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Yankees admire new stadium on move-in day

Derek Jeter strolls off after taking his batting practice swings at the new Yankee Stadium, which has a $1.5 billion price tag.

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Derek Jeter strolls off after taking his batting practice swings at the new Yankee Stadium, which has a $1.5 billion price tag.

NEW YORK — SS Derek Jeter stepped out of the dugout and gazed at the massive grandstands, five decks of blue-and-white reaching high into the Bronx sky. Welcome home. This is the new Yankee Stadium.

"It's a lot better than I think anyone even expected," Jeter said. "You know, I tried to come here, not ask too many questions about it, just wanted to experience it for the first time. But this is — it's pretty unbelievable."

Jeter and his teammates moved into their new digs Thursday, working out at the $1.5 billion ballpark.

Still, it might take a while for the Yankees to feel completely at home. "It definitely feels awkward," LHP Andy Pettitte said.

Standing on the field, the ballpark looks similar to the remodeled Yankee Stadium. Plush green grass, a warning track of reddish clay, the padded blue fence. The outfield dimensions are the same, too.

But then, you look up at the 52,325 seats (down from more than 57,000 in the other stadium) and the video board in center — 59 feet high, 101 feet wide. The first games at the new park will be exhibitions against the Cubs tonight and Saturday.

"There's going to be some getting used to it," OF Johnny Damon told the New York Times. "I wish we could immediately have homefield advantage, but we'll have to see how the batter's eye is. We'll have to see if the lights are different. If the grass is different. There's a breaking-in period."

Phils: Wind gives, takes

CLEARWATER — Phillies LHP Jamie Moyer gave up two homers to Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals overcame 1B Ryan Howard's 10th homer of the spring to beat Philadelphia 12-10.

Moyer, 46 and entering his 23rd season, gave up 11 hits and nine runs in four innings. He is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Braves.

"The ball was flying out of there today, wasn't it?" Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "When the wind is blowing like it was today and they're hitting balls in the air, you have a chance to give up some runs. But Jamie knows what he's doing."

Howard hit a two-run shot to the opposite field off LHP Scott Olsen in the first, one of eight homers Thursday. Howard finished the Grapefruit League with a .310 average and 24 RBIs in 26 games. "I want to see all your home runs on the back of your spring training bubblegum card," SS Jimmy Rollins said when Howard was asked about his spring stats.

An hour after the game, the Phillies left for Philadelphia, where they will play two exhibition games against the Rays.

Jays: Richmond off

LAKELAND — RHP Scott Richmond, who has struggled for Toronto all spring, saw his ERA soar to 6.63 after allowing six earned runs in six innings during an 8-5 loss to the Tigers.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston didn't exactly have glowing words for Richmond.

"He didn't throw too bad," Gaston said. "He needs to get his control down. With him, we'll just have to see what happens."

INF Aaron Hill and OF Alex Rios homered for the Blue Jays, and OF Travis Snider lifted his spring batting average to .421 with three hits.

Yankees admire new stadium on move-in day 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:49pm]
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