Boy, this day seemed like it would never come. Today the Yankees open the season against the Baltimore Orioles, and finally, baseball is upon us. Plenty happened over spring training, some of it positive, some of it not. A-Rod was found to have used steroids, and then needed surgery on his hip, which will keep him out for the first month of the season. Derek Jeter was moved to the lead off spot, Brett Gardner won centerfield from Melky Cabrera, Ramiro Pena beat veteran Angel Berroa for the utility infield spot, Jonathan Albaladejo was named to the bullpen, and the Yankees won the Grapefruit League. A-Rod will be back relatively early this season, but for the meantime Cody Ransom will be our third baseman. Ransom is a great athlete, a veteran baseball player who has spent the majority of his career in the minors. He will not take third base from Alex, but its a great opportunity for him to roll a good start into a solid season, and a solid season into future baseball contracts.
As we did last year, the RJG will be donating one dollar (American) to the Children's Health Fund through Johnny Damon's Homerun Club. We will track how many homeruns were hit in each game, and show how much money is being raised throughout the season. We did this last year, and it was fun to keep track of it. For donating $1 for every homerun hit, the CHF will gift us a mini-hand sanitizer spray. Honestly, its the only reason we donate.
Baseball officially started yesterday with the Braves beating the Phillies. Derek Lowe pitched 8 shutout innings against the Phillies, allowing just two hits, while the Braves offense hit 3 homeruns. Could the Braves compete this year in the NL East? The Mets sure won't. Their current rotation of Johan Santana and assorted plan B's won't hold up.
Today's matchup will be one Charlemagne Constantine Sabathia vs. Jeremy Guthrie. My prediction is that the Yankees win this game to start the first 162 win season in the history of baseball. It is supposed to rain in Baltimore throughout the early afternoon, but should stop by 3pm. The game will start at 4:05pm.