Yanks Off to Winning Start
The day I had waited for for what seemed an eternity finally arrived on Thursday: Yankees Opening Day! I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into the day with no expectations. Sure, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was worried about them facing Verlander in the Opener. I was worried about certain guys getting off to a good start. And I was worried about the weather.
And most importantly, I was worried about missing the majority of the game because of school.
Being the nerd I am, I had to stay after school Thursday for a meeting with the Superindenent that I could not skip. “Aw jeez,” I thought. “That’s an extra hour of the game I”ll miss. I hope my boys do alright.”
When the 3:00 bell rang, I fled the school as fast as I could.
“How’re they doin?” was the first thing I asked my Dad on the way home.
“Tied 3-3.” he said.
“Doing alright, not his best.”
“Who tied it up? Like, were the Yanks winning and did they blow the lead, or what?” I nervously questioned.
“They were down 1-0, Teixeira hit a 3-run hom-
“MAAAAAAAAARRKK!!!!!” I couldn’t hlep myself. I was just so stunned that Teixeira did something big in game 1. It was his first Opening Day hit with the Yanks.
“Then the Tigers came back,” my Dad finished, not the least bit startled by my exclamation. He’s used to that.
Once we got home, it was the top of the 7th, and Sabathia had been relieved by Joba Chamberlain. CC’s line was pretty good: 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 106 pitches.
I was impressed by Joba Chamberlain, who still had the icky hair, and who had a perfect 1-2-3 7th.
I was lucky to get home when I did. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 3-3, my cutie Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. All offseason long, my family and I discussed how we thought certain guys would perform. I said that I expected huge things from Curtis this year – I felt he’d reach the 40 home run plateau in 2011.
Sure enough, Curtis hit a monster home run into the 2nd deck in right field to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.
“OH MY GOD, CURTIS!!!! AWWW!!!! WE’RE WINNING!!!!”
Way to make me look good, Curtis!
From there on, the Yanks never looked back. They tacked on 2 more runs via a Derek Jeter sac fly and a Nick Swisher RBI single. The bullpen was perfect: Rafael Soriano and his #29 jersey impressed me with a 1-2-3 8th, and Mo was Mo looking good with high socks and a 1-2-3 9th.
Yankees win game 1 by the score of 6-3.
They couldn’t have played better. The Heroes for the Opening Day win are Mark Teixeira for his big blast, Curtis Granderson, for his stellar defense and clutch homer, and the Yankee bullpen, for being perfect.
I was able to catch the entire game 2, a game where Burnett didn’t suck, and the Yankee offense exploded.
My boys got off to a 3-0 start in the first inning thanks to an RBI double by A-Rod (who WILL be MVP this year), an RBI single by Cano, and a sac fly by Swish.
The longball was key for the Yanks in game 2. Mark Teixeira DID IT AGAIN with a 3-run homer to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead. He’s on pace to hit 162 home runs this season! Keep it up, Mark!
Russell Martin surprised the heck out of me when he went deep for a 3-run shot in the 5th to give the boys a 9-3 lead. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Martin. But in the first two games, he has impressed me. I didn’t expect him to steal bases, and he’s done that already. And he filled the home run column. I think he’s going to be the best #9 hitter in baseball.
The Yankees added on another run in the 6th with an Alex Rodriguez home run. He’s a beast.
A.J. Burnett was decent through 5 innings. He looked good over the first 4, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. He managed to escape with minimal damage. Burnett allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and struckout 6. He was relieved by David Robertson who had a scoreless 6th. Luis Ayala, who I thought was pretty mediocre in Spring Training, gave up 2 runs. Boone Logan saw a little action, and Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 2nd save of the season.
The Heroes for the Victory here are the homer boys: Teixeira, Martin, and A-Rod.
It’s such a beautiful thing…the Yankees are 2-0 this year, and the “best team in baseball,” the Boston Red Sox, are 0-2. One of their star-offseason acquisitions, Carl Crawford, has not gotten a hit yet. And their pitching has been dreadful so far.
HA. HA. HA!
Who’s the best team in the AL East? Can I hear you say it?
NEW YORK YANKEES.
Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing…I love it.
It’s gonna be a goooood season.
With the clocks now sprung forward, the calendar officially saying spring, and the snow gone, baseball really is right around the corner. The dawning of a new season is very close.
Spring brings so many good things aside from baseball. I always look forward to the new spring styles in fashion. I’ve noticed several Yankees sporting some new styles this spring. Some I like, and some….ermm…not so much.
– The New Slender Sabathia
Well, more slender than before. Coming off knee surgery, CC decided it would be beneficial to drop a few pounds before the season. He accomplished his goal and lost around 30 pounds. I think Sabathia looks fabulous.
And not only does he look good – CC might even pitch better now that he won’t have that extra stress on his knees.
I like this new CC, but I sort of miss the old one…I mean can I still call him nicknames? Like my Hefty-Lefty, or CC my Chocolate Chunk? His belly was cute, especially since he pitched so well with it.
Look at him…trying to find his old belly and failing. But I guess I shouldn’t be too down. He’s smiling here – he has embraced his new slender(er) self. I can still call him cute names if I want.
Oh, and that picture just reminded me of a new style that I DISLIKE:
– Sergio Mitre’s New Uni
Mitre was having himself a pretty solid spring, but the Yankees traded him anyways, explaining that they felt they had a “surplus” of pitching (which I think you can never have). I loved Sergio Mitre and I feel bad for him. But what’s done is done.
In the trade, the Yanks got Chris Dickerson, an outfielder. In his Yankees debut in the game today, he went 3-3. I wish him luck.
And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.
– Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle
Brian Cashman didn’t want to discuss Joba’s weight GAIN, so I’ll refrain from that. I will just note that I think his body looks good…he doesn’t look fatter, but rather he appears stronger. So that’s nice.
But the hair…it sticks out of his cap. It’s long, curly, it’s…it’s almost resembles the Phil Hughes hair of a few years ago!
Okay…I’m not too fond of this messy look, but it worked for Hughes. If it works for Joba, I might learn to really like this look.
–Mariano Rivera’s High Socks
Yes, yes, YESSSS!!!! This is my FAVORITE new style of the spring, and I hope he continues to wear it into the season. God, he looks awesome. I wonder why he didn’t try this earlier. High socks make every player look better. It made A-Rod look better.
Speaking of A-Rod, I don’t know what’s up with him…
– A-Rod’s Stuffed Face
It’s a little unflattering to say the least.
Every time he’s at-bat, Alex stuffs handfuls of sunflower seeds into his mouth, and stores them in his cheek, chewing and spitting every few seconds. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know how he can possibly play like that without choking himself.
Who am I kidding, right? Pshh…”how can he play like that…” A-Rod is having an AMAZING spring! He’s hit like 6 home runs, and the one I saw today went about 440 feet to dead centerfield. He’s a beast!
Alex, if you wanna stuff your face, that’s fine. Just keep hitting!
Overall, I think my Yankees look very very good…aesthetically, of course. But baseball-wise as well. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for it to begin!
This post doesn’t really have anything to do with the Yankees. It’s about something that is even more important to me. As I hope my readers sense, everything I write comes right from my heart. Although not about baseball, this post is just the same.
Aside from the Yankees, one constant in my life has been dogs. There has been a dog in my home for as long as I can remember. My parents bought Jesse, a yellow Labrador Retriever, two weeks after their dog Wade passed away. I was just a little baby. Jesse is a third brother to me. He, I, and my brothers have all grown up together. Since we were too young to remember Wade, Jesse is the only dog we’ve known.
Jesse and five-year-old me.
And on Monday, February 28, Jesse passed away, leaving an emptiness in our hearts and home. He was a few weeks shy of what would have been his 16th birthday.
Naturally, my family and I are devastated. Jesse has been a part of our lives for almost 16 years. He was intertwined into so many aspects of our lives, that we don’t know what to do without him. Jesse’s passing is the first real death that I’ve had to experience. I miss him so much.
Jesse was with us all the time, but one thing he really enjoyed was baseball. During the summer, our family would gather around the television, and stay there together for around three hours, to watch the Yankees. What more could a dog ask for? At dinner, Jesse would bark at a certain point every night – when my Dad’s wine glass had about 1 sip left – and motion for us to go in the living room, as if to say, “Hurry up guys! The game’s about to start!”
Jesse nudged his way onto my homemade Yankees pillow.
Jesse had a lot of toys, and in his younger days he played with them a lot. As we watched the game, Jesse would dig around in his overflowing toybox for something, then approach one of us – either to hold his bone for him as he chewed, or to have us throw the ball for him to catch. But it never failed: every single time there was a tense moment in the game where we couldn’t take our eyes off the screen, Jesse would get up, go get a toy, and stand in front of the screen, showing it off. I can’t tell you how many exciting moments I’ve missed because of this, but it was all worth it.
Jesse relaxing in front of the screen. Notice all his toys scattered around.
As much as I look forward to this coming baseball season, I know as I watch the Yankees, there will be something missing. The Dog Days of Summer just won’t be the same without my Jesse.
This emptiness in our home is killing us. Jesse meant the world to us. The grieving will be hard, but when the time comes, we are definitely getting another dog – maybe even two. No dog can replace Jesse, but a dog (or two) can liven up the household like nothing else.
All I can say is that I enjoyed every minute with him. Jesse was one in a million – such a good boy. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. I am blessed to have had him in my life for so long and blessed to have had grown up with him. He was perfect.
And isn’t it fitting that the last game he and I watched together on the couch, on Sunday February 27, was a game that the Yankees won.
Jesse, you will always be missed and loved, but you’ll never be forgotten.
And I hope Doggie Heaven has the YES Network.
Jesse James Califano. 4/12/95 – 2/28/11. Love you, buddy ❤
Ahh I don’t even know where to begin. Once the clock struck one and I had the YES Network on, I felt right at home. That offseason that was so long felt like a thing of the past. That’s because it is! Ha! I still can’t believe it. I watched the Yankees today. And it wasn’t a Yankees Classic that I had seen a thousand times. It was LIVE ACTION! And boy, was it fun.
The opening ceremonies were lovely, the field was gorgeous, and Haley Swindal’s rendition of our national anthem was amazing. Christina Aguilara WHO? Before I knew it, the game was underway. Hearing Michael Kay and Ken Singleton’s voices made me shiver with excitement. Then I knew baseball was back. The Yankee announcers are as much a part of my family as the players are, and it felt great to hear them again.
I was so excited for the game to be underway that I forgot about the starting pitching situation. Then I remembered when I saw Bartolo Colon jog out onto the mound. I decided to be fair and not judge the guy – I mean it was his first time pitching for the Yanks, I didn’t need to hate on him just yet. I thought, “Okay, I’m not judging this guy. Maybe he really can be good and help my team.”
I tried. But as I focused on his jiggly belly, triple-chin, and heard he’s 5’10” 260 lbs, I couldn’t help but to exclaim, “WHY DID THEY GET THIS GUY? HE’S NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO PITCH!”
I even thought of a perfect lookalike for Colon:
To be honest, I didn’t hate Bartolo Colon today. He may have been on the chubby side, but that’s okay – the Yankee pinstripes have a knack for making even the most homely look hotter. And today, Colon didn’t look as ugly as I had expected. In his two innings of work, Colon allowed just a run on two hits. But he did look pretty good. He’s no ace, but he proved to me today he knows what he’s doing. He CAN pitch. And for a fourth or fifth starter, he looks like he’d be fine.
Over at FanVsFan, another site I write for, my buddy Eric and I made a bet surrounding Joba Chamberlain. Eric thinks he will be good, and I think he’ll have another disappointing season. Naturally, I looked forward to seeing Joba’s outing today. He said he gained weight, but it didn’t look like Bartolo Colon weight – it looked solid. And his stuff looked as solid as I’ve seen it in awhile. Joba tossed a scoreless inning. You proved me wrong so far, Joba. Now just perform like that for the majority of the next 8 months or so, and I’ll make my apology official.
Another highlight of my afternoon was getting to see my darling sweet Francisco Cervelli behind and at the plate. I still have to get used to his new number, 17, and try to get over the fact that my precious shirt is outdated.
I didn’t have to be too sad for too long. My Cervelli looked as cute as ever today. And when he drove in the first Yankee run with his sharp double down the line, my customary Cervelli shrieks and smiles filled the room.
I also enjoyed seeing Mark Teixeira, who is known for his slow starts, crush a ball for an RBI triple. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Teix.
Everyone who knows me knows I go absolutely bananas for rookies. I just adore them. When I hear people go, “Oh I hate Spring Training games…the regulars play like 2 innings, then it’s just a bunch of nobodies,” I am dumbfounded. I look forward to seeing the cute new guys every year.
Today I saw a bunch of cuties pitchers including David Phelps (#87), Hector Noesi (#74), Eric Wordekemper (#89), and Luis Ayala (#43). I was very impressed by fist baseman Jorge Vazquez. I remembered that name from last year’s Spring Training. I knew he was a big guy with a funny (in a cute way) looking face. And today, I got to see him shine. Vazquez went 2-3, with a MONSTER 2-run homer, and a single.
Another newbie who really impressed me today was Justin Maxwell, whom the Yanks acquired in a trade with the Nationals earlier in the offseason. He may be my rookie-of-choice this Spring. First of all, he’s kinda cute. He’s 6’5”, and can run. And to me, on the baseball field speed is just as, if not MORE sexy, than home runs. Maxwell made a lovely play in the field to end the 7th inning, and he singled in the 9th. I hope he does well. The Yanks have a few spots open on their bench, and I think Maxwell would be a nice fit.
Mmmm…Justin Maxwell lookin’ mighty fine…
This game was so much fun that I didn’t even realize or CARE that my Yankees lost. It’s Spring Training. It’s fun. Would I have liked for them to win? Of course, but I don’t want to be too picky.
Heck, to be honest, one of my favorite parts of this game was the sight of grass. I haven’t seen that stuff in awhile.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a winter this winter-ish before. It has been the longest, most boring and depressing winter. My area has experienced record snowfall, and my school has closed so many times that my spring vacation now ceases to exist. My 200 foot uphill driveway is still covered with a 3 inch sheet of ice. Every day is gray and I miss seeing the sun. In a panic, my teachers have been assigning boatloads of work, realizing that the year is half over and the AP exams are approaching, desperately trying to make up for the lost time due to snow. Do I have anything to smile about?
The Groundhog says spring is on the way. The other day, bright and early, I left my house for school. Although bitter cold and gray like every other day, I sensed something was different. The outside air had that light scent of spring. I can’t explain it. It just smells so good, and it only happens in the spring.
Maybe the groundhog was right. I heard it’s going to get up to 50 degrees later this week. HEAT WAVE!!!
Last week was my first full 5-day week of school since BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I’m starting to get back into the rhythm of things. And things are finally looking brighter.
Today is the day I’ve been waiting for, and it’s finally here: PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!!!!!!
Ahh…It’s a beautiful thing.
Pitchers and Catchers Report. My Yanks have a lot of new faces this year who are pitchers and catchers. But one face who’s been part of the Yankee family for a long time will not be there…
Aw, Andy…I’m gonna miss you Andy.
Pettitte, along with Tino Martinez, was my first favorite. Saying goodbye to him is not an easy task – but at least he went out on his own terms. Knowing he can still pitch makes it even harder to watch him hang up the spikes. Andy Pettitte was the best pitcher I’ve had the pleasure of watching. It just doesn’t feel like it will be the same without him.
I think Andy is on his way to the Hall of Fame. I was challenged to a debate, where my opponent claimed that Andy WON’T make it. I say he will, and I have amazing reasons why. I suggest if you agree, vote for me! http://fanvsfan.com/claims/pettitte-won-t-make-hall
I can’t wait to actually SEE a baseball game again, even if it is Spring Training (where the Big Guys play like 3 innings). I don’t mind that. I like seeing the rookies.
I’m getting SO EXCITED! Spring Training is here! Which means SPRING is almost here! Which means WINTER is almost OVER!!!
WHICH MEANS MY YANKEES ARE COMING BACK TO MEEEEE!!!!!!!!
I’m sure many of you have may have already noticed it, but if not, you really should. It’s scary! Mark Teixeira has a twin!
Let’s hope Mark Teixeira gets off to a better start in 2011.
Pitchers and catchers report in just a few weeks!!!
I was one of the Yankees fans who loved the Rafael Soriano signing. But suddenly, I’m not smiling as much. It probably sounds ridiculous to you, but I think I have a very good reason to be mad at newcomer Rafael Soriano. This picture broke my heart:
What’s wrong with that, you ask? Looks like an ordinary new player press conference…
If you know me, you should understand…
If you still don’t understand, I’ll give you a hint:
Look, it’s Cervelli!
Francisco Cervelli – #29.
Get why I’m enraged at Soriano yet?
WHY THE HECK DID HE TAKE CERVELLI’S NUMBER?!?!?!?!
I know what some might think, “Ooh it’s just a number…get over it.”
Just a number? No, it was just a number that belonged to my FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER. It was just a number that happens to be included in almost every single one of my passwords for every single thing. It was just a number that took me forever to find on the back of a Yankee’s shirt!
It was JUST A NUMBER that I spent $40 when I went to Yankee Stadium last July.
What is my sweet Francisco Cervelli, not to mention what am I, going to do now? I’m so upset about this…It’s going to be hard for Soriano to make this up to me.
Rafael Soriano better be really good or else I’m going to HATE him even more…