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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 their 63rd annual Old Timer’s Game Sunday featuring many older veterans and newer ones such as recently retired Mike Mussina.  Moose pitched to four batters in the game, with Yankees manager Joe Girardi behind the plate.

Yankee Old Timers (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Yankee Old Timers (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

By the way, the premiere of the Yankeeography of Mussina will be shown on YES Monday night at 11pm.  I plan to DVR it.

Bucky Dent, David Cone, Jesse Barfield, Homer Bush, Chad Curtis, Don Larsen, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, Lee Mazzili, Ron Bloomberg and many others made an appearance at or in the game.

The Clippers beat the Bombers 5-2 to win the game, but I could barely tell you who was on what team and when they were batting, pitching etc.  I just end up paying attention to who’s on camera at that time.

The highlight of the game was the return of Don Zimmer to the Bronx.  The Yankees former bench coach for Joe Torre during the Dynasty years of 1996-2003, Zimmer got in a public argument with owner George Steinbrenner and vowed to never again return to Yankee Stadium.

Apparently time softened his feelings about it and Zim returned, much to the delight of the fans and his former players.

According to, AJ Burnett was excited to see former pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden at the stadium and had brought the April 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated that featured Gooden to get his autograph.

This game was obviously the first Old Timer’s Game held at the new stadium and I’m sure many wondered if it ould have the pizzaz of the games at the legendary old Yankee Stadium.  I felt it did and the legends were just playing in a nicer home.

April 18, 1923 – Babe Ruth

April 16, 2009 – Jorge Posada

“Sully” – Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who saved the lives of some 150 people on board US Air Flight 1549 by gracefully landing in the Hudson River this past January, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch during Saturday’s exhibition game between the Yankees and Cubs.

Sullenberger was at the controls on January 15 while taking off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport when a flock of geese flew in the flight path and knocked out both engines.  With the plane completely powerless, Sullenberger guided it down to the flattest, safest ground he could find – the Hudson River, saving the life of every single passenger on board.  NY Governor David Patterson dubbed it the Miracle on the Hudson.   Sullenberger and the entire flight crew will be honored before the game.

Fans will also be in for another treat.  Famed American Bald Eagle “Challenger” will fly from the bleacher’s cafe in the outfield to the pitchers mound at the end of the National Anthem.

With all the rain we are getting Friday, I sincerely doubt the exhibition game tonight between the Yanks and Cubs will go ahead as planned.  So the ceremonial first pitch might be the actualy first pitch thrown at Yankee Stadium.

Quinnipiac University conducted a poll of NYC residents. The results? New Yorkers still love the Yankees more than the Mets. From Oren Yaniv:

Among the New Yorkers who expressed interest in big-league baseball, more than half – 56% – pledged alliance to the Bronx Bombers and only a third said they root for the Mets, a Quinnipiac poll found.

In a theoretical Subway Series, the Yanks are fan favorites, 55% to 42%, holding an edge in every borough but Queens, where the Amazin’s play.

“Except for Queens, New York City still is the home of the Bronx Bombers,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The poll showed that the most popular Yankee is Derek Jeter (like, duh) with 48%. A-Rod is second with 9%, down from 15% last year. Well, he deserved his slide. All I know is that when Jeter’s contract is up, it’ll be a PR nightmare for the Yankees.

David Wright was the most popular Met at 27%, followed by Jose Reyes at 17%. Just about an equal amount of fans (~30%) said they would visit the New Yankee Stadium as they would CitiField.

Also, I’m disappointed at my sister. She lives in Queens and she didn’t vote.

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