NEW YORK (AP) -- David Cone might have been the only fan in
Yankee Stadium not booing Jason Giambi.
Andy Pettitte put Tampa Bay in its place, pitching six scoreless
innings and leading New York to a 4-0 victory Friday in the
Yankees' 100th home opener.
There was plenty of pomp and pageantry as Yogi Berra, Phil
Rizzuto and Rudy Giuliani raised the AL championship banner. The
sellout crowd of 55,771 seemed to enjoy the entire show, except
"I just had a rough day," Giambi said.
Did he ever.
Giambi, signed in December for $120 million over seven years,
was razzed as he went 0-for-5, dropping to 2-for-16 with no RBI.
After he missed a scoop in his first game in pinstripes, there
were even chants of "Tino! Tino!" -- a reference to the popular
first baseman he replaced, Tino Martinez.
"I was trying to give them something to cheer about," Giambi
said. "Trust me, I'm getting on myself inside, too."
Giambi insisted the boos did not bother him.
"It's OK, it's OK. It's part of the game," he said. "I'm the
new guy in town, and I expect great things from myself. It'll get
Cone had a much more relaxing time. The one-time Yankees ace,
still looking for a team to sign him, sat in right-center field
bleachers with the fans who used to cheer him.
"I'm pretty stress-free out here right now. It's a lot easier
out here than on that mound on opening day," he said in the middle
of the game.
"Everybody has been really appreciative that a former player
would come out here and spend some times with the creatures," he
The Devil Rays were trying to join the 1906 Brooklyn Dodgers and
the 1952 St. Louis Browns as the only teams to open at 4-0 after
losing 100 games the previous season.
Instead, with newcomer Rondell White getting three hits, Derek
Jeter & Co. won their third in a row and proved there's still quite
a difference between the clubs with the majors' highest and lowest
"We never thought we were going to win them all," Tampa Bay
manager Hal McRae said.
After David Wells drew the biggest ovation in pregame ceremonies
that included U.S. Olympians, West Point cadets and members of the
NYPD and FDNY, the Yankees celebrated last year's fourth
consecutive AL pennant by winning their fifth straight home opener.
Pettitte (1-0) showed no ill effects from an elbow problem that
slowed him in spring training, allowing only two hits and walking
none. He fanned six and became the eighth Yankees pitcher ever to
strike out 1,000 in a career.
It was 41 degrees for the first pitch, the coldest ever for the
start of a Devil Rays' game. The nippy conditions reminded Pettitte
of the 1996 home opener, when he pitched in a snowstorm.
"Today might've been a little colder," he said.
Jeter singled to set up a run in the first inning and had an RBI
single that capped a three-run fourth off Joe Kennedy (0-1).
Giambi had a much rougher start at home.
The crowd cheered as he came to the plate with runners at the
corners and no outs in the first, but he grounded into a double
play as a run scored.
The former AL MVP struck out in his next two at-bats, prompting
Jeter to give him an encouraging pat on the back in-between
innings, and then hit a weak groundout.
Before his final at-bat, the remaining fans stood and cheered
Giambi. But when he hit a routine fly ball, they booed again.
"I'm not going to panic about it," he said. "I'm not down at
Earlier, Giambi let third baseman Robin Ventura's throw skip by
him. Ventura got the error, but Giambi got the boos.
"It's New York, you know," said Karsay, who grew up near Shea
Stadium. "A month down the road and the numbers are turning
around, no one's going to care about the first week of the season.
Jason will be fine."
C Jorge Posada ended the game by leaning over a rail and
into the New York dugout to grab a foul pop by Toby Hall. ...
Pettitte became the third straight Yankees starter to not allow a
run. Wells, Mike Mussina and Pettitte have combined for 20 1-3
scoreless innings. ... The Yankees' payroll is nearly $126 million.
Tampa Bay's total is $34.4 million. ... Gold medal-winning
bobsledders Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken were among seven
American Olympians honored on the field.
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