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The Yankees opened the 2010 season on a good note, hitting back to back home runs to give them a 2-0 lead, which they squandered in the 7th inning and lost to the Boston Red Sox tonight in Fenway Park, 9-7.

CC Sabathia pitched 5.1 innings in his start and his counterpart Josh Beckett struggled, allowing five runs, eight hits, and only struck out one in 4.2 innings. Sabathia had six hits, five runs and four strikeouts.

Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson hit back to back home runs in the second inning, for the first Opening Day back-to-back jacks since 1983. Posada went 3 for 4 on the evening, with two RBIs. That home run was Granderson’s only hit. Robinson Cano came up big tonight, getting two hard-hit balls, going 2 for 5 with one RBI. Everyone in the Yankees’ lineup except Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira had hits. Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner were the only other Yankees to get multiple hits. Jeter went 2 for 5 and Gardner hit .500 with one RBI.

There was one brilliant play in the fourth inning when a double-steal happened when Jeter dashed for second base and Gardner sped home and stole home from third base. That was a payback for Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home last year. Brilliant play by the Yankees there.

While CC Sabathia did not earn the decision tonight, he was good for the first five innings, but outfield mental errors by Brett Gardner gave the Red Sox an opportunity to tie the game. It was Gardner’s first game in left field, but he definitely acted that way, not making good jumps on the ball and at one point missing the cut off man and throwing it past Jorge Posada at catcher.

Granderson, however, made an excellent back-to-wall catch in the second inning and he may be a nice asset for the Yankees in centerfield. Only the rest of the season will tell if he’s a good fit than he was in Comerica Park.

The Yankees’ bullpen imploded after Sabathia exited. David Robertson entered the game and allowed a hit, but it was Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Phillies, that allowed three runs, giving the Red Sox the advantage. Park earned the loss for the Yankees tonight. Joba Chamberlain entered in the 8th inning and wasn’t effective allowing two hits and walking one while throwing 33 pitches for 1.1 innings.

Yes, the Yankees may have lost tonight, but keep in mind the Yankees lost eight straight to open the season against the Red Sox, but look at who won the World Series last year.

Both teams are off tomorrow, and the second game is on Tuesday and it features AJ Burnett vs. Jon Lester.

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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.

It’s probably going to be one of the most discussed topics of the 2010 season — Derek Jeter and his upcoming new contract. I touched upon this subject just days ago and today in the Times, Tyler Kepner has his own views and he explains them.

The Yankees have long said they will not break precedent and discuss contracts before expiration, especially now that Rivera and Girardi’s contracts are also up. Instead what we may see here, Kepner expains, is that this whole thing will be more about how the Yankees treat this process and what Jeter and his camp ask for. Will Jeter ask for a contract to equal the end of Alex Rodriguez’s contract, which is at the age of 42? Jeter will be 37 in 2011.

Will Jeter ask for marketing incentives like A-Rod has for each homerun milestone he passes — this time on the hits record? 3,000? 4,000? 4,257?

One thing is for sure for both the Yankees and Jeter. They need each other.

2010 will see three prominent Yankees enter the last year of their contracts. Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter all will enter the last year of their contracts. We figure Rivera and Girardi will probably get similar contracts to what they have now, and while I could go on about how much Mo and Joe are worth, this post is about the Captain.

Jeter is going into the last year of a 10-year, $189 million contract and by the virtue of his offense, and average-defense and his overall leadership skills, he has earned every penny. By the time a new contract is offered to Jeter, he will be 36 and the Yankees will have to pay him what he’s worth, not what he is valued at.

Today’s Post features a story by Joel Sherman about Jeter. After the 2007 season, Brian Cashman took Jeter out for dinner and gave him something to think about. He said to the Captain that his defense had to improve. Jeter, prideful of his abilities, took that to heart and did something about it. He worked on it in the offseason. This past season was probably his best defensively.

Which means a good thing for the Yankees. They have a legitimate shortstop who earned a Gold Glove last season. The bad thing is that they still have a shortstop. Jeter could have made a move to a DH or a outfield position, but that will probably not happen for as long as he wears pinstripes.

Sherman goes on to compare what Jeter could get close to what A-Rod’s current contract is. Does Jeter demand a contract until he is 42? Sherman predicts a 4-year contract in the $100 million range. I don’t think he’s far off.

Benjamin Kabak at RAB uses Fangraphs and CHONE projections to project what Jeter could be worth the next few years.

According to Fangraphs, he was worth $23.2 million in 2006, $15.5 million in 2007, $16.6 million in 2008 and a whopping $33.4 million in 2009 for a four-year total of $88.7 million. Since he, like the rest of us, isn’t getting any younger, I doubt he can duplicate even that four-year total, and, for example, his CHONE prediction pegs him at $15.4 for 2010.

Because of who he is, the Yankees will tread carefully, respect his privacy, and pay him every penny he is worth, even though it may be a ridiculously overpriced contract. It’ll be because of who he is — the Captain.

Hi everyone…

Trevor’s post on Jeter as the Greatest Yankee appeared as a guest post on LoHud today. We got several interesting comments. I’d say more than 65% were constructive dialogue, the rest were morons who called us morons. If you have an opinion, discuss it here.

You can also read the post in its entirety here.

Thanks for reading!

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