New York Yankees: 20 Thoughts on Opening Night

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IApril 5, 2010

If I were a maniacal WFAN caller, I'd probably be floating in the East River by now.

Luckily, I'm not Vinny from Bay Ridge, so the Yankees coughing up roughly 12,000 leads in their 9-7 loss to the Red Sox on opening night won't drive me to despair.

In honor of Jonathan Papelbon's SAT score, here are 20 observations on what was a lonnnnnng night at Fenway Park:

1. Our new friend Chan Ho is going to be "park"-ing cars at the Stadium by May if this keeps up. Yes, Dustin Pedroia's game-tying homer in the seventh was your classic Fenway sky-job over the Green Monster. But regardless of the homer's relative merits, it counted. Park didn't get the job done.

2. As I wrote about back in January, one of the biggest subplots of this season will be the Yankees' reliance on Jorge Posada to catch 130+ games this season. As he proved again last night, Posada can rake with any backstop in baseball, but defensively he remains a huge liability. The passed ball that allowed the go-ahead run to score in the seventh inning was inexcusable. If Posada actually regresses from where he was a year ago, the Yankees will have a big problem on their hands.

3. David Ortiz's skills disappeared faster than Ricky Martin's female fanbase.

4. Don't worry about CC Sabathia. Let the big man get stretched out and he'll be cooking by Cinco de Mayo. On that day he'll pitch a three-hit shutout and celebrate by eating seven burritos at El Rio Grande.

5. Man, Curtis Granderson crushed that ball in the second inning. Didn't look too good against left-hander Scott Schoeneweis in the sixth, though.

6. Is it just me, or does Josh Beckett not scare you anymore? Like Sabathia, he certainly deserves time to get into a groove, but I still only count one good season in three for Beckett in Boston. If I were Sox management, I'd hold off on those extension talks for a couple of months.

7. I think it may be time to send an APB out on Joba Chamberlain. The guy who came in during the seventh inning on Sunday was a bigger fraud than Marion Jones. It wasn't long ago that when Joba got two strikes on a hitter you already knew the outcome. Bottom line: That dominant stuff of '07 and '08 has disappeared.

8. I don't care much for Dustin Pedroia, but I wish the little bugger was on my team.

9. Anybody else catch the Red Sox fan sticking his middle finger in Nick Swisher's face after the Yankee right fielder chased down Kevin Youkilis' triple in the sixth? The thing is, I'll take this dirtbag Fenway caliber of fan any day over the pink hat variety that invaded the park after 2004.

10. Speaking of Fenway, I went to Northeastern, which allowed me to go to a bunch of Yanks-Sox games in the '99-'02 era. Being a dumb college kid, my Yankee fan buddies and I would go to games decked out in our gear, putting us literally in the line of fire for three four hours. A popular move by the Sox fans sitting behind us was to leave about an ounce of beer in their cups, fill it halfway up with peanut shells and spit, and then heave it at us like grenades. Again, I somehow miss this breed of Boston fan.

11. The Yankee corporate machine is a runaway train. Watching the YES telecast, I lost count of how many money-grubbing promotions the team is trotting out to entice its wealthy/sycophantic fans. I think Michael Kay devoted half of his breath on this stuff last night.

12. Adrian Beltre is a vacuum at third base. He's like Jorge Posada with hand-eye coordination.

13. I dislike Kevin Youkilis and his oblong head, but I really, really dislike Jonathan Papelbon. We're one crotch gyration away from hate territory.

14. Not feeling Kim Jones' darker locks. To make matters worse, she did one of her stand-ups with the younger, blonder NESN sideline chick stationed behind her. A slow start for everybody on Sunday.

15. Nick Johnson: One day on the job without an accident.

16. I have a nagging feeling A.J. Burnett is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree on Wednesday.

17. YES analyst Ken Singleton is like Lutz from 30 Rock . You don't really appreciate him, but he gets the job done.

18. When the only left-hander in your bullpen is coming off a season plagued by shoulder problems and then complains that the same shoulder is "cranky" the day before the season starts, well, this could be what is known in the literary world as foreshadowing .

19. This confused me: Neil Diamond coming out to sing the Fenway favorite "Sweet Caroline" while wearing a jacket with the message, "Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn" emblazoned on the back. Makes you wonder if the old age home hasn't told him the truth yet for fear of a setback.

20. Don't let these early losses get to you. The Yankees started out 0-2 last year and won 114 games and the World Series after that. There's a sprint/marathon analogy here, but it's just not coming to me.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached via e-mail at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter at danhanzus .


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