The New York Yankees open their 2011 regular season Thursday at Yankee Stadium, weather permitting. There is a 70 percent chance of rain most of the day in New York City, which threatens to wash out the Opening Day game between the Yankees and Detroit Tigers (1:05 p.m., YES).
Even if CC Sabathia gets to toe the rubber and open the season for the Yankees on Thursday, this will hardly be a normal opening month of the season for the Bronx Bombers. There is an open day on the schedule Friday, a traditional open slot in the event the first game of the season is rained -- or snowed -- out. Look at the Yankee schedule for the month of April, though, and you notice something odd. After Friday, there are only two off days on the Yankees' April calendar.
The Yankees play 27 games in April beginning April 2, and have just those two schedule off days (April 11 and April 21). Normally, the April baseball calendar has several built-in off days due to weather considerations in the East and the fact that home openers are followed by days off to ensure home openers get proper pomp and circumstance.
This really doesn't amount to much in the overall scheme. It may, though, have affected Manager Joe Girardi's 25-man roster. In a normal April Girardi might have been able to carry an extra outfielder in the event Curtis Granderson is still affected by his oblique injury, rather than adding Luis Ayala to the pitching staff as a 12th arm.