You probably heard the cheering and the loud jet engines if you were anywhere near 161st street yesterday around 1 o’clock. As great fate would have it for Mr. Steinbrenner and his Yankees, the 2010 opening day would have a long tenured Yankee who fans fell with his grand slam in 2003, his clutch hitting in the World Series last year, and everyday fielding before his wrist injury. He is not a Yankee of course. Now sharing the bench with former Yankee Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui was greeted with a serenade of thanks from the fans that even I couldn’t believe. Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner family put together Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra appearances for the ring intro, Bernie Williams for the first pitch ceremony and a very patriotic opening day. This is Yankee baseball, and these are the fans in Yankee Land.
Opening the gate 2 hours before game time, fans rushed in to see Andy Pettite get his ring and get going. Settling in rather quickly and efficiently, Andy was amazing as he always is. The last time I saw him get angry at an outing was last season in Seattle. On opening day, Andy allowed 6 hits and 3 walks in 6 full innings. Angels hitter were The team goes 5 for 16 with RISP, and leave twelve runner stranded, and still managed to score 7 runs to cushion their teammate. Andy has everyone’s respect on that team. If you didnt have any respect for a 37 year old major leaguer, turn on the Yankees on a meaningful game; Andy is most likely going to pitch a gem. Keeping Hideki Matsui 0-4 on the day (the Angels clean-up hitter), Andy cruised through the Angels lineup carving them up one by one, ‘k’ by ‘k’. To sum up, Andy pitched a gem. Don’t act like I didn’t warn you about Andy Pettitte’s consistent potential.
You already know the Yankees gave him over 10 millions over the winter for this one year. He’s not the Yankees number 1 anymore, but still pitches like one at age 37. What good judgement year after year Brian Cashman has. Our GM’s work is nothing short of amazing.
Smiles on all the fans faces that were made possible by all the Yankees and the entire organization. The Yankees know how to market a special game and made this one special for the people in attendance: a world series ring ceremony, a win, and a patriotic experience. And one more thing…
WORLD SERIES 2009 RING
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Hideki Matusi’s introduction could not be expressed in words. I’m not going to explain the experience either. The respect from the fans and the team was overwhelming that it brought Hideki to tears. You know the Yankee DH now, but whatever the repercussions the team has to deal with without their former LF & DH, you were moved to see him treated with such respect. Later on in his first AB, a standing ovation occurred throughout every section. What a guy.
Yankee Land is Happy !
NOT THAT THIS MATTERS, BUT GOOD TO KNOW =)
I did mention that Andy can be losing his temper on bad outing. He’s memorable blowup in the dugout was the west coast ‘nightmare’. That was the long west coast road trip. To be specific, this was the series where Ichiro beat Mariano in a walkoff, Tex just missed the cycle, and CC & Andy made starts in which they both struck out 10 batters each. Yes, I admit I love watching the Yankees crush the “bad guys”.