The stage was set for a dream game. Equipped with a new stadium and all the amenities any fan or player could ask for, a stunning opening ceremony, energy, and coming off a winning nine game road-trip, fans expected a win. Unfortunately, the Yankees couldn't deliver.
There were a few bright spots in an ultimately painful 10-2 Yankees loss. CC Sabathia gutted out a gritty performance when he didn't have his best control, only giving up one run in 5.1 innings.
He received some stellar defense from Cody Ransom with a diving play at third and throwing home, as Jorge Posada blocked the plate to tag the runner who tried to score from second.
Not only did Posada throw out a runner trying to steal second, but he also hit the first home run at the new stadium. He now has something in common with Babe Ruth who hit the first home run at the old Yankees Stadium, 86 years ago.
Maybe in another 86 years, with another new stadium, Posada's bat will be placed over home plate just as Ruth's was when Jeter—the first Yankees batter—stepped up to the plate.
Posada and Jeter are the only hitters still around from the Yankees 1996-2000 dynasty. He deserved the honor of hitting the first home run which tied the game at 1-1. Sadly, it was over-shadowed by abominable pitching from the bullpen.
Demaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez, and Jose Veras proved to be ineffective by giving up a total of nine runs in just the seventh inning, including a grand slam. The bullpen needs more consistency from these relievers because Brian Bruney, Phil Coke, and Mariano Rivera can't do it alone.
The Yankees record is now even at 5-5. While it's very early in the season, the Yankees have had a 5-5 record in their first 10 games for the past six years. The last time they had a better record was in 2003, in which they opened at 8-2.
Not surprisingly, 2003 was the last season that the Yankees made it to the World Series.
When was the last Opening Day loss for the Yankees? April 11, 1997—the only year of non-post-season play in the Joe Torre era.
Did The Great Bambino put a curse on the new stadium? Somehow "The House That Ruth Built" sounds much better and carries a lot more meaning than "The New House" and no matter how much the new stadium is meant to be the recreation of the old one, the legends no longer walked in the same halls.
Memories can be remembered and honored but it's time for the new legends to carry on the greatness. Decades from now, generations later, a new group of Yankee players will walk down the halls and will feel the echoing presence of players such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
In a long season, Opening Day is only one game, statistics are merely numbers, and curses can't be proven. The Yankees have a golden opportunity to regroup and have a winning, unforgettable season. Championship No. 27? That would be the most fitting display of Yankees tradition.
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