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ESPN just posted this article dissecting the MVPs of the rivalry since 1995 — the year both teams made the playoffs.

I won’t go into details here, but here are the MVPs of both teams — the lineup and the rotation.

Red Sox MVP: Manny Ramirez (no surprise here, this was to be expected)

Red Sox MVP pitcher: Pedro Martinez (I may have thought of Curt Schilling, but Pedro was around longer than Curt and he had several gems, even if he was the Yankees’ “Daddy.”)

Yankees MVP: Alex Rodriguez (I think what surprises me the most is that Paul O’Neill is second on the list and Jeter isn’t even in the top five)

Yankees MVP pitcher: Mariano Rivera (No surprises here, and number two is Andy Pettitte, again no surprises here.

I think it’s quite an interesting article to read, so go ahead and click on the link above to read about the MVPs of the rivalry.

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So much for all the claims made last season that Yankee Stadium was a “home run haven.”

ESPN New York reported Saturday that through the first five games this season, home runs have dropped dramatically in Yankee Stadium – from 21 a year ago, to 11 this season.  In fact, there have already been more games without homers this season (2) than last season (1).

ESPN New York quoted Andy Pettitte as saying: “Depending on where the wind’s blowing, you can’t hit it out of here sometimes. And obviously I think you’ve seen that already a couple times this home-stand, when that wind is blowing in, that flag is blowing in from left, that ball just really, really gets held up.”

In Sunday’s game, the normally powerful hitting Texas Rangers were held homerless for the second time in the three game series in the Bronx.  The Yankees had home runs by Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada.

Of course, the season is still young and, who knows, maybe the winds will change and we’ll see an increase in homers.  After all, big home run hitters Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira only have one homer each.  But this could be proof that maybe last season was just a fluke, big year for homers.

The Yankees held onto their fifth win of the season Tuesday in their home opener in front of a record-setting crowd.  The Bombers took a 7-1 lead into the ninth inning after homers by Derek Jeter and Nick Johnson and 2-RBI games from Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees also collected their World Series Championship rings in a short ceremony before the game which each player being announced and jogging out from the dugout to join their teammates along the first baseline.  After each player was introduced, former player Hideki Matsui was announced and he walked out from the Angels dugout.  It was great watching Matsui as he waited to be announced – he looked so proud and as if it was difficult for him to hold in a big smile.

After Matsui ran out and collected the same ring box every Yankee player received, the entire team surrounded him at the pitchers mound and gave him a bear hug.  In an interesting twist, Joe Girardi ran over to give Matsui something before the game and it turned out to be his World Series ring.  Apparently the box that Matsui received did not have his real ring in it – Derek Jeter reportedly substituted the real ring with a fake one to play a joke on Matsui.

The same joke appeared to be played on Nick Swisher after Mariano Rivera was seen handing him a ring after the ceremony.  Rivera said some words to Swisher and Swish seemed to acknowledge that a joke was played on him.

In the game, Andy Pettitte was more then sufficient on the mound, last 6 full innings, holding the normally powerful Angels lineup scoreless and limited to only 5 hits and 3 walks.  He also struck out 6.  Chan Ho Park allowed one run in two innings and in a relatively low-pressure ninth inning, David Robertson promptly loaded the bases and allowed Bobby Abreu to bring the score to 7-5 with a grand slam home run.

Skipper Joe Girardi then brought in Mariano Rivera to finish the game and pick up his 3rd save of the season.

The Yankees offense was sparked by solo home runs by Johnson and Jeter in the first and third innings and RBI singles by Jeter and Rodriguez in the fourth and sixth innings to bring the score to 5-0.  Kendry Morales put the Angels on the board in the 8th with a solo shot off of Park and the Bombers promptly responded with an RBI double by Jorge Posada and a RBI single by Curtis Granderson.

That sent the game into the top of the ninth with the Yankees leading 7-1.  After Abreu’s heroics, Rivera came into get the final two outs and complete the game.

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Curtis Granderson led off the 10th inning with a tiebreaking homer off Jonathan Papelbon and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1. Granderson hit an 0-and-1 pitch into the right-field seats against Papelbon for his second homer in three games with his new team. Granderson also homered on Sunday night.

Then, after three walks issued by Papelbon, Mark Teixeira drove in the final run on a groundout as the Red Sox wasted an effective performance by John Lackey in his first appearance since signing an $82.5 million, five-year free agent contract. Lackey allowed three hits in six innings (with three strikeouts) and left with a 1-0 lead.

Chan Ho Park allowed one hit in three scoreless innings after Andy Pettitte’s start, and Mariano Rivera pitched the 10th for his second save. Pettitte was as effective as Lackey, pitching 6 innings, allowing six hits, one run, walking three, and striking out four.

After an expletive-filled tirade to the Boston media after last night’s game, David Ortiz responded, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the third with his first hit in nine at bats. Ortiz’s single scored Dustin Pedroia. That hit was Ortiz’s only offensive performance, in his other three at-bats, Ortiz ended innings with two strikeouts and a groundout.

The Yankees tied the game in the seventh after Jorge Posada doubled off Scott Schoeneweis. Daniel Bard relieved and, on an 0-and-2 count, allowed Nick Swisher’s game-tying single.

The Yankees are off Thursday before heading back to Tampa to take on the Rays in a three-game series. Javier Vazquez will have his first start of the season on Friday.

Photo above from the AP.

There is probably no doubt anywhere that Roger Clemens used steroids. As he continues his legal wrangling with his former trainer, Brian McNamee, the Yankees want none of it. However, McNamee has plans to include the Yankees.

According to a story by Nathaniel Vinton in the Daily News, in a brief filed on Friday, McNamee has named a handful of current Yankees as potential witnesses in Clemens’ defamation suit against McNamee.

The Yankees have never relished the destructive defamation suit former pinstripe hero Roger Clemens brought two years ago against his accuser, former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee, but bigger headaches for the club may yet lie ahead according to a new appeals-court brief issued by McNamee’s defense attorneys.

A footnote deep in the 60-page brief lists current Yankee stars Andy Pettitte,Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter as witnesses McNamee might call to the stand for sworn testimony about Clemens’ purported use of steroids and human growth hormone. Also listed among potential witnesses for McNamee is Angela Moyer, an alleged mistress of Clemens who tended bar near the Upper East Side apartment where McNamee said he visited Clemens after Yankee games to inject the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone (Clemens has testified he thought the syringes contained vitamin B12).

The brief, which McNamee’s attorneys sent Friday to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, portrays Clemens’ defamation suit as nearly dead in the water. It comes in response to Clemens’ appeal of a lower court’s ruling last year that eviscerated the suit, which Clemens first brought against McNamee on Jan. 6, 2008, three weeks after a report by former Senator George Mitchell first publicized McNamee’s accusations. Mitchell was also listed as a potential witness. He and the others could also be summoned to testify as part of a defamation countersuit that McNamee himself brought against Clemens last year in a federal court in Brooklyn — and will likely pursue, at least in order to recover his monumental legal fees.

Right now only the legal system could prevent from having the Yankee players testify. If the courts are convinced with the brief, then this won’t happen.

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