With the first pitch less than two hours away, the Yankees are on the field at Fenway Park, going through stretches and waiting for their turn to take batting practice. The stadium is playing a Jay-Z song right now.
For almost all of the Yankees, this is familiar ground. Even most of the new guys have been here with the Yankees in the past. Javier Vazquez has done it. Nick Johnson has done it. Marcus Thames never played in Fenway with the Yankees, but he came up in the organization and certainly experienced at least a little bit of the rivalry.
For Curtis Granderson, it will be something entirely new.
“I could sit in Joe (Torre’s) office as a coach and have an idea of what it was like to manage the New York Yankees, but you really don’t know exactly what it’s like until you go through it,” Joe Girardi said. “Those guys have probably seen many times the Yankees and Red Sox play, but until you actually go through it, it’s probably a little different than what you imagined.”
Here’s Girardi’s pregame media session.
• Nick Johnson is in the lineup and Girardi expects him to stay there, but he’s going to check with him against after batting practice to make sure his knee still feels fine.
• Cervelli will run today and Girardi called him “catchable” for tonight’s game. Cervelli called himself, “better than yesterday.”
• With a lead, who would pitch the eighth inning tonight? “It’s going to depend on where they are in their lineup tonight,” Girardi said. He would like a definite setup man to emerge, but said that remains up for grabs.
• Because there are so many days off early in the season, Girardi said he plans to keep Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada in the lineup without needing to give them games off to rest.
• Girardi has not settled on a lineup against lefty Jon Lester on Tuesday, but it’s at least possible Marcus Thames could be there. “He’s had a lot of success in his career against left-handers,” Girardi said. “We have not made a lineup for Tuesday, but that was one of the reasons we went and go thim because of his success against left-handers.”
• Alfredo Aceves is fine and available out of the bullpen. Girardi said he will have to check with Damaso Marte after he plays catch to make sure he’s available to pitch.
• Girardi got a pregame phone call from Yogi Berra. “He said, ‘I’ll be watching,’” Girardi said.
UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Throwing out the first pitch tonight is World Series Game 2 and Game 6 losing pitcher Pedro Martinez.
UPDATE, 7:16 p.m.: Among those taking batting practice with the Red Sox was rapper Dr. Dre, who apparently hit one off the wall at some point. The AP has a shot of him in uniform.
After finishing BP, Sam saw him wearing massive headphone with Red Sox logos while watching the Red Sox take BP. His jersey number was 808.
That’s an Associated Press shot of Alex Rodriguez during pregame warm ups.