New York Yankees baseball Opening Day is always one of the most exciting days of the year for me and I'm sure all Yankee fans. It signifies the start of warm weather for us east coast Yankee fans and it also is the start of another year of fun, heart pounding baseball as the Yanks make another run towards October baseball !!
As exciting as it may be, today's Opening Day might be one most fans will want to forget as they lost to the Tampa Rays 7-6 in grand fashion. And I do mean "grand." Starter CC Sabathia gave up a first inning grand slam to Carlos Pena. In addition to that baseball's greatest closer ever Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season in his first opportunity. But let's look at the bright side of today's game. The Yanks did battle back to take the lead 6-5. Alex Rodriguez was 2 for 3 and on base five times. Newly acquired free agent Raul Ibanez hit a three run homer and had four RBIs in his Yankee debut. Rivera usually blows five saves a year so today he got one of those out of the way early. So, that could only mean plenty of more saves and wins to go. The last time the Yankees lost on Opening Day was 2009, CC Sabathia got roughed up that day too but they went on to win the World Series ! So things are looking up !
In other Opening Day news right-handed pitcher Micheal Pineda open the season on the 15 day DL with rotator cuff tendinitis. On Thursday he played catch on flat ground tossing about 25 balls. It's likely he will not be available the first month of the season. It's scary to think what could happen. He was traded from Seattle for catching prospect Jesus Montero. At the time of the trade people were saying " why would the Mariners trade Pineda." Did they know of shoulder problems ? Is that why they dealt him ? Maybe the 23 year old is already feeling the pressure of New York and pushed himself a little to hard this spring trying to impress everyone. Only time will tell how recovers and how he handles New York. Left-handed reliever Boone Logan may be available in the opening series against Tampa. He was sidelined with back spasms so the Yankees are going with two lefties to start the season the other being veteran Clay Rapada.
Right-handed pitcher David Phelps was awarded the James P. Dawson Award, honoring the top Yankees rookie in camp this spring. Last season Phelps was 7-7 in 20 starts with an ERA of 2.99. This spring Phelps went 17 1/3 innings allowing four earned runs, 16 hits, 4 walks, while striking out 14. Posting an ERA of 2.08. After performing so well this spring he was given another award, or should I say reward. Manager Joe Giradi told the 25 year old rookie he made the big club and will be heading north with the team. Phelps said " It was great. It's always been your dream to make it to the big leagues." " Your emotions don't quite know what to do when it happens, but it's nice because it's a lot of time and effort, and it finally pays off."
One player who wasn't on the Opening Day roster was catcher Francisco Cervelli. After being told all spring he was going to be the backup catcher Cervelli was shockingly sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The reason for the move was because of an injury to catcher Austin Romine the Yankees needed to add a catcher. They acquired 30 year veteran catcher Chris Stewart from the San Fransisco Giants in a trade for right-handed pitcher George Konotos. Stewart has played in 93 Major League games hitting .200 with a .273 on-base percentage. He was with the Yankees in 2008 for only three days.This one I don't get. In his limited playing time Cerevlli has been a serviceable backup the past couple of years. They should have just found a low minor league level catcher to fill the Romine spot until he comes back and keep Cervelli on the big league roster. He's a fan favorite because of his hard work, grind it out work ethic who brings excitement when he's in the lineup. And he hits in the clutch. I hope he's back up real soon.
So relax Yankee fans. Today's Opening Day loss was tough but what did you think they were going to do ? Go 162 and 0.
That's why, just like the players we can't get to excited when they win or to excited when they lose. It's a long season and there's plenty of time to go 161 and 1 !!! Go Yankees !!!!!!