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Yankees' Opening Day fans upbeat, but hated Red Sox prevail

Yankees starter CC Sabathia pitches during the first

Yankees starter CC Sabathia pitches during the first inning during Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox. (April 1, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

Fans boarding the Yankee Clipper -- Metro-North's game-day train from Westchester County to the Bronx -- weren't concerned Monday that the team's biggest stars sat out the home opener.

All that pinstripe-clad Yankees fans at the Tarrytown station really cared about was whether their Bronx Bombers would put a hurting on their Beantown rivals on Opening Day.

"They deserve every cent they get if people are paying it," said Yankees fan Joe Attanasio, 64, of Tarrytown, talking about the high salaries the Yankees players get. "It's not their fault they're hurt. The Yankees win the championships. The Mets don't win nothing."

Not Monday, though.

Although the Mets walloped the San Diego Padres, 11-2, at Citi Field, the Yankees were shellacked by the Boston Red Sox, 8-2, at Yankee Stadium.

Center fielder Curtis Granderson, shortstop Derek Jeter, first baseman Mark Teixeira and third baseman Alex Rodriguez are all struggling with major injuries and surgeries while raking in a combined $84 million in salary this year, more than a third of the Yankees' $228 million payroll for the year.

Monday's losing pitcher was CC Sabathia, who, with an annual salary of $24.3 million, is No. 5 among the highest-paid players in the major leagues, according to The Associated Press.

But fans who were interviewed accepted the salaries.

"It's part of the sport," said George Russo, 29, of Valley Cottage. "I don't blame the players at all. That's part of their contract. More success, more Yankees fans, more money."

Besides, others said, as one of the league's big-market teams, the Yankees always have paid their players well.

"Yankees have always made a good salary," said John Krouskoff, 50, of New City. "And it's unfortunate that a number of them are injured, but hey, that's baseball. They're entitled to their salary, as long as it's not us paying for it."

Krouskoff then paused to consider what he said. "Ultimately, although, I guess we are," he added.

Rich Cahill didn't really seem to mind, as long as his team was the one putting some of the game's best players on the field.

"A deal is a deal. That's baseball," said Cahill, 47, of New City. "If they negotiate a better contract than other teams, it is what it is."

Pete Samoilo wasn't so sure the Yankees' big-money payouts would translate into winning the American League pennant that eluded the team last year.

"The Yankees have been overpaying their players for years," said Samoilo, 27, of Piermont. "Every year, they get older and older players. Now it's coming back to bite them. Their players are getting old. The Yankees need to develop younger players instead of paying these older players."

Several fans gladly answered questions but politely refused to give their names because they didn't want their bosses to find out they had skipped work to head to the stadium. Some couples were decked out in matching Yankees jerseys, toting as many pregame refreshments as they could.

The Yankees resume their time-honored rivalry with the Red Sox with night games Wednesday and Thursday.

The Mets also are coping with injuries to key players.

Pitcher Johan Santana is slated for surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday. But captain David Wright was in the lineup Monday after dealing with a strained rib muscle.

"I'm a Mets fan," said Katonah resident Gary Pitcher, who was in downtown White Plains on Sunday. "I heard that Santana just went down. He might not be pitching, but I'm still going to remain positive. I hope David Wright has a good season."

With The Associated Press

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