The Yankee Defense Begins Today - NBC New York

The Yankee Defense Begins Today

Here come the defending champions



    The Yankee Defense Begins Today
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    In the last couple of months, whenever the air would get extra chilling or when it would get dark at 4 p.m., or when you realized that night's viewing options were either the Knicks or a reality show, there was only one way to find sweet relief. Turn the browser over to the Yankees website and check out the countdown clock they provided to let you know how long it was until pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa.

    It was always good for a brief, heartwarming dose of what goodness lay just around the corner, and that's never been more true than on Wednesday morning. There's just a zero in the days category and the minutes are rapidly melting away before the clock hits noon and the 2010 Yankees season officially gets underway.

    Oh happy day! Mere hours until the sound of well-thrown baseballs popping into mitts, awkward footage of Andy Pettitte practicing covering first base on a bunt and CC Sabathia grinning as he fake jogs his way around the field with a bunch of kids who will be spending the summer in Trenton. A few days from now, we'll be watching batting practice and, soon enough, games featuring players with uniform numbers normally seen on defensive linemen.

    The time for answering questions about fifth starters and left fielders will be upon us soon and we fully expect to see screaming headlines after Javier Vasquez has a rocky inning in his first outing, but today isn't about performance. It's about renewal. We've made it through the long, cold months once again, friends, so take a moment to enjoy the fruits of our chilly labors.  

    If you see a few extra people grinning on the subway, its either because of that or because you forgot to zip your fly again.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for