The season opening stretch looked brutal, having to start the season with six games against two of the AL's better teams.

After today's 7-3 victory the Yankees head home 4-2.

"It's a good trip," Joe Girardi said. "This is a tough trip to start out, two teams in your division and they're very good and you're able to win both series. A very good trip for us." 

A.J. Burnett recovered from a rough first inning and though he said he didn't feel he had much today, Jorge Posada disagreed.

“In general I just felt like I didn’t have a lot going,” Burnett said.

Burnett allowed two runs, both in the first inning, and six hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out one.

“I thought he did, I thought he had good stuff,” said Posada, whose two-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Yankees the lead for good at 3-2. “He was in there, he was throwing strikes and being aggressive and attacking and that’s all we can ask for. I think he was great, he really was.”

Those kinds of disagreements between Posada and Burnett the Yankees are just fine with.

*** The Yankees will get their rings Tuesday against the Angels in a pregame ceremony, which players and looking forward to.

"I'm very excited," Posada said. "You look forward to that day, you look forward to getting the rings and opening day [at home]. It's going to be an exciting day." 

*** Girardi said he hadn’t decided what he’ll do in late-inning situations if Hideki Matsui, who abuses lefty pitching, comes up in a close game.

Derek Jeter used to joke in the dugout about what a mistake it was when opposing teams would bring in lefties to face Matsui.

"I’ll look at the matchups and I’ll make my decision,” Girardi said.

Matsui, obviously, has limited at-bats against Yankee pitchers. Among the relievers he could face, he’s 2-for-9 against LHP Damaso Marte, 0-for-7 against RHP Chan Ho Park and 1-for-4 against RHP Sergio Mitre. 

If he brings in a lefty, Girardi said: “I know the shortstop’s going to yell at me.”

Girardi and Posada said they hope Matsui, the World Series MVP, will be on field for the ring ceremony.

“It would be kind of neat,” Girardi said.

Said Posada: “I hope everyone stands up and gives him a standing ovation. He’s done a lot for this organization and he deserves it.”

*** Posada wasn't thrilled with Evan Longoria's sixth-inning pop rattling off one of the catwalks here and being ruled a hit, calling it "crap" among other things.

“It’s not a baseball stadium,” Posada said. “You can’t have balls going all over the place. Really, it’s sad.”

Mark Teixeira called it "laughable."

*** Teixeira, who celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday, is an avowed golf nut and has played Augusta National three times.

Teixeira, who went to Georgia Tech, played with friends from the Yellow Jackets’ golf team (Augusta founder Bobby Jones earned a mechanical engineering degree from Georgia Tech) before the 2002 season and he played 36 holes in one day before last season.

“Just an incredible experience,” said Teixeira, who shot rounds of 88, 89 and 92.

*** Players are excited about getting back to New York. It's been a long spring.

“Seven weeks away is too long for me,” Teixeira said. “I’m looking forward to taking my son to school and hanging out with my wife and kids a little bit.”

*** And with that, I'm out as well. I won't be at the Yankees voluntary workout tomorrow as I'll be traveling but Newsday will have the event covered and I'll be back here on Tuesday. Also, we'll have a Live Chat from the Stadium before Wednesday's game at noon. Like Teixeira, looking forward to rounding third and heading home. 


More Yankees headlines

Newsday LogoYour Island. Your Community. Your News.Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months