Joe Girardi announced the Yankees rotation for the early part of the season in Tampa on Thursday morning, and, no surprise, CC Sabathia is front and center. He'll start the season opener in Baltimore on April 6th and will also start the first game at the new Stadium on April 16th against his former mates from Cleveland.
There will doubtlessly be some commentary about how the massive Sabathia is a fitting choice to open the successor to the House that Ruth Built, but the truth is that he dwarfs the Sultan of Swat. Ruth's listed weight was 215 pounds, and even if that was 10-15 pounds low, Sabathia's still got him beat by more than few dinners.
He's also got eight inches and 100-odd pounds on the guy who started the first game at the old Yankee Stadium. Bob Shawkey, who beat the Red Sox 4-2 on that day, stood 5'11" and weighed 168 pounds, according to Baseball Reference. The difference in size between the two pitchers is a pretty fair personification of the way that the game of baseball has grown in the last 86 years.
The other notable thing to come out of Girardi's announcement is that Joba Chamberlain will start only once in the season's first 10 games. There's nothing odd about skipping the fifth starter, especially when we all know that Joba's workload will be managed closely. If that's going to be the way the rotation works all season, though, you have to hope that he'll still be able to get enough work to stay sharp.