BOSTON -- This is the one you've been waiting for. Tanaka-Palooza and Jacoby-Mania rolled into one, the homecoming of prodigal son Jacoby Ellsbury, who seems to be in denial about what will happen at Fenway tonight, and the indoctrination into the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry of Masahiro Tanaka, who seems bemused by it all.
And to make it even better, Ellsbury will be the game's first batter. As if a Yankees-Red Sox game didn't have enough storylines on its own. Well, at least A-Rod isn't here to stir up people's passions any more than they already will be.
Here's tonight's Yankees lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
NOTES: Joe Girardi said he started Ichiro over Brett Gardner because of Ichiro's numbers against Red Sox starter Jon Lester -- 17-for-51 (.333) with two home runs. ... David Robertson was reactivated today and unlike the last time he got hurt, in 2012, did not lose his closer's job while on the DL. Shawn Kelley, who went 4-for-4 in save opportunities in Robertson's absence, returns to setup man duty. ... Jeter's advice to Ellsbury on how to deal with the likely boos from the Fenway crowd: "Don't think about it, buddy. Don't be so sensitive." ... Jeter is also a lifetime .333 hitter vs. Lester (22-for-66, 1 HR). ... Teixeira, on the other hand, has had his problems with Lester, hitting .222 with 10 hits in 45 career at-bats.