The first week of the baseball season presented a range of stories that provide no information out of the ordinary. Below are one man's observations of what can be taken from the general coverage:
• In this, the last year of the current incarnation of Yankee Stadium, we should be nostalgic at every turn, and re-live every great moment in the Stadium's history. Every living Yankee, past and present, will be asked how he feels about the new stadium, and what he will remember most about the old one.
• Joe Girardi has a tough task in front of him as new manager.
• With so much uncertainty on the Yankees' roster, with the greatest mix of youth and veterans since 1995, the odds of them missing the playoffs altogether are about the same as winning the World Series.
• Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens aren't great friends anymore.
• Based on the season previews of all the major local and national outlets, while the Yankees are still a focal point of many discussions, the Mets are not to be taken lightly. And did you know Johan Santana pitches for them now? This is a big deal, supposedly, because he was not a Met last year, they choked in September, and the fragile Pedro Martinez is in the last year of his contract. Everywhere you look, if there's a Met poster or picture, Santana's face is on it.
AROUND THE HORN
• Best wishes to Bobby Murcer, whose ongoing battle with cancer kept him off the air on Opening Day. It was a goal of his to be ready to work by March 31, but that didn't happen. Murcer was always accommodating, classy and gracious, not only in his TV work, but in his collaborations with us on YESNetwork.com. I would not be surprised to see him in the booth by the All-Star break.
• I don't mean to sound like our good friend Phil Mushnick, but I don't understand why on Opening Day, there is a predisposition to make such a big deal out of firsts. Of course everything that occurs is the first whatever of the year. Do we need to be beaten over the head with it? They won the game, and that was important. YES did a good job of highlighting the fact that the Yankees have set a new MLB record with 11 straight wins in home openers.
• Speaking of home-opening victories, you'd never know unless you watched the game or went online for a summary immediately thereafter that they did win. Why? Because Wednesday morning, the back pages glowered over Alex Rodriguez's salary, specifically the report that he makes more than the entire Florida Marlins team. I thought A-Rod handled himself well in what must have been a tricky subject to have to comment on.
• Is it me, or during YES's Yankees Post Game Show, when there's a wide two-shot of Bob Lorenz and David Cone, if you look quickly it's very difficult to tell them apart. They have the same hairline. It's uncanny.
• Bronx Banter gets a mention in Kat O'Brien's story on Yankee fans' blog sites. Don't know if our fearless leaders Alex Belth and Cliff Corcoran were solicited for a quote, but it would have been nice to see something there as a differentiator between NoMaas, RiverAveBlues, WasWatching and Replacement Level. We're a pretty tight fraternity and we all read each other. Maybe I'm biased, but I think and Alex and Cliff would have had plenty to add.
BACKPAGE WATCH: Yankees and Mets even with leads after one week. We'll see how long that lasts.