The real thing • 04.14.10
I got a few emails asking for a picture of the now famous “fake ring” given to Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher, but the best I could come up with is this shot from someone trying to sell the thing for 125 bucks.
Swisher, by the way, still doesn’t know who put the fake ring in his box. Mariano Rivera finally gave him the real one, but the prankster is still a mystery. “I need to do some undercover stuff and hire some people (to find out who did it),” Swisher said.
It’s a little easier to find pictures of the real thing. The Associated Press moved these photos this afternoon.
Game 7: Yankees vs. Angels • 04.13.10
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
LHP Andy Pettitte (0-0, 1.50)
Career vs. Angels
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Jeff Mathis C
Brandon Wood 3B
RHP Ervin Santana (0-1, 6.00)
Career vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./YES Network
WEATHER: The temperature might get into the upper 50s by the middle of the game, but right now it’s about 52 and feels a little lower because of the wind. It’s cloudy, but so far there’s been no sign of rain.
UMPIRES: HP Hunter Wendelstedt, 1B Dan Bellino, 2B Jerry Layne, 3B Mike Winters
ALL ABOUT THE RINGS: The pregame ceremony begins at 12:30, with baseline introductions at 12:44. Anthem at 12:56, Bernie Williams’ ceremonial first pitch at 1:01 and Andy Pettitte’s first pitch at 1:08.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Yankees are 70-36-1 in their home openers and have won 11 of the past 12. They lost last year’s home opener to end an 11-year winning streak.
SELECT COMPANY: Bernie Williams is the ninth former Yankee to throw out a first pitch at a home opener joining Joe DiMaggio (nine times), Yogi Berra (seven times), Whitey Ford (three times), Mickey Mantle (once), Reggie Jackson (once), Phil Rizzuto (once), Bob Shawkey (once) and Mel Stottlemyre (once).
UPDATE, 12:42 p.m.: Hal Steinbrenner just addressed the media.
“Derek and Joe just came up to the suite and gave George his ring,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s the only one wearing one right now.”
UPDATE, 12:43 p.m.: Andy Pettitte is the first player to get his ring. He got it and went back to the dugout to get ready for the game. Jerry Hairston Jr. was second.
UPDATE, 12:45 p.m.: By the way, the first member of the staff to get his ring — after Girardi — was Gene Monahan, who’s here for the ceremony.
UPDATE, 12:47 p.m.: Huge ovation for Mariano Rivera. After Pettitte, the Yankees have been working backwards through the uniform numbers, from Alfredo Aceves down. That should mean Derek Jeter will be the last to get his ring.
UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: Jeter just got his ring. Still no mention of Matsui.
UPDATE, 12:51 p.m.: Oh wow. Matsui goes last. Really amazing moment. I can’t believe how loud this place got when Matsui walked onto the field. The Yankees just swarmed him in the infield. Very, very cool.
UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: Here comes Bernie after a terrific Anthem. The Yankees really do it right when it comes to moments like this.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Welcome back Nick Johnson!
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Here’s the AP shot of Matsui on the field for the ring ceremony.
UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Marc Carig just turned to me and said, “Is it just me, or is Cano hitting everything hard this year?” It’s not just him. The Yankees second baseman has looked terrific since spring training.
UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: I didn’t think Gardner went on that pitch, but what do I know?
UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: You just knew Jeter would hit a homer today. You just knew it.
UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: Awful news from the Angels beat. Apparently a man jumped off their team hotel his morning, and a few players witnessed it.
UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: The news I’m sure you’ve really been waiting for: The 4 train won the season’s first subway race.
UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: Spikes to the catcher. Line drive off the pitcher. It’s a rough game, boys.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Here’s the AP shot of Jeter’s homer.
UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves is getting loose for the Yankees. Obviously you’d rather see Pettitte get out of this inning on his own.
UPDATE, 3:11 p.m.: Great job by Pettitte. By the way, the Yankees just announced that today’s crowd of 49,293 is larger than any regular season crowd last year.
UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Check swings have not been kind to Gardner this afternoon.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Here’s Chan Ho Park. And if you haven’t seen Park’s YouTube video, it is absolutely must-see material.
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: That was Posada’s 345th double, moving him past Mickey Mantle for seventh place on the Yankees all-time doubles list.
UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: Randy Winn is in right. Is there a more experienced defensive replacement in baseball? Winn was an everyday player for 12 years. Now he’s Nick Swisher’s caddy.
UPDATE, 4:24 p.m.: Two infield singles, a hard-hit ball to the track and a grand slam off Dave Robertson. Some bad luck and some bad pitches. Here comes Mo.
Today in The Journal News • 04.12.10
The Yankees played pretty good baseball their past two days in baseball, and now they’re coming home. Yesterday the Yankees won their second straight against the Rays, giving them four of six games on this season opening road trip. They’ll play the home opener on Tuesday.
Speaking of home, I’m on my way there right now. I had an early morning flight out of Tampa — if everything worked correctly, this post went live while I was in the air — and I’ll spend the day trying to find my way around my apartment. The Yankees are holding an optional workout at the Stadium, and Josh will be checking in with the details.
See you Tuesday. Until then, enjoy the day off. The rings are coming!
That’s the Associated Press photo of Curtis Granderson’s sliding catch yesterday. It was ruled a hit, but Granderson clearly caught it.
Yankees set home opener festivities • 04.08.10
World Series rings, Bernie Williams and a former cast member of The West Wing. I’m sold! Here’s the press release from the Yankees.
The New York Yankees will hold the 108th home opener in franchise history on Tuesday, April 13 vs. the Los Angeles Angels at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Prior to the first pitch, the Yankees will celebrate their 2009 World Championship with a ring ceremony.
Gates will open to fans with valid tickets beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Yankees ask their fans to please budget ample time when planning their trip to the Stadium and to consider using public transportation.
Festivities will begin at 12:15 p.m. with a ceremony to award Yankees players and coaching staff with their championship rings from the 2009 season. Hall of Famers and former Yankees greats Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra—who won a combined 16 World Series titles—will be on hand to help pass out the commemorative rings to the defending World Champions in a ceremony on the infield.
In addition to the ring ceremony, the Yankees’ 2009 championship flag—as well as flags commemorating each of the Yankees’ other 26 World Championships—will be on display for the Opening Day ceremony and game, encompassing the roof of the entire Stadium.
Kristin Chenoweth, Emmy and Tony Award winner and star of stage and screen who is starring in the upcoming Broadway musical “Promises, Promises,” will perform the National Anthem. Colors will be presented by the West Point color guard, and a giant American flag will be unfurled in the outfield by the West Point Cadets. At the conclusion of the anthem, the Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12), a US Navy Reserve fighter squadron, will execute a fly over. Known as the “Fighting Omars,” the VFC-12 is one of the Navy’s two Reserve Hornet squadrons.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by five-time All-Star Bernie Williams, a member of the Yankees’ run of four World Championships in five years from 1996-2000. It will mark the first time that Williams—who threw out the first pitch prior to Yankees’ 2009 ALCS Game 6 clincher—will throw out an Opening Day ceremonial first pitch. He will become the ninth former Yankees player to be bestowed the Opening Day honor.
During the seventh-inning stretch, United States Army Sergeant First Class Mary Kay Messenger will perform “God Bless America.”