One Last Hurrah for the 2009 Yankees

Rings, flags and ceremony at Tuesday's home opener

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Yankees Get Set For Opening Day (Published Monday, Apr 12, 2010)

    No one does pomp and circumstance quite like the New York Yankees and no days call for as much pomp and circumstance as ones when World Series rings are handed out.

    Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, therefore, will be heavy on the ceremony before the Yankees play their first home game of the 2010 season.

    Bernie Williams, still not officially retired even though he's moved comfortably into the rotation of Yankee legends, will throw out the first pitch sometime after Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford are done handing out rings. Those rings may never actually get worn by the recipients, but they'll be appreciated all the same. If you had to hazard a guess, Alex Rodriguez would probably be the player who appreciates it the most, goodbye monkey on the back, and probably the player most likely to actually wear what figures to be a huge, garish number.

    In a nice bit of scheduling, Hideki Matsui will be in the Bronx and on hand to pick up the ring he earned as MVP of the World Series. His six-RBI Game Six is a performance that will have a long life in Yankee lore and will be part of the many highlights from last October and November rolled out on Tuesday. Johnny Damon's double steal, Mark Teixeira's walk-off against the Twins and a plethora of A-Rod homers will all get their moments as well. 

    Everyone will cheer, a goosebump or two will be raised and then the game will start and all those plays will move onto DVD players where they belong. Matsui's in Anaheim, obviously, and his presence in an Angels uniform is an easy way to remind everyone that it ain't 2009 anymore. It's a whole new ball of wax for this year's Yankee team. A team, by the way, that isn't going to be given any leeway because there's a brand spanking new flag flying in the outfield.

    That mindset shouldn't be a problem, though. The only thing the Yankees do better than pomp and circumstance is asking what you've done for them lately.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.