There's a certain feeling in my stomach. It could be from the office's cafeteria food, but more than likely it is because it's the Spring Training opener. There's a forecast of 4-8 inches of snow as the Northeast continues to get belted with a late burst of winter, but partly sunny skies and a temperature around 80 degrees will soothe the fans sitting in the stands at Legends Field. Again, it could be yesterday's turkey sandwich, but this shade of green is the envy that occurs when you're freezing your ass off instead of having it parked in a molded seat watching the national pasttime.
Another season getting underway, warm weather, short skirts, bikinis, barbecues, all that is summer. Okay, enough waxing poetic - clapping, booing, yelling, cheering, cursing, eating too many hot dogs, no leg room - that is the ballpark experience. I can't wait for that first game I attend at The Stadium this season. Making your way through the crush of traffic to the GWB, through the throngs of ticket scalpers and sidewalk musicians, and into the Big Ballyard in the Bronx.
There's plenty to do before that day though, and it all starts in Tampa today. This will be the only chance to see Johnny Damon, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez before they head off to the World Baseball Calamity. To top it off the game will be televised on YES. With the Olympic Break depriving me of Rangers hockey, there's been a definite need for some real sports, especially as the snow is falling.
The countdown to opening day really begins. Just a mere 32 days. Seems like a lifetime!
Yankees vs. Phillies 1:15
Shawn Chacon 7-3 2.85
Ryan Franklin 8-15, 5.10
Yankees Notes - Gary Sheffield will be limited to DH; Hideki Matsui is out with a sore knee. Sean Henn will see action in relief of Chacon.
Phillies Notes - Pat Burell has been bothered by a sore foot, but is expected to play. David Bell, already suffering from a sore elbow, hurt his back Wednesday and is to be examined.
The WBC took 4 more hits today as Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, C.C. Sabathia and Vlad Guerrero all dropped out. Big Vlad is going through a tough time, mourning the loss of 3 cousins in a fatal car accident. There is some good news for Yankee fans though, Al Leiter has been added to the US roster. That lessens the chance of him making the ball club. I'm going to have a kaniption if I hear Joe Torre one more time talk about Leiter's clubhouse presence and how well he's throwing the ball. Hey Joe, it's easy to throw strikes when there's no batter to intimidate you out of it.
Kip Wells' once promising career took another hit Wednesday, when it was announced he would undergo surgery Monday to replace a vein in his (left) pitching arm, which was contributing to a blood clot. There is no timetable for recovery.