Dear Loyal Readers of River Avenue News;

The 2009 season is finally here and the Yankees are in their new stadium. We thought, since the Yankees upgraded their digs, so should we.

So we're announcing the end of this site as we move forward to a bigger, brighter, flashier, more Yankeefied website:

Announcing the new River Avenue News.

If you are a site owner that happened to be so kind in adding our old site to your blog roll, we'd appreciate if you would update our links to (whenever you get the chance, of course).

If you subscribe to our email list, we'll be manually moving you over to the new site, so you don't have to worry about missing a single update.

As with the old stadium, we'll keep this site up and running for you to look at, if you ever get that nostalgic feeling.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you on the new site.

-Chris Lima
River Avenue News

Chien-Ming Wang, RHP (0-0, -.--)
Koji Uehara, RHP (0-0, -.--)

Scouting Report:
Yankees: Wang made 15 starts for the Yankees last season before his year ended due to a right foot injury suffered while running the bases on June 15 at Houston. The blow was crushing to the Yankees, as they were 12-3 in games the right-handed sinkerballer had started. Despite missing much of last year, Wang's 46 victories since 2006 are tied for third-most in the American League and eighth-most in the Majors. His .754 combined winning percentage over the past three seasons is the second highest in the big leagues, behind only Boston's Jon Lester. Wang did not face the Orioles in 2008 and is 3-1 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against Baltimore.

Orioles: Uehara, a former ace of the Yomiuri Giants, will make his Major League debut in the second game of the season. Uehara is undefeated in international competition in his career and was highly decorated in his homeland, winning his league's equivalent of the Rookie of the Year Award once and the Cy Young award twice. Now, Uehara has come to the United States for a new challenge and will immediately slot in as one of Baltimore's most experienced pitchers. Uehara, who learned a circle changeup in Spring Training, is known as an extreme strike-thrower.

CC Sabathia, LHP (0-0, -.--)
Jeremy Guthrie, RHP (0-0, -.--)

Scouting Report:
Yankees: The Yankees prioritized starting pitching immediately after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and set their sights on Sabathia, who inked a seven-year, $161 million deal during the Winter Meetings.

In 35 combined starts with the Indians and Brewers, Sabathia led the Majors in innings pitched (253), complete games (10) and shutouts (five), ranking second in strikeouts (251) and fourth in ERA. Despite the midseason trade to Milwaukee, Sabathia finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting and sixth in NL MVP voting. With a 117-73 career record, Sabathia's .616 winning percentage is the 12th highest among left-handers with as many or more decisions (190) since 1900.

This will be Sabathia's sixth career Opening Day start, and Sabathia leads all active Major Leaguers under the age of 29 in career wins (117), strikeouts (1,393) and innings pitched (1,659.1).

Orioles: The Orioles may have waited until an appropriate moment to name Jeremy Guthrie their Opening Day starter, but it's a role that virtually everybody in the organization knew he would fill. Guthrie was far and away Baltimore's most effective starting pitcher in 2008 and has been outstanding since arriving as a waiver claim in '07. Back then, he was a floundering former prospect with Cleveland, but he's managed to fulfill his potential in Baltimore.

Guthrie will become one of just four starters in the last 20 years -- along with Rick Sutcliffe, Rodrigo Lopez and Mike Mussina -- to start on Opening Day in consecutive years for the Orioles. Guthrie, a former first-round draftee, is the only member of last year's rotation to remain in the same role. The Orioles will keep him on his turn as often as possible, meaning that he'll likely throw again on April 11.

Guthrie was a true standout last season, finishing seventh in the American League in opponents' batting average (.242), 14th in ERA (3.63) and top 25 in both starts (30) and innings (190 2/3). Guthrie made 19 quality starts last season, and 10 of them followed a Baltimore loss. At one point, in fact, he threw six straight quality starts.

Here's the second set of photos from our trip to the New Yankee Stadium:

Here's the first set of photos from our trip to the New Yankee Stadium:

We were lucky enough to score (pay $80) some tickets to the Yankees Exhibition Series against the Cubs this weekend; so without further delay, here are some of our favorite shots:

Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle. Bernie Williams.

Brett Gardner?

Sounds a lot better than hearing Melky Cabrera's name in the starting lineup come Opening Day.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi confirmed the fact that Brett Gardner has one the position battle for the prestigious spot in the Yankee outfield.

Gardner hit .385 (20-for-52) with three home runs, six RBIs and five stolen bases in 22 spring games for the Yankees.

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