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David Brown

The Juice: Red Sox win ugly against Yankees on opening night

Big League Stew

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For the first time in 2010, it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts (and ends) at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. — hello! — where the Red Sox and New York Yankees jump-started the baseball season with a flawed Sunday night affair.

But, not only was it cool to watch a game that counted in the standings, but one that also featured emissaries from all three ancient forms of music: Dr. Dré (West Coast), Steven Tyler (East Coast) and Neil Diamond (Middle of the Road).

Game of the Day: Red Sox 9, Yankees 7

So, these are the top teams in the majors, eh? Both clubs combined for some very curious decisions on defense and disappointing performances on the mound. They did just escape spring training, after all, so cut 'em a break?

• Kevin Youkilis hit the first triple on opening day for the Bosox in 11 years — though it came after Nick Swisher(notes) badly misjudged his fly ball to right. In the seventh, Yook hit a double, took third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Do the Red Sox need assistance, from the Yankees no less?

• Bronx speed demon Brett Gardner(notes) came home on a double steal in the fourth — but only because catcher Victor Martinez(notes) made a sluggish and absent-minded throw to second base. Gardner also made what could have been a costly throwing error in the fifth. Hit the cut-off man, young Brett.

Josh Beckett gave up back-to-back homers in the second inning, including an extra-deep fly to Curtis Granderson(notes) in his first at-bat with the Yankees. Beckett only lasted into the fifth, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks with just one strikeout. How are those contract extension talks coming?

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• CC Sabathia, though his defense and bullpen were of almost no help, couldn't hold a four-run lead. In seven career opening day starts, he has a 5.79 ERA.

• And another thing: Umpire Angel Hernandez made two bad calls. One was especially awful in the third inning when Alex Rodriguez(notes) doubled-up Mike Cameron(notes) at first base. Cameron's hand clearly reached the bag before the throw.

Another time, Dustin Pedroia(notes) appeared to tie a throw to first on a grounder, and almost twisted himself into a pretzel in disbelief, when Hernandez called him out.

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Ain't nothin' but a jeez thing: 'Duk covered the batting practice appearance by Dré, who alarmed many a Californian by donning a Red Sox jersey to get his swings in. You see, there are some people on the West Coast who don't like the East Coast and vice versa. Sometimes, this has led to conflict.

But the Red Sox didn't stop there with the recording artists. On hand to screech "God Bless America" was Tyler, the estranged Aerosmith front man, along with a non-Liv Tyler daughter. As someone on Twitter commented, maybe it would have been better for Pedro Martinez(notes) to sing "God Bless" and for Tyler to throw out the first pitch.

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Tyler's performance paled in comparison to that of Neil Diamond, forever in blue jeans, who did a live "Sweet Caroline." The Fenway faithful loved it, of course, but for others it was harder to sit through than "Marriage Ref."

Here's how 'Duk put it on the Twitter:

"No, I didn't go to bed early. I've just been too disgusted since the Neil Diamond appearance to Tweet. Be ashamed, Red Sox Nation."

I also know some of you are asking "Why do they sing 'Sweet Caroline' at Red Sox games?" Where this tradition began, I can't begin to knowin', though it might have began in the spring, which became the summer, and so on. This tries to answer the riddle.

And here's an explanation for Diamond's jacket. Someone really needs to break it to him about the Dodgers leaving for Los Angeles.

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Hosers for peace, eh?: Thanks to Dan McQuade, we have a funny GIF of a guy wearing a "Canada" sweatshirt with great seats blessing us all with peace. Oh, Canada.

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Yes, it's fair, Chan Ho. Pedroia hits a tying home run in the seventh against Park.

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Microcosm: J.D. Drew(notes) made a terrific one-handed grab and throw on a ball that short-hopped the fence in right field. He kept Robinson Cano(notes) to a long single, but one wonders if Cano could have made second if he hustled the whole way (which he didn't).

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Follow Dave all season on Twitter — @answerdave.

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