** ESPN would like you to know that there will be A-Rod links coming up in this entry **
The Twins split an abbreviated series with the White Sox, but in more important news, since Saturday’s game was on FOX, and I was at the game on Sunday, there was no Hawk Harrelson in my life this weekend. The Yankees, after splitting two games with the Devil Rays, lost their weekend series with the Orioles and would have been swept if not for last second heroics on Saturday. This series will also (finally) give us our first glimpse of Sidney Ponson as he is scheduled to start Monday’s game. Here’s hoping his debut measures up to those already posted by Ortiz and Silva.
On to the Evil Empire:
The Yankee’s payroll and all the advantages that affords them has been well covered. Given their recent exits from the playoffs, they have renewed their focus on prospects in their farm system. Time will tell whether these players will become the Yankees of tomorrow, or just more trade fodder to land this year’s Bobby Abreu. At least it’s nice to know that all that money has worked to make them at least the mathematical favorite. Here are the full predictions of this method.
Opening Day is a great experience for any fan, even Yankee fans. Especially if you get to experience it with a couple of guys who love to talk baseball.
** ESPN reminds you, A-Rod is coming up! **
The Yankees outfield is in a state of flux so far this season, starting with Abreu, Damon (hasn’t started since opening day – calf), and Matsui (DL – hamstring) but now relying on Melky Cabrera and Miguel Cairo. Notable in his absence from this is Bernie Williams due to his (somewhat forced) retirement. Damon’s injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but with Bernie calling the clubhouse on opening day, speculation has started as to what exactly he called to say.
The infield is relatively familiar with one new face, former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz will be given the first shot at the first base position despite his rough spring.
The rotation took a hit when last year’s ace Chien-Ming Wang went down with a hamstring injury in the spring, he’s expected to be back toward the end of April, but until then the rotation consists of Carl Pavano (whose name has taken many meanings), the opening day starter on 643 days rest (we’ll see how he does on “short” rest), Pettite, Mussina, Kei Igawa (who had a rough debut on Saturday), and Darrell Rasner. After one turn through the rotation, Yankee fans don’t exactly like what they see so far.
** ESPN: A_ROD!!! **
“I didn’t like it, I love it, … When you see the guys in front of you do their job, it’s contagious. You can’t ask for a better job from them than today.”
– Mariano Rivera’s thoughts on the relief corps after opening day.
** ESPN: AROD, AROD, AROD, AROD **
Ok, a few links about the best shortstop on the Yankees, then I’ll leave it alone. A-Rod has recieved an enormous amount of criticism by media both nationally and locally. On one side of the spectrum is the No Boos Movement started by a fan who wants to see more support of A-Rod, while there are those trying to give a neutral analysis of the situation, while still others may be falling prone to a little over-analysis. Given A-Rod’s recent success, it’s fair to say that the drastic measures taken this spring are paying off.
** ESPN says, “More A-Rod coming up in a few short minutes” **
Staying on the left side of the infield, the Gold Glove winner at shortstop last year got off to a rough start with errors in the first couple games, leading to some hand wringing. No doubt he’ll be rounding into Gold Glove form any time now.
(image ripped off from NoMaas)