April 3, 2005

Play Ball!

"It still smells like champagne in here."
-- Doug Mirabelli, Boston Herald and Newark Star-Ledger
Red Sox       Yankees

Damon CF Jeter SS
Renteria SS Rodriguez 3B
Ramirez LF Sheffield RF
Ortiz DH Sierra DH
Millar 1B Matsui LF
Varitek C Posada C
Payton RF Giambi 1B
Mueller 3B Williams CF
Bellhorn 2B Womack 2B

Wells P Johnson P

Sox Against Johnson

Renteria .280, 7-for-25
Millar .217, 5-for-23
Payton .216, 8-for-37
Ramirez .211, 4-for-19
Mueller .211, 4-for-19
Varitek .143, 1-for- 7
Bellhorn .000, 0-for- 9
Damon .000, 0-for- 1
Ortiz Never faced him

Slappy v. Wells: .357, 7 HR in 56 AB
Sierra v. Wells: .371 in 62 AB
Millar, Payton, Ramirez and Renteria each have homered against Johnson. ... Wells is the oldest Red Sox Opening Day starter at 41 years, 316 days. ... He is also the first lefty to start on Opening Day since Bruce Hurst in 1986. ... Tonight will also feature the first Opening Day matchup between pitchers who have thrown perfect games.

Bernie Williams: "Back when I started playing, it was more of a fan/media kind of deal, maybe taken from the 70's, when the Yankees and Red Sox players didn't really like each other. In the last three or four years, it's back to being more of a players rivalry. You could see it, even when Pedro was there, players making comments about some of the Yankees, and some of the Yankees making comments about some of the Red Sox. It's more of a player-versus-player rivalry. To me, that has been the biggest difference. It means more to the players on each team."

Jerry Remy: "I think it's going to be the same, if not more intense, because the Yankees don't settle well into losing a championship and especially the way they did last year. That was pretty evident by their moves in the off-season. I think the last two, three or four years have been as intense as it was back in the late '70s. I think it took a long break after that for a lot of reasons. It never did take a break with the fans, but I think it did with the players."

Kevin Millar: "It's Game 1 of a 162-playoff series."

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