As Curtis Granderson prepared to take his first regular-season batting-practice session as a Yankee, that moment hadn't yet arrived. In fact, the new center fielder has been struck by how welcoming the fans have seemed to be in Boston -- just happy that Opening Night is finally here.
"We were riding around in a bus that said 'Yankees' on it, and I didn't see certain displays that I expected to see," Granderson said. "There are a couple of things that I know are coming. They just haven't come yet. I'm just waiting to see when they come, where and how."
Granderson is the highest-profile Yankee experiencing the rivalry with the Red Sox for the first time, but it's not as though he hasn't patrolled the ancient ballpark's lush grass before, having come in previously wearing the uniform of the Tigers.
"I've played here before -- the game has been sold out before," Granderson said. "The intensity has been there, and both teams want to win. All of that stuff is the same. The one difference coming over as a Yankee is you have that respect from the fans that, 'Hey, we know your team is going to be good.'"
Getting immersed in the rivalry with the Red Sox is a rite of passage for every Yankee, and manager Joe Girardi likened the path Granderson is about to follow to the one that he pursued when he followed Joe Torre into the skipper's chair in 2008.
"I could sit in Joe's office as a coach and have an idea of what it was like to manage the New York Yankees," Girardi said. "But you really don't know exactly what it's like until you go through it. Those guys have probably seen, many times, the Yankees and the Red Sox play. But until you actually go through it, it's probably a little bit different than what you imagined."