Guilty Thought of the Day: Usually, the Yankees punctuate their Opening Day extravaganzas with some aerial pyrotechnics–a flyby by the Blue Angels, fly-in by Challenger the Bald Eagle, stuff like that. I thought I’d missed it this time out, and couldn’t figure out how–maybe I was inside the stadium trying to get to my seats when it happened?–until the video tribute to Corey Lidle started. Then I started thinking that maybe, with Lidle’s widow and son in attendance, someone figured that it wouldn’t be a good time for low-altitude stunt aviation. Not good times.
Best Moment of the Day: With not only Lidle, but remembrances for Bowie Kuhn and Hank Bauer at the beginning of the program, things were pretty somber at the Stadium to start the day. So when the Stadium video screen started on a tribute to Bobby Murcer, who was diagnosed with brain cancer less than four months ago, I was ready to get bummed out again–until they showed Murcer, minus quite a bit of hair but looking pretty good otherwise, in the YES Network broadcast booth. Probably the most heartfelt standing ovation I’ve seen, for something that didn’t happen on the field.
Carl Pavano, Opening Day Starter: According to research by Keith Woolner, Carl Pavano is one of only three pitchers since 1960 to make an opening day start after missing the entire previous season. The others? Scott Erickson was the Orioles Opening Day starter in 2002, and Diego Segui opened the season for the 1977 Mariners. Of the two, Erickson’s circumstances are the ones that resemble Pavano’s: Erickson had had Tommy John surgery while pitching for the O’s in 2000, and was named the Opening Day starter because he was under contract, and because the Orioles’ better options (Sidney Ponson and Jason Johnson) started out the season battling injuries of their own. Segui, on the other hand, had been out of the majors after pitching for Boston in 1975, not because of injuries but because of ineffectiveness. Segui was taken on for the Mariners’ inaugural season as a sentimental favorite–he’d been one of the few stars of the ‘69 Seattle Pilots–but at age 39, he didn’t have anything left in the tank.
Caps and Cell Phones: Reader Derek Vockins chimes in with some thoughts on the Yankees’ security measures:
The security staff at Yankee Stadium aren’t looking for hand grenades or plastic explosives when they ask you to take off your hat and examine your cell phone, they are looking for booze.
The booze gets in regardless.
Good tip. Still can’t see how the hats fit in, though. Anyone dedicated enough to sneak booze in under their cap deserves a commendation for ingenuity, not punishment.