Opening Day from Bleacher Creatures Eyes

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.


new-yankee-stadium-flag-unfurled.jpgOpening 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…








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 !



 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”.


Boston’s Beating and the Weekend in Tropicana

What’s Better:

Brian Cashman winning the hearts of Yankee fans for yet another season?


4-corp-brian-cashman.jpgOr watching the Yankees beat Boston in “GRAND” fashion?


[I don’t think you can have one without the other.]

For as the long as the game played on April 7th lasted, the umpire(s) looked at these two teams putting on an embarassing display on ‘dragging the game on’  as stated by ump official Joe West that you can read here curtosy of ESPN:

April 7th 2010


Andy Pettitte gets the no decision leaving the game. [6IP, 6H, 1ER, 3BB, 4K]

John Lackey leaves with a no decision [6IP, 3H, 0ER, 2BB, 3K]


Rodriguez ended the rubber game going 0 for 5 leaving 5 stranded runners on base.

Curtis Granderson clocks the GW HR off Closer Papelbon for the go ahead run giving the Yankees the win in their very first extra innings game in 2010. (Granderson the only hitter on either team with more than one hit in the game). Yankee fans accepting him pretty well. 🙂

Chan Ho Park pitched 3 innings of relief. (3IP, 1H, 0ER)

               “Tweet” Chan Ho Park > Brian Bruney – Sweeny Murti

Youkilis and Jeter both okay after being hit-by-pitch.

Both Red Sox and Yankees left a combined 15 LOB (RISP -> NYY – 1 for 7 BOS 1-7).

Yankees win series 2 games to 1.


Yankees visit Tampa Bay for three games April 9th 10th 11th, 2010 (games 4 5 & 6 of 162)


Game 7 of the 2004 ACLS… what’s the frame of reference?




Yup. Was Javier Vazquez last start as a Yankee before being traded. He is the pitcher who gave up the grand slam to Johnny Damon.

Ready to be an “established” Yankee starter for the following seasons (through 2007), Yankees mixed Javier Vazquez in that trade that sent Randy Johnson to the Yankees (where Johnson won back to back 17 win seasons. The other players in that trade for Johnson included Dioner Navarro & Brad Halsey).


javier-vazquez.jpgIn Vazquez his Final Season in Atlanta (2009) -> (W/L 15-10 (second highest in career in wins) ERA 2.87 (career low) GS 32). Finishing 4th in the CyYoung Race (behind three undeniable candidates in Linceum Carpenter Wainwright) and finished second in the NL in strikeouts. 2009 is argued to be his best year.

Back with the Yankees, Cashman’s aquired asset during the 2009 winter (yankees also acquired Boone Logan for Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Dunn and clutch performer in May of 2009 -> Melky Cabrera).

The Starter for Tampa Bay will be Vanderbilt University’s, lefty David Price.

David Price in 2009 (W/L 10-7 ERA 4.17)


The Rubber Game – Game 3 of 162 -> April 7th  2010

I figure listening to Stairway to Heaven as I write this might help me be finesse with time.







Get the ball to Mo.


mariano_rivera1.jpgYankees brush off a disgusting loss and win a nail biter. Yippee.

 I’ll take the win. I won’t jump up and down. A lot of work still needs to be done to finish this season properly.

With the exception of a couple of pitches, including the ball to Martinez, AJ gave us 5 innings of work.

The remaining four innings I felt were given to us as a second chance to prove the opening day bullpen a sigh of relief. As close as I was to breaking down seeing Girardi walk to signal for a change, I said my confidence lies with him. If this wasn’t stated in my previous blog, I do apologize. It was there. I was happy to see Aceves get the job done like he had done all last season. Out of the bullpen and on some starts, I feel he could be the average ball clubs starter. Just as I predicted, Cano is going to light up in April.-Just Saying.

Approaching the rubber game with our third guy.

Andy in 2009 -> W/L 14-8 ERA 4.16 in 32 starts. Pettitte was 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts against the Red Sox in 2009, last facing them on Sept. 27 and recording the win with six innings of two-run, seven-hit ball.


AndyPettitte33.jpgThe John Lackey is Red Sox Counterpart.

John Lackey in his Final season in Anaheim in 2009 -> W/L 11-8 ERA 3.83 in 27 starts. The infamous Lackey return in 2009 was his last first start (that makes sense).

Signing the five year 82.5 million dollar deal with Theo and the Boston, he gets a chance to prove his worth in his very first start at Fenway as a Red Sox. As no stranger to Yankees (AND YANKEES FANS), Lackey is W/L 5-7 ERA 4.66 in 16 career regular season starts against the Yankees.

In what could be his final opening day start, Pettitte should pitch so well, that it practically shrinks the Yankees starting pitching ERA as a whole. Adrian Beltre & Dustin Pedroia stand in the way. I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that Beltre could be the newly established ‘Yankee killer’. Andy’s handled so much responsibility; he should deliver more than 5 complete IP (my hope).


By the way, Brian Cashman’s confusing moves really pays dividends. He’s always  up to something good. Nick Johnson on base consistency will pay such dividends. FYI -> Johnson last night= no hits, OBP +.499.

How do you not like this guy production at the plate?




Onto the AJ Jorge Pizzazz….but first, lets talk it out…


Yankees hit two consecutuive home runs. Let’s knock Beckett out by the 6th. Best part; Beckett get pulled before the estimated finish line. Beautiful.



CC rolls along allowing one hit over 3 innings.

Heres comes the Red Sox .’Exactamundo’.

Admit it. Opening Day in Fenway made your blood curl when the game was tied at 5. Even after taking the lead, we fell yet again to the poweful midget, Dustin Pedroia. The rout was on against our 161 million dollar man. Something went horribly wrong with CC, and our bullpen. I admit it, if this continues then we have a situation.


How everything changed so drastically on Opening Day amazed me.

Fans perceptions of our season grew weary.

Now about these ‘fans’: You sound like children. Take a breather. Now. Or you can go watch another sport and stop making it irritating for people like me to hear.



As little offensiveness for some who shook off the loss; “We’re the defending champs. Wait until Yankees Red Sox at the Stadium” or “we’ll be fine”, disregard this, yet respect my opinion. I hate seeing the team lose especially to the Red Sox (Yes, I hate Boston have used the term “Boston Sucks” before).

I won’t worry. Neither should you. 


Things to keep in the back of your head->

The Yankees were under .500 entering last season in the first handful of games before setting a groove. Then Melky started to be clutch, Alex returned, and you know the rest.

When Cleveland’s inagural visit during a weekend in April, Wang and Claggett pitched those brutal beating of innings the team took. Okay, neither of them are on the team anymore. [In fact, Wang is on the 60 DL as of this very moment (Washington) and Anthony Claggett was picked up during 2009 by the Pirates. Nice first impression he made to Yankees fans. To ever think I was optimistic about the kid was resourceful. ]

At this point the Yankees were then ranked with one of the lowest bullpen ERAs in the entire league. As someone smart I looked at every start Joba made, every Boston series and the series against the Angels (our residual heartbreakers since 2002) as the references if I posed concern for our season.

162 games is a marathon. Not a sprint. Now go watch the Yankees and be happy 🙂





Next Game 4/6/10 – Burnett V Lester

Burnett is holding some surreal numbers from last season in Fenway Park. Time to turn that around (be positive).

2009 Burnett in Fenway -> W/L 0-2 ERA 8.85 in four starts. His most recent outing against Boston was on August 22 and gave up 9 ER, 9H in 5 IP, taking the loss.

Lester (a number 2 for Boston, at least until 2014), is a career W/L 23-5 with a 3.16 ERA lifetime at Fenway. Last season against the Yankees he posted an even W/L 1-1 with a ERA of 4.43.

How badly I want things to change for AJ and Jorge.


Today’s Lineups:



SS Jeter, DH Johnson, 1B Tex, 3B ARod, 2B Cano, C Posada, RF Swisher, LF Thames, CF Granderson

Red Sox

LF Ellsbury, 2B Pedroia, C Martinez, 1B Youkilis, DH Ortiz, 3B Beltre, RF Drew, CF Cameron, SS Scutaro

Watch the game on the YES Network, MLB Network. Tune in on WCBS 880 AM.

First pitch: 7:10pm ET



After starting consecutive starts with Jose Molina and Jorge Posada in 2009, Molina became AJ’s catcher later on in the season. This spring, looks like Posada and AJ turned a corner. Check out chemistry detail between the two.

Scratches: NYY Gardner, BOS Varitek

Until next time….


Check out my blog on the Florida Marlins!

Easter Sunday in Fenway

April 3, 2005, is the most recent Yankee Red Sox season opener. The pitchers for this duel featured a giant in Randy Johnson (Yankees), who dueled against a former Yankee in David Wells (Red Sox). In this case David Wells felt 54,000+ drunken angry fans crush him with the lowest vocabulary known to the average visiting player. Welcome to Yankee Stadium. (Fun FactJ: The Red Sox opened the season to defend a World Series 86 years prior to this date in 1919. Their opponent was the Yankees. Not So Fun Fact L : The Yankees lost that 1919 game by 10 runs.)

                April 4, 2010. Yankees open the baseball season in Fenway Park in a first time title defense since they opened the 2001 season. The 2009 ALCS MVP CC Sabathia (2009 -> 19-8 W-L % .704 ERA 3.37) faces 2007 ALCS MVP Josh Beckett (2009 -> 17-6 W-L % .739 ERA 3.86). Coming off seasons where both starters highlighted for their win totals, CC was the one with the rough first month.

                April 4, 2010 -> Starting Lineups:

     NEW YORK YANKEES                                                           BOSTON RED SOX

    SS DEREK JETER                                                                         LF JACOBY ELLSBURY

    DH NICK JOHNSON                                                                     2B DUSTIN PEDROIA

    1B MARK TEIXIERA                                                                     C VICTOR MARTINEZ

    3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ                                                                     1B KEVIN YOUKILIS

    2B ROBINSON CANO                                                                      DH DAVID ORTIZ

     C JORGE POSADA                                                                           3B ADRIAN BELTRE

    CF CURTIS GRANDERSON                                                                RF JD DREW

    RF NICK SWISHER                                                                             CF MIKE CAMERON

    LF BRETT GARDNER                                                                     SS MARCO SCUTARO

    LHP CC SABATHIA                                                                            RHP JOSH BECKETT


YANKEES Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson are new to the additions (NYY), Brett Gardner makes the start in left field (NYY), Robinson Cano hits 5th (2009 numbers -> .320/.352/.410),first opening day start for Rodriguez 3B since 2008.

RED SOX 2009 winter acquisitions to make starts as a Red Sox (Scutaro, Beltre, Cameron), Victor Martinez (acquired before the trade deadline in 2009) starts for the Red Sox on April 4th. No Jason Varitek (who becomes a free agent after 2010 season).

The Pinstripe Predictions Part II (April 2010)

                In less than 24 hours, the article continues…


Derek Jeter

                Finishing in the top three for the MVP race for the second time in four seasons, you probably won’t see a sub .300 BA; at least to finish the regular season. The clutch hitting will continue until his retirement. My optimism lies with at least one MVP-1 finish.

                April 2010 Jeter – .274 BA 3 HR

Jorge Posada

                How much does he “have in the tank” before a Romine or Montero arrive? Stay tuned for a decent April.’ Hip-Hip…’

                April 2010 Posada .310 BA 5 HR

Brett Gardner

                Never in my wildest imagination would I figure Brett to put his body on the line for fly balls that seem to be just off his range. In the first month, he won’t move out of that ninth spot in the lineup this reason:

                April 2010 Gardner .191 BA 0 HR


Let my prediction be stapled and let me be proven wrong/right. Ah, the beauty of opinions.


Happy Easter Readers,


The Pinstripe Predictions Part I (for April 2010)


Yankees Predictions: Part I 

   Can I remember the last time I blogged without a log? No.

            Long ago, I fell into writer’s block abyss. So on the eve of Sunday April 4th 2010, Easter Sunday in most places, I get set to crack the hardboiled eggs (eating egg whites only) with all anticipation for the Captain to lead off. The time has come. Boston, Beware.

           I’m hoping the success numbers will carry over from the end of last season. No, not referring to the April 2009 numbers (i.e. Teixeira BA .200 citation -> Obviously, all the coaches did a job well done fixing the bullpen and starting rotation. Cheers for them.

           Show of hands: your prediction of the team after the first month was a second place caliber team? Finishing behind the Red Sox AND THE RAYS!!!! To ensure this embarrassment, the “Cashman Winter” went into full effect. Yes, I was more than surprised to see AJ’s ERA above 5 and CC’s ERA at a very odd looking 4.73. Here’s where it gets interesting: Ask yourself to jump to a prediction of these numbers for CC or AJ looking anywhere close to similar to those April 09 scars. Their paycheck could feed a nation for a lifetime (I think).

Thoughts/Predictions (MY PIPEDREAMS):

v  Swisher won’t have the same productive April as last season (2010 April – BA .255 HR 7) *Remember he was cleanup with Matsui, but spent and awful amount of time as the number 4 than anyone else. He had so much fun with it he decided to make a short lived run as a starting pitcher. Swisher won’t feel heavily responsible for carrying the cleanup role in the lineup as much as he did last season. Great to see someone fill that void as well as Nick did (and I’m not that big of a Nick Swisher fan at all. Sorry, Swish).


v  If Cano repeats what he put up in the first month, I’ll leave him alone for the time being. He’s our               number 5 hitter now. Up to the challenge big guy? (2010 April .290 BA HR 4)


v  Teixeira will probably be neck-in-neck with a guy like Pena (offensively speaking) – History will not repeat itself this year in his figure of speaking (Tex – BA .200 exactly thru April 30, 2009). Teixeira in April 2010 -}


v  Alex Rodriguez didn’t play in April (if you didn’t know this… now you do. Get with it.) His April could be as productive as we’ve seen his 2009 ALDS numbers be. AROD in April 2010 – BA.325 HR 10) fast approaching is that 600 homerun mark (it will be very sad to not see his numbers count one day).


v  New Guy Grandy might hit poorly come time down the stretch and have poor offensive numbers        versus a lefty pitcher no matter what the venue. A Solid outfielder, giving relentless attack on that short porch will make for this: 290 BA, 11 HR (POTM – American League in April.) He’ll earn his pinstripes.


v  Nick Johnson isn’t that bad of a replacement considering who was available to replace a Matsui (even though I though De Rosa would have been a nice fit). Will that +.320 OBP carry well in 2010 that he finishes in the top 3 yet again? No. Don’t See It. (BA -.250 HR3) and that’ high OBP? Let’s state for the record it’s above .300. Let’s be real.

Nick Johnson had the third highest OBP with two teams in the NL EAST in 2009. How much is this contract really going to be “worth”? As much as he’s getting paid, remember the Yankees cut Matsui loose for those stubborn legs for a million less.

SIDE NOTE (take this down…)

          Think back to a question thrown at Girardi regarding Nick Swisher in the lineup: “I love him in our lineup. I love his OBP.” Not to disagree, but Nick Johnson had the third highest OBP with two teams in the NL EAST in 2009. How much is this contract really going to be worth? As much as he’s getting pad, remember he Yankees cut Matsui loose for those stubborn legs (and that broken wrist play…..anyways…) for a million less. Nick Johnson bats left handed. OK. The short 314 foot wall gives left hitters the “edge.” OK. 


There’s more where this came from… and more to come stay tuned for PART II