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Game 2: Wang against...Some Guy

By Dustin Racioppi
4/6/2009

Forget Opening Day. It doesn't mean anything. Ever hear a World Series champ hearken back to Opening Day? No. 

You can sit and bitch and moan about CC Sabathia's lackluster performance on Monday, but you're not doing yourself a favor — he's an ace that will show numbers. Piss and moan about Mark Teixeira's Yankee debut and you're out of your dingleberry mind. 

On Wednesday the Yankees face the Orioles again, but this time against pitcher Koji Uehara. Wait. Who? 

I'm going to play Happy-Go-Lucky-Joe for a minute, rightfully, and say this is no sure win for the Yanks. I'll even say this — especially after Monday night's showing: the Yanks could get swept on their opening stand with Baltimore. 

Let's take a look at Mr. Uehara. 

According to mlb.com, he's a flamethrower from Japan who's won the equivalent to the Cy Young twice in Japan. He's undefeated in international competition and is a Rookie of the Year. Now he's here. 

The fact that he's playing for the Oriole's and there's been zero buzz about him is one red flag. But the past is not always a premonition. Remember Kei Igawa? Remember Murderers' Row Plus Cano in 2007?

It comes down to desire on Wednesday. The Yankees showed just about zero give-a-hell on Monday and if they think they're going to be in the post-season, they cannot waltz into every ballpark (especially their own ) and expect wins to simply happen. They played like that on Monday. That's what's happened, I think, the last eight years. And it has got to stop. It's time to start playing. 

Look at the Yankee payroll. Look at the new stadium. Look at the off-season acquisitions. Everything was designed for a 2009 ring. It's no longer a goal for the Yankees, it's an expectation. The Sawks know it, the Rays know it, the Blue Jays and O's know it. But they're going to fight like banshees to get it. The Yankees must fight too. 

Otherwise they don't deserve the ring. It starts Wednesday. 

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