissa

Wonderful day! The Yankee organization does know how to put on a show, but I think they also have a keen understanding of what the fans enjoy. It was classy to have Monahan out there first, so he could get that rousing ovation and know it was all about him. It obviously meant a lot to him. And then to have Matsui go last and everyone swarm him – it was great.

The NY Times has a slide show of the ring ceremony. I think this link will take you to the fourth picture, which is an adorable photo of the players checking out their rings.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/04/13/sports/20100413-YANKEES-SS_4.html

And how great was it that Hairston took a red eye flight in so he could attend??

Yogi, so tiny and 85 years old, looked great.

This Yankee team is looking very good.

Melissa

Sorry for the double post – they told me it didn’t work the first time!
Melissa

It was a great day. From the sight of all the championship flags flying over the stadium; to the huge outpouring of love for Gene Monahan; to Yogi and Whitey on the field once again bringing a connection from the great teams of the past; to Jerry Hairston taking that red-eye (but where was Melky?); to the reverse jersey number count-down so the last current Yankee to get the ring was the captain; to that incredible reception for Matsui (I confess I got a little choked up when all his former teammates ran to hug him); to the military jet fly-over (so loud!!!!) – a fabulous start to the home season. My hands hurt before the first pitch was even thrown (Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!!!!!). Great pitching by Andy. OK, Nick Johnson’s walk on music was a bit of a shock; but if Party in the USA makes his daughter happy, and inspires him at the plate like it did yesterday, then it’s ok with me. I could have lived without the top of the 9th, but we’ve got Mo, so all is right with the world.
Jane

Oh, you meant runs? I was predicting the Yanks would get 13 HITS.

Well, not really, but it’s the best I could do to try to salvage my blown-out prediction.

Meanwhile, back to the game: Is there any greater feeling for a Yankee fan than going into the ninth inning with a big lead and knowing that the merely human relievers just have to get the ball over the plate, because Mo is there to clean up whatever mess they make?

Yup, a special day, no doubt about it…

Oh, well, Cat. There will be another contest one of these days, so not to worry. Yes, the Matsui ovation was something I’m sure he’ll never forget. He seemed genuinely touched by it.

A consolation Ring Ding. LOL, Mike. I don’t think so. Do they even make Ring Dings anymore, by the way?

Barbara, I can’t imagine being a supervisor in meetings yesterday and trying not to check the score. I gave myself over to the game and figured I’d work at night (the luxury of being a writer and setting my own schedule), but the phone kept ringing and I kept saying out loud, “Don’t people realize it’s Opening Day at Yankee Stadium? Why would anybody call me!” Good thoughts for Vazquez today.

You missed by only a run too, Diane. Shucks. But the Yanks won, thanks in part to Andy and Mo, the amazing duo. Very emotional day. Now it’s back to business. As Girardi said, now it feels as if the season has really started. Maybe that means Tex will start to hit????

It seems like there’s always magic with the Yankees somehow, Scott – no matter which stadium they call home. Yesterday was no different. Mystique and aura are alive and well.

Nope. You didn’t win, Jeff, but you were close. Normally, I’m not wild about fraternizing with the enemy either, but Matsui will always be special to the players and fans, so he doesn’t count!

Thanks for the link to the slide show, Melissa. I can’t get enough of the pictures and videos. They make me smile. And yes, the Yankees do know how to put on a show. Do you think Yogi gets tinier or is it that today’s players keep getting bigger? LOL.

Oh, great! I was hoping you’d report in, ladyjane. I can only imagine how raw your hands must have been from clapping – even before the first pitch. I forgot about Hairston taking the red eye to get there. I guess Melky was otherwise engaged. I would have gotten choked up when Matsui came out too – what a moment. Everybody on Twitter was tearing into Nick Johnson for the walk up music, but, as you say, if he hits like he did yesterday, he can play Miley for the rest of the season! And yeah, thank God for Mo. Things got a little hairy at the end, but we had him to take care of business.

Not hits, jojovanb! Good try. No, there isn’t a better feeling than knowing Mo is there to clean up other relievers’ messes. I know it’s early in the season – very early – but Robertson didn’t have a great spring and I’m wondering what’s up with him.

Dave! Such brevity from you. What, no song? No poem? Are you feeling all right?????

Congrats on the win and getting the well deserved rings!! Hideki Matsui looked comfortable at Yankee Stadium- Though he was a victim in Jeter’s prank!! Classic Jeter. Good to also hear that The Boss was back. As for Andy, he never ceases to amaze me. He is a great pitcher.
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

Thanks, Holly. Jeter’s prank was hilarious. He told reporters that Matsui is fluent in English, even though he uses a translator, and understands what they’ve all been saying perfectly. Such a clever guy, that Matsui. Andy does rise to the big occasions, year in and year out.

Your next prize should be a really pricey steak.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

A grown man in front of millions does a gesture solely to make his little girl feel special, having to know people would laugh? Johnson is my favorite “new” Yankee.

Not a bad idea, Paul. I’ll look into it. Seriously. I love doing contests.

Johnson was sure getting a lot of grief about Miley, lrkaserman. But you’re right – it was a sweet gesture to his daughter, sort of like Girardi wearing braces in solidarity with his daughter. Nice group of guys we’ve got on this team.

Jane,
Can you imagine if you would have been at Yankee Stadium?!? You would have been crying so much from the emotion. I know I kept cleaning up my tears last year with Vin Scully throwing out the first pitch and the emotional words he said.
Take a look at my friend Erik and my costumes for Opening Day! We had a lot of fun.. except for one complain I mentioned there. But I did not let that person ruin my day!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Nice guys? Girardi helping the motorist after the WS last fall. Class all around.

Hi Jane & fellow baseball fans…

I was at the game yesterday and it was absolutely amazing !! Alex was cheered loudly ..maybe not as prolonged as Mo or Jeter but it was loud. Most of the major guys …Pettitte, Cano, Posada, CC, AJ, Tex, etc. received loud applause but the fans did a great job of cheering everyone. Gene Monahan’s was very touching …Matsui had the loudest of all with chants of his name. He looked so happy especially when everyone ran over to hug him. I wasn’t the only one who had tears in her eyes at that point ..it was very touching. Matsui received a loud ovation as he stepped to the plate too..that is until the first strike was called and the cheers were reversed …lol.

Alex was soooooooo happy …waving the ring box at the crowd as they cheered. He put it on his hand immediately. He looked like a kid …he was adorable. The grins on all of the Yankees was so heartwarming ..especially the kids like Joba, Phil & Cervelli. It was great seeing Jerry Hairston make the trip. I wish Melky, Wang, Damon, Coke & Bruney could have been there too.

During the game they showed Mr. Steinbrenner and his wife on the big screen and again the stadium erupted into cheers & applause. One of the signs read “Let’s do it again in 2010? I say amen to that !! The ceremony and the Yankee win made it a great day to be a Yankee and a Yankee fan…of course for me …everyday is a great day to be a Yankee fan … :)

I will be one of my fondest memories about my beloved Yankees…I wish you all could have been there (well ..at least the Yankee fans…lol).

Go Yankees 2010 !

One last thing …that was a hoot about Johnson coming to the plate with Miley. Everyone in the stands was thinking ..”What the heck?” What a Dad not caring if he looked uncool to everyone else as long as he was the coolest to his daughter. Way to go Big Nick ….

I just love this team …. :o)

Go Yankees 2010 !!

I would have been crying my eyes out, Emma. I was choked up just watching on TV. Will head over to your blog and check out your opening day costume.

Right you are, lrkaserman, in reminding us about Girardi and the motorist last year. Incredible story.

Peggy! I was hoping you’d give us your impressions of the day’s festivities. I wish the other players you mentioned could have taken part in the ring ceremonies too, but that’s baseball. It was cool that Hairston flew in and, of course, that the scheduling gods allowed for Matsui to be there. Apparently, Johnson’s Miley walk up music was not a one-day fluke. The game’s on right now and he’s still using it. What a dad.

Um, hello again…
First time I tried to post, my stubby little fingers hit the wrong key somewhere for the eleventy-ninth time, and awaay it went…didn’t know that ’til now…
But what can I add at this point? A Truly Grand Time had by all. In my view, the group hug of Godzilla was extra, extra special — but it was All Good…
All the yakety yak about money…lord knows I get it in my house all the time, and from all the haters…but when you get down to what REALLY matters…looking at those rings…and “when the lovelight starts shining thru his eyes,” as The Supremes once sang…I think a lot of ‘em would play for free (or a WHOLE lot less) just to be recognized as Champions…to join that hallowed ground…because THAT’S forever…what Matsui said…amen.

Besides the ring ceremony and the fact that the Yankees won, I have to say my favorite part of the game was realizing the members of the “Core Four” all helped the Yankees to victory. With Pettitte’s strong outing, Jeter’s homer, Posada’s doubles, and Mo’s save, I have to say I was pretty impressed. Not shocked, just impressed. :)

~Leah
http://bullpointpen.wordpress.com/

Hello again, Dave. Sorry you had trouble with the first post. So irritating when that happens. You’re so right about the rings and the look on the players’ faces. Sure, we’ve got the highest payroll and our guys make a fortune. But, as A-Rod said after he got his ring, he feels like he’s 10 years old again.

Ah, yes, Leah. The Core Four was at it again. They all contributed to yesterday’s victory, just as they have so many times before. Impressive is right.

No win today, lrkaserman. Ugh. We couldn’t hit their pitcher for anything.

If somebody not named Nick would get an RBI today we might see a win yet!

So *today* the Angels decide to win 5-3. I guess Lori and I are good prognosticators, but not timely ones. :)

So sorry, Matthew, that you and Lori missed out by one day!!! You must feel good about today’s win though. Pineiro was terrific.

With the start we’ve had, we’ll take any wins we can! Pineiro had a great game.

That’s so weird, I had jam today. The core four are off to a great start.

A really great game, Matthew. I had heard about his transition from power pitcher to sinker pitcher, but seeing him in action yesterday was eye opening.

The core four are, indeed, off to a great start, seindsfeld. Where would we be without them, year after year???

There’s not crying in baseball?!? Guess again, I cried through most of the opening ceremony. Between Geno, Matsui and for some reason Pettitte (not sure why) I wept like a little girl. Without question one of the best games I have ever been to.

Thanks for the chance at the cookies.

Colleen

You were there yesterday, Colleen? Lucky, lucky you!! I would have been sobbing my guts out, I’m sure. And I understand why you’d get choked up by Pettitte. There’s something about seeing him on the mound year, our stalwart pitcher, that represents what the Yanks are all about. Sorry you didn’t win the cookies though.

Flustered and off balance are two incredible words to describe the team at the moment! :( Granted it’s only been two weeks but still.. we’re late bloomers i suppose……… :P

There were some crazy stuff going on! I enjoyed watching Matsui get his ring and celebrating with his ex-teammates. He’s a pleasure to have on the Angels! Making an impact right away which is great :).

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

I’m so glad you’re enjoying Matsui on the Angels, Mimi. Treat him well. He’s such a class act and it was a thrill to be able to see him get his ring – and such a loving reception from the crowd.

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