Good morning Fackers. And once again, Happy Opening Day. I suppose that's the nice thing about opening on the road; we get to celebrate baseball's biggest holiday a second time. And today we get to have a proper Opening Day. Something was slightly lacking during the opener in Boston, namely, the game was played at night. I understand ESPN's desire to make an event out of the season's first game, but there's something special about Opening Day.
Last year, Opening Day was quite the event, as it marked the first official game at Yankee Stadium. This year will offer its own intrigue, as the Yankees' 27th World Series banner will be raised, with the previous 26 also being represented. I'm not sure yet if that means the large banners will adorn the frieze or if there will be flags flying atop the Stadium rather than the usual League standings. George Steinbrenner will reportedly be in attendance.
Gates open at 11 AM, so if you're lucky enough to be going today, make sure you're there on time. For the rest of us, coverage on YES begins at 11:30 AM. The ring ceremony, featuring living legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford, is scheduled to start at 12:15 or 12:30, depending upon which press release you read. It will be followed by full player introductions. The West Point Cadet Color Guard will present the colors. The National Anthem, sung by Kristen Chenoweth, is slated for 12:56, followed by the ever-popular fly over. Finally, Bernie Williams has the first pitch at just after 1:00.
[UPDATE 9:30 AM: I forgot to this mention initially, but I'd be remiss to let it slide. Rumor has it that longtime Yankee trainer Gene Monahan, who's been in the organization for more than 45 years and with the big club since 1973, will be at the ceremonies today. Monahan has been away from the team all year, dealing with an undisclosed illness, though Mariano Rivera may have let the cat out of the bag yesterday. Glove slap: iYankees]
Back with the preview in a bit.