18 Johnny Damon CF
2 Derek Jeter SS
53 Bobby Abreu RF
13 Alex Rodriguez 3B
25 Jason Giambi 1B
22 Xavier Nady LF
24 Robinson Cano 2B
55 Hideki Matsui DH
26 Jose Molina C
46 Andy Pettitte LHP
1 Brian Roberts 2B
21 Nick Markakis RF
6 Melvin Mora 3B
17 Aubrey Huff DH
55 Ramon Hernandez C
10 Adam Jones CF
15 Kevin Millar 1B
16 Jay Payton LF
2 Juan Castro SS
29 Chris Waters LHP
Chris Waters (3-3, 4.75) has never faced any of the New York hitters.
Notes: The Yankees are 4,132-2,430 at Yankee Stadium. There have been 17 ties. This will be the 6,580th and final regular-season game at The House That Ruth Built. … The Yankees have won four straight and seven of their last eight. … The Yankees are in second place in the wild-card standings, 6.5 games behind the Red Sox. … The Yankees are 7-2 on the homestand, which ends today. They start a six-game road trip to Toronto and Boston on Tuesday.
AT THE START: The Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1 on April 18, 1923 when the Stadium opened. George Herman “Babe” Ruth belted a three-run homer and dropped a ball in right field for an error.
DOWN IN HISTORY: To this point, the last home run hit at Yankee Stadium was by Robinson Cano on Friday.
MEN (STILL) AT WORK: Yankee pitchers have allowed 5 runs on 28 hits over their last 36 innings. They have walked 11 and struck out 28.
WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE: The Yankees are 16 of 77 (.208) with RISP on the homestand.
ONE MORE FOR GODZILLA: Hideki Matsui, according to Japanese reporters, will have his knee surgery tomorrow. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
MARTE MANIA: After a rough start in pinstripes, lefty Damaso Marte has been what the Yankees hoped he would be. He has allowed one run on three hits in his last 11 innings (14 appearances) while walking four and fanning 13. Opponents have a .286 OPS against him in that stretch.
YANKEE STADIUM MEMORIES: Please contribute your thoughts on this post from earlier in the day.
Back with many more updates as the day moves on.
Here’s a photo of fans getting a lot closer to the right-field wall than Bobby Abreu ever does.
Back in a little bit with audio from Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi.
UPDATE, 4:51 p.m.: Here is Derek Jeter’s pre-game press conference:
UPDATE, 4:54 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game press conference:
Here’s a photo of Yogi waiting to sit down. Doesn’t he look great? Yogi said that they told him this was the kind of uniform he wore when he was a player. “But I don’t think I got one of these,” he said. He talked about his memories about the Stadium and the players he came up with.
Yogi got emotional when asked about Elston Howard. When somebody asked him about Scooter and Mickey, he smiled. “If those guys were here, we’d have a good time,” he said.
If you’re a fan of Bernie, this is something you must listen to:
UPDATE, 7:06 p.m.: I’m not going to spoil the surprises of the ceremony. But you’re going to see a lot of your favorite old Yankees uniform again. And keep an eye on the black seats in center field.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: They unveiled the original 1922 pennant that hung at Yankee Stadium. It’s on the black seats.
Now they’re introducing actors portraying former players like Ruth, Ruffing, Gehrig and DiMaggio. It’s a little lame but at least it didn’t last too long.
UPDATE, 7:22 p.m.: OK, this is better. They’re introducing actual alive people, who are going out to their positions.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m: When A-Rod was shown on the scoreboard in a video montage of great third basemen, people booed.
UPDATE, 7:29 p.m.: All of the current players are in the dugout watching the ceremony as are the Orioles. Pretty cool.
UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Willie Randolph slid into second base when he was introduced.
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: Joe Girardi was just introduced along with Berra, Howard and Munson as one of the greatest catchers in Yankees history. Um …
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: You have to wonder how Roger Clemens feels as he sits in exile.
Don Larsen and Whitey Ford scooped up dirt off the mound.
UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: Ladies and gentlemen, Bernie Williams. Huge, huge ovation from the crowd.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: The first pitch from Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: OK, the game is about to start and I have a ton of newspaper writing to do. Enjoy the game. If the baseball gods are smiling down on the pinstripes, Andy will go a solid seven, Mo will get the save and Derek Sanderson Jeter will deliver a big hit and make a jump throw.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Hal Steinbrenner is here along with Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal. No Hank.
UPDATE, 10:08 p.m.: Andy is not pitching well. Girardi has a well-rested bullpen and a day off tomorrow. They need to get Andy out of the game while they still have a lead to protect.
Meanwhile, might Jose Molina have the last Stadium homer? Who could have guessed him?
UPDATE, 10:43 p.m.: In keeping with how they screwed up the countdown all season, the Yankees did it again. This time Michael Kay pulled the lever. But instead of the count going to zero, it said “forever” as Kay said something about the Stadium being around forever, which it won’t be.
It’s shameful how they botched that all season.
Meanwhile, Pettitte was wiping tears from his eyes as he left the field. His line (5 7 3 3 1 3) was not very good but he’s in line to get the win.
UPDATE, 10:53 p.m.: Here is the mission: Get five more outs and put the ball in the hands of Mariano Rivera with the lead.
UPDATE, 11:14 p.m.: Bob Sheppard just appeared on the video board and read a brief poem he wrote about the Stadium.
UPDATE, 11:20 p.m.: Nice move by Girardi, using The Little G to run for The Big G. Gardner stole second, went to third on an infield error and scored on a shallow fly to center.
If he can get on base at a decent rate, his glove and wheels can make a difference.
UPDATE, 11:24 p.m.: A little extended Jobamania here. He’s going to get the five outs.
I don’t have to tell you who’s stretching in the bullpen.
UPDATE, 11:33 p.m.: An 0 for 5 for Jeter but here comes the Sandman to a barrage of flashbulbs.
Back after the game with lots of stuff, including audio.