It's been so long. So very long.

Yeah, there was that Jets playoff run and the hullabaloo of March Madness, but let's be real here, few things can assuage the bitter chill of the baseball-less winter. Everything was just a little darker and a little drearier...until now, that is.

This one's for you, guy who crossed out the days until pitchers and catchers reported, and you, Yankee fan who's had hour-long discussions on where Curtis Granderson should hit this year.

Opening Day(ish), 2010.

Newsday is going to be with you throughout the afternoon with periodic updates and <drumroll please> the Yankees/Red Sox Liveblog at 8:05 p.m. That's right, folks, you too can experience the joy of baseball's greatest rivalry via Liveblog - all before it gets beaten dead to the ground some time around August.


On the hill for the Yanks is C.C. Sabathia in his seventh career opening day start. He was 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA in 34 starts for the Yanks, and was 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA against the BoSox last year. You know the drill on Sabathia, but also know that he's had slow starts in years past and we'll have to see what tonight brings. He was 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA in his first six starts. The Red Sox have been relatively quiet against Sabathia in years past - except, that is, for David Ortiz (.357 in 14 AB) - yup, even despite the rough year. Marco Scutaro's had decent success, hitting .333 in 12 at-bats against Sabathia. Sabathia didn't fare all that well his last season's Opening Day start against the Orioles. He pitched 4.1 innings, allowed eight hits and six earned runs to earn the loss.

For the Red Sox: Josh Beckett. Beckett had an All-Star season last year, with career highs in innings (212 1/3), strikeouts (199) and complete games (four). He notched 3.86 ERA and went 17-6 on the season. He's been tossed around a bit by the Yanks, and last year went 2-1 with a 5.34 ERA in five starts. Beckett is prone to the long ball and few people know that better than Robinson Cano. Cano is .341 in 44 at-bats, with three home runs and 10 RBIs against Beckett. In his last Opening Day start, Beckett was masterful in seven innings of work against the Rays. He allowed one earned run, with two hits, three walks and 10 strikeouts.


- Yankees -

1. Derek Jeter

2. Nick Johnson (DH)

3. Mark Teixeira

4. Alex Rodriguez

5. Robinson Cano

6. Jorge Posada

7. Curtis Granderson

8. Nick Swisher

9. Brett Gardner

- Red Sox -

1. Jacoby Ellsbury

2. Dustin Pedroia

3. Victor Martinez

4. Kevin Youkilis

5. David Ortiz (DH)

6. Adrian Beltre

7. J.D. Drew

8. Mike Cameron

9. Marco Scutaro


Other Stuff:

- The Yankees lead 18-10-1 (yeah, you read that right) in Opening Day head-to-heads.

- Its the first time the two have met on Opening Day since 2005. The Yankees won, 9-2.

- This is the first one at Fenway since 1985. The Red Sox took that contest, also 9-2.

- This is the first of 18 contests between the two teams. After this three-game series, the rivals won't meet again until May 7-9 at Fenway, and the two meet again on May 17 at the Stadium in a quickie two-game series. After that: August 6-9 at Yankee Stadium. They meet up again from Sept. 24-26 (at Yankee Stadium) and a week later, on Oct. 1-3 (at Fenway)

- Monday's probable pitchers: A.J. Burnett vs. Jon Lester. Tuesday's: Andy Pettitte vs. John Lackey.

- For the ubergeeks: Sabermetric breakdown of Sabathia against Ortiz and co. Aaaaaand Beckett versus A-Rod.

I'm gonna encourage y'all to comment below or email me if there's any other information you want me to post. Game time in t-minus 30 minutes (plus an extra 25 minutes because it's ESPN)

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