When the Yankees last left a game that counted, they won their twenty-seventh Championship against the Phillies on November 4th. I then posted the following article, 2009 Will Be Close To My Heart Forever.
Fast forward to Spring of 2010 and the new baseball season is nearly here as the Yankees look to defend their title.
In fact, the Yankees will open up the gates to the baseball season for the entire league, as they face the Boston Red Sox on Easter night, April 4th, exactly five months after they won the World Series.
2009 saw a lot of things happen for the team from Bronx and its players. A new stadium, across the street from the old one, was opened for its inaugural season. Joba Chamberlain, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and a group of others, won their very first World Series ring, which they will get on April 13 during their home opener against the Angels.
One of the players who will be getting his first ring, ironically, will be on the other side of the field. Hideki Matsui, the World Series hero, is now suiting up for the Halos, as he couldn't come to terms with the Yankees. However, I am sure he is happy with the way his story ended with the pinstripes.
Out of all of the stories of 2009, none is bigger then Alex Rodriguez. The monkey is finally off his back. First the steroid admission in February, then the hip injury in March that sidelined him over a month. All of that came to an end with one swing, as on May 8th, A-Rod hit the first pitch he saw into the air at Camden Yards and it didn't land until it was eight rows back in left field for a home run.
Making a comeback for A-Rod was just one of the chapters of his magical season. The last one would be his amazing post season play and helping capturing the Yankees first title in ten years, his first ever.
With as special as 2009 was for Rodriguez and his teammates, you got to put it to the back of your mind and go back to work. Appreciate it and remember it forever, but now its time to do it again.
2010 brings new faces to New York and watches a few walk away. Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, and Hideki Matsui have all parted ways with the Yankees. In addition, the Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Marcus Thames, and Nick Johnson to name a few.
None of the newcomers more excited to play this year then Curtis Granderson, who will dawn the No. 14 this year instead of his usual 28. He gave up his old number to Joe Girardi, who will be switching to it from No. 27, in hopes for another Championship, the twenty-eight one of the franchise.
In an interview with Scoop Jackson of ESPN.com, Granderson spoke of a conversation he had with former Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield, about the importance of being a Yankee...I didn't realize it until Gary Sheffield told me, he said, "You know, people want to finish their careers there." He told me that at least he can say when he retires that he played for the Yankees. And I didn't realize the magnitude of it until he said it. And that's when I said, "Now I'm going to get a chance to play for the Yankees."