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opening day

Everybody Loves Hideki (Especially When He Loses)

It was a little chillier than you might like, but other than that, you couldn't have possibly asked for a more perfect opening day at Yankee Stadium. The 27th World Series Champion Yankees all received their rings before the game, Andy Pettitte pitched like he was 24 (better, actually), and the Yankees breezed past the Angels 7–5 like it was no thing at all. The best moment might have been before the game, though, when the Yankees gave Hideki Matsui his ring and he seemed to be wearing pinstripes again.

We wouldn't have guessed that Matsui would receive the largest ovation of any 2009 Yankee — even bigger than Jeter! — but he sure did. (Jeter playfully gave him a fake ring.) The Yankees might not have needed Godzilla back this year, but it's more clear than ever just how much fans love him — particularly when he goes zero-for-five and makes the last out.

One wonders if Johnny Damon is a little annoyed the Yanks got the Angels in the home opener rather than his Tigers. (We're guessing Brian Bruney doesn't get one of these if the Nationals ever come to town.)

It was one of those perfect days that seem to be happening to the Yankees a lot over the last couple of seasons. (Save for that slightly hairy ninth inning; nice seeing you again, Mr. Abreu. Besides, that just allowed us to see Mariano finish it off.) With a 2009 season as charmed as it was, it was only fitting that 2010 in the Bronx responded accordingly.

Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images