2:25 - Game cancelled. Rescheduled for tomorrow at 7:05. See you back then. Please send warm clothing to me at Midtown East Courtyard Marriott.
2:22 - And as I write that it stops raining altogether. Crowd reacts with cheers. But will they play? Or is it due to start pouring again in a couple of minutes. See for yourself.
2:19 - Rumours floating that the game has been cancelled and they'll try again tomorrow night (it's due to rain all day tomorrow). Just rumours at this point. If that's the case, I'm going to come to the park wrapped in the duvet off my hotel bed. It's going to be chill-ay.
2:09 - A.J. Burnett, Scott Downs and Brian Tallet walk out to left-field and start tossing the ball around. They get a big roar and Burnett tips his cap.
2:02 - Yanks manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman now standing in shallow right-field with an official, apparently inspecting the turf. Crowd going bonkers. Girardi stops to sign autographs.
Whaddya think Grif? "Girardi didn't go very far out there to inspect the turf"
Meaning? "I think they've already made their decision."
Can I quote you in the blog? "You're going to anyway."
This is why Grif is the dean.
1:50 - Uh oh. Weather reports "no longer look promising," the stadium announcer tells us. The crowd responds with a chorus of boos. It could get ugly on 161st Street.
1:42 - Rain starting to taper off a bit. The braver fans are beginning to come out from under the awnings. They've been packed in there like cattle for the better part of an hour. Baseball may be imminent. We'll know when the players start filing into the dugouts.
1:15 - They're now saying the game will start "some time after two."
YES network's John Sterling makes the announcement and adds, "Hopefully the game will get played and hopefully it's a Yankee victory." Only in New York do they add that bit of homerism. Well, maybe Boston, too.
1:02 - Still no word on when this game will start. Most of the Toronto media contingent has gathered in the outdoor pressbox, where its cold enough to see your breath. Who forgot to wear their woolens? Even Grif is wearing a sport coat. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian just cracked open his new scorebook. "This is all very exciting," Bastian says, not sounding very excited.
None of the New York media horde is up here. There is a strange cultural twitch that prevents NYC writers from coming up to the pressbox more than 30 seconds before first pitch. The higher you stand in the New York media pecking order, the later you leave it to arrive. Some NY writers don't even watch the game live - they prefer to stay in the media bunker in the basement beside the clubhouses and watch the game on TV. Only in New York.
12:58 - Now its 'Umbrella'. At least we've musically cracked the new century.
12:56 - Now it's 'Who Stopped the Rain' by John Fogerty. Between this and 'Center Field', John Fogerty is the worst thing to ever happen to baseball.
I am wishing that I owned the concession on official New York Yankees rain slickers. I wish I owned the New York Yankee concession on anything.
12:49 - Now they're playing 'Pennies From Heaven' by Sinatra. Bring back the organ.
12:34 - Here are the line-ups:
1 - David Eckstein
2 - Shannon Stewart
3 - Alex Rios
4 - Vernon Wells
5 - Frank Thomas
6 - Lyle Overbay
7 - Aaron Hill
8 - Marco Scutaro
9 - Gregg Zaun
SP: Roy Halladay
1 - Johnny Damon
2 - Derek Jeter
3 - Bobby Abreu
4 - A-Rod
5 - Jason Giambi
6 - Robinson Cano
7 - Jorge Posada
8 - Hideki Matsui
9 - Melky Cabrera
SP: Chien-Ming Wang
They're playing 'Quando Quando Quando' on the organ. Soggy natives growing restless.
12:19 - Okay, they've decided to delay the game. The start time is 'to be determined'. The good news is they insist that the weather is due to improve and that they will play this afternoon.
12:14 p.m. - Less than an hour till game time and the rain continues to come down here in the Bronx. It's not coming down hard, but Grif feels sure that they won't start under these conditions. At least it's not that cold.
News is the clubhouse all concerns Alex Rios' 'will he or won't he' big league deal. It now seems pretty clear that he will. The club is ironing out the final details on Rios' 6-year, $65 million (U.S.) deal. GM J.P. Ricciardi is so sure that this will work out, that's he's extended his Opening Day deadline. Rios said the deal wasn't done a few minutes ago, but couldn't help but notice a conga line of teammates running up to shake his hand. I think this thing is all but signed. Interestingly, Ricciardi said there is no opt-out for Rios in the deal's current incarnation.
It's more than a little bit cool to be here for the last season starter at Yankee Stadium (for a great behind-the-scenes look at the park, check out Tyler Kepner's photo slideshow at the New York Times).