* SEE THE UPDATE AT 10:08 A.M. FOR TICKET INFORMATION *
SPLIT-SQUAD YANKEES vs. ASTROS
Pitching: A.J.Burnett followed by Dan Giese, Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Christian Garcia.
Pitching today: Wandy Rodriguez.
SPLIT-SQUAD YANKEES at PIRATES
Pitching: Phil Hughes followed by Ian Kennedy, Jason Johnson, Jon Albaladejo, Mark Melancon.
Notes: The Astros game will be on YES and WCBS. … Mariano Rivera will throw BP today, his final hurdle before getting cleared to pitch in a game.
UPDATE, 10:04 a.m.: Ross Ohlendorf will face the Yankees in Bradenton. He, of course, was traded to the Pirates last season in the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal. … The Yankees called up 1B-3B Eric Duncan, INF Walter Ibarra and OF Edwar Gonzalez from the minor league camp for the game at Steinbrenner Field. … Mo is going throw BP at 10:25 a.m. over on Field 2.
* * * UPDATE, 10:08 a.m.: The Yankees just issued this release on tickets:
The New York Yankees announced today that the online registration process for the general public to apply for the opportunity to purchase tickets for individual games in the inaugural season at Yankee Stadium is underway at www.yankees.com and www.yankeesbeisbol.com. The registration process will be open to fans through Tuesday, March 17 at 10:00 p.m. Due to the large demand for individual-game tickets, a random drawing will be held from the registrant pool. Those selected from the pool will be notified on Friday, March 20, at which time they will receive a password, which will allow them to purchase tickets online only on Monday, March 23, prior to the general public on-sale.
Prior to the public on-sale, all Yankees Premium, Full-Season and 41-Game Ticket Licensees will be able to purchase individual-game tickets, online only, via a pre-on-sale on Thursday, March 19. On the following day, Friday, March 20, all other Partial Plan Licensees (of 20-, 15-, 12- and 11-Game Plans) will be permitted to purchase individual-game tickets online only as well. For complete information, including ticket limits, please visit yankees.com.
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, tickets may also be purchased at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, at all area Ticketmaster outlets, via Ticketmaster by phone at (877) 469-9849 and Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327, and at all Yankees Clubhouse Shops.
The Yankee Stadium Ticket Office is located outside the new Yankee Stadium adjacent to Gate 4 on 161st Street and Jerome Avenue. Beginning March 25, the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The first games in Yankee Stadium will be exhibition contests vs. the Chicago Cubs on April 3 at 7:05 p.m. (gates to open at 4:00 p.m.) and April 4 at 1:05 p.m. (gates to open at 10:00 a.m.). Full-season ticket licensees will receive complimentary tickets for both games. Partial-plan holders will receive the opportunity to purchase tickets, subject to availability, via the pre-on-sales previously described. Also subject to availability, tickets will be made available in the general public online-only on-sale on Monday, March 23, and to all fans via www.yankees.com, the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, all area Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster by phone at (877) 469-9849 and Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327, and at all Yankees Clubhouse Shops, beginning March 24.
For the exhibition games vs. the Cubs, Bleachers tickets will be 25¢, and Grandstand tickets will be $1.10 — the same prices they were the day the original Yankee Stadium opened on April 18, 1923. Tickets on the Terrace Level will cost between $20-35, tickets on the Main Level will be priced between $20-45, and tickets on the Field Level will range from $45-$50.
UPDATE, 10:55 a.m.: Mariano Rivera just threw 40 pitches in BP to Justin Leone and Colin Curtis. I thought he looked much better than he did the other day. He threw some unhittable cutters and his ball was darting.
Rivera thought he left some pitches high, which he attributed to throwing with a screen in front of him.
The important news: He was scheduled to throw 30, but he felt so good that he threw 10 more and his next step will be pitching in a game.
“Oh, yeah. Everything is good,” he said when asked about his shoulder. “No problem.”
Rivera is scheduled to face the Pirates on Tuesday here at Steinbrenner Field. He said he has plenty of time to get ready for Opening Day.
As I was taking this award-winning photo, I ran into a couple of blog readers from Scranton. So hello to them, hope you’re having a good time.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: We’re underway here at Big Stein Field. Yankees lead 1-0 on a Johnny Damon home run in the first. Burnett retired the side in order to start the game, throwing 11 pitches.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: Nine up and nine down for Burnett. Two live drives were caught. He struck out two. He’s insanely good on days like this. He looks like he’s barely working at it and the ball sizzles out of his hands. His curveball is hard and has that bite on it at the end.
UPDATE, 2:02 p.m.: If this were a real game, you’d be calling all your friends to tell them to put on YES because Burnett is going to throw a perfect game. He has been that good. 12 up, 12 down for Houston. He threw eight pitches in that inning.
UPDATE, 2:18 p.m.: Bit of a rough start for Phil Hughes in Bradenton: 3 2 2 2 3 2. Two home runs. 56 pitches, 27 strikes.
Meanwhile the Yankees lead 3-0 here and Cody Ransom has two more hits.
UPDATE, 2:38 p.m.: Burnett threw 40 pitches, 32 for strikes. He went to the bullpen afterward to throw 10 more from the stretch.
UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Here’s the audio of A.J. Burnett’s session with the media that just got over down in the clubhouse. If you are somebody who questioned his signing — and that remains a very legitimate position — have a listen.
Burnett talked about learning how to be efficient, taking care of his body and his desire to accomplish something in the game. I found his comments very revealing:
UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Brian Bruney in to pitch the eighth inning as the Yankees try and hold a 3-1 lead. Eric Duncan playing first base.
UPDATE, 3:26 p.m.: Robinson Cano just pinch hit and grounded out. He has not seen Dr. Ahmad yet, by the way. Supposed to be in an hour or so.
I forgot to mention this before, but Chien-Ming Wang went home early. He’s fighting a cough and cold.