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Column: Jorge, Mo, Jeter & Phelps

4/12/2012

The central focus of the 110th home opener in New York Yankees history will be that familiar battery of Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. Posada will start the day off by tossing out the first pitch, and, if all goes right for the Yanks, Rivera will fire the last one.

In between, Rivera will be celebrated in what is expected to be his final home opener. Posada will be thanked for his 16 years of service. Their Core

Four buddy, captain Derek Jeter, will have butterflies, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Meanwhile, early-season sensation David Phelps, a rookie, will walk around with the wonderment of a child opening a birthday gift he has waited his whole life to unwrap.

The Yankees are already three up and three down on this season, but the campaign won't really begin in Jeter's eyes until Hiroki Kuroda throws Friday's first official pitch a little after 1 p.m.

"It doesn't seem like the season gets under way until you have your home opener," Jeter said. For Jeter, the first time was the best -- the snowy day back in April 1996 when he went 1-for-4 and scored a run in a 7-1 win over the Royals. Now 37, Jeter won't feel a bit different from when he was a 21-year-old rookie. "You have butterflies every time," Jeter said. "I think it is good to have butterflies. It means you still care."

Read the rest of the column here.