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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/2/17

Bird, Sanchez, Judge and other young Yankees get to experience their first opening day today; Tanaka is ready for opening day; Yankees ride into regular season after their best spring; baseball is back

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Empire | Bryan Hoch: The long wait is finally over. This afternoon, Yankee Baseball is back. Excitement is in the air from both the fans and the players. For a good number of Yankees, this will be their first Opening Day on a major league roster. Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Aaron Judge, in addition to Jonathan Holder and Bryan Mitchell. Judge’s parents will be present to watch their son in RF against the Rays. The youth movement gets underway at 1PM. Baseball is back!

New York Daily News | Peter Botte: Few starters in the majors had a better spring than Masahiro Tanaka. He only gave up one earned run, meaning that the doctors were wrong and he should have gotten that blasted Tommy John surgery. Now he’ll start the season for the Yankees at Tropicana Field today, TJS-less I might add. Tanaka is excited to get the season started and believe the potential for this team’s greatness is there. Baseball is back!

Newsday | Erik Boland: Tanaka wasn’t the only member of the Yankees that had a good spring. The entire team as a whole did pretty well. In fact, the Yankees of New York came out of spring training with the best record of any team. Obviously, that means that the World Series is pretty much guaranteed. Most people will say that numbers in March mean very little. It’s hard not to get excited about the potential they showed though, especially from the players most fans are really really excited about. Bird, Sanchez, and Judge all had fantastic springs. If it carries over to the regular season, who knows where they could wind up. Baseball is back!

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: Those exciting young players are one of many reasons why we don’t really know what to expect from the Yankees this year. This is a team that traded away their best players during last year’s trade deadline and played better. It’s also a team going into the season with more question marks than last year regarding the rotation, in addition to the question marks with their young players. It’s still exciting to think that those question marks could wind up with a positive answer. Those questions will be answered later on. First things first. Game one. Yankees vs. Rays. Baseball is back!