It's a start, right? Johnny Damon debuted at home, and, unfortunately, Bob Sheppard, the veteran Stadium P.A. announcer missed his first home opener since 1951 (he's due back for the next home stand, however). On a beautiful day in New York, the Yankees started out well, then muddled through a good portion of the game, the fans sitting on their hands. It wasn't until the eighth inning, when the offense scored five runs--capped by Derek Jeter's impressive three-run swat--that the Stadium came alive again. The Bombers came away with a 9-7 victory, their ninth consecutive win on Opening Day in New York.
Bernie Williams had a key hit in the frame, which helped make up for his base-running error earlier in the game. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for the save. It wasn't a pretty game, but the Yanks will take it, and it because of the outcome, it is destined to become a "YES Yankee Classic." Heck, even Mike Lupica is waxing poetic about the Yanks this morning. Go figure that.
Boss George was in the house, but didn't have much to say, especially to his old pal Murray Chass. And Bill Madden notes that while the end result was positive, there was a lot of be concerned about during the middle innings.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox won their Home Opener as well. Josh Beckett, who is sure to become public enemy number 1 in the Bronx this year, was fired-up and pitched well. Beckett is an arrogant so-and-so and when he's on, he's exceedingly tough, as we well remember from the 2003 World Serious. He's an easy guy to hate, but for Sox fans, a terrific guy to have on your team. The kid Papelbon sure looks poised as well.