Jorge Posada greets Russell Martin after he hit a home...

Jorge Posada greets Russell Martin after he hit a home run. (April 2, 2011) Credit: David Pokress

Who says you can’t learn anything about a team in the first series of the baseball season?


We noticed a bunch of stuff about the Yankees during their opening series with the Tigers. Small sample size be darned!

Here are Five Things We’ve Learned About the Yankees:


1. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Mark Teixeira couldn’t brush off his slow starts anymore, so he changed his offseason and spring training routines and took more swings. Results? A pair of three-run home runs in the first two games and a solo shot yesterday. He’s hitting .333.
“Give him a lot of credit for going and changing his whole, complete winter workout,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He got an Iron Mike and hit around the clock.”

2. The Yankees are going to run.

Despite hitting nine homers in their first three games, the Yankees are going to try to push the action on the bases. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin have one stolen base each. Robinson Cano aggressively took second on a short wild pitch in the seventh inning of the Yankees’ 10-7 loss yesterday and scored on Nick Swisher’s double.
“That was something that we talked about during spring training,” manager Joe Girardi said. “One of the things that we wanted to focus on was baserunning. Being more aggressive and better secondary and first-to-third and putting pressure on the opposing club.”

3. Girardi is going to rest his aging veterans in an attempt to hold off Father Time.

Girardi took out A-Rod and Derek Jeter on Saturday with the Yankees up 10-3, but the game got hairy enough in the ninth that Mariano Rivera had to come in for a save after Jeter’s replacement, Eduardo Nuñez, made a throwing error on a potential game-ending grounder. The Yankees won, 10-6.
“Last year a lot of times we only had one infielder,” Girardi said. “Now with Nuñez and Chavez, I’m going to do that from time to time to try to give them a blow.”
Girardi already is talking about DHing A-Rod and giving Jeter a day off this week.

4. Jorge Posada is not a catcher anymore.

OK, we knew this already. We think the Yankees are being shortsighted by not using Posada as Martin’s backup, but the team is unyielding that DH Posada — who hit two home runs yesterday — will never again don the tools of ignorance if they can help it.
When asked if Posada is his emergency catcher, Girardi said: “You would probably go with him in there before Nuñez.” Ouch.

5. Brian Cashman is going to keep saying what’s on his mind.

Whether he’s ripping the Mets for allegedly having “abused” Pedro Feliciano or calling bloggers “psychotics,” as he did Saturday, the Yankees’ general manager has followed up his outspoken offseason and continues to be the Rex Ryan of the Bronx. Personally, we’re big fans of Cashman Unplugged, especially given that Girardi, Jeter, A-Rod and the rest can be as bland as a bowl of cornflakes.

Two Things We Haven’t Learned Yet


1. How fourth and fifth starters Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia are going to do.

That begins tonight and Wednesday against the Twins.

2. Everything else.

Well, there are 159 games left, silly. Don’t try to wring super-significance out of one bad start by Phil Hughes or many grounders to second by Jeter. At least the Yankees aren’t 0-3 like the World Series favorite Red Sox!