OAKLAND -- Manager Joe Girardi stowed a non-descript paper bag on the bench of the visitors' dugout on Tuesday until he spotted the two familiar faces he was looking for -- Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez, now both wearing the green and gold of the Athletics.
And as Girardi dug his hands through that brown paper, both pitchers should have guessed what was coming their way -- a glittering 2009 World Series ring for each of the former Yankees, handsomely dressed in a wooden box.
Girardi halted the Yankees' stretching exercises on the field at the Oakland Coliseum and called the entire roster around for a special presentation, offering congratulations to both Gaudin and Ramirez as they accepted their prizes.
"First-class, and I didn't expect anything different," Gaudin said. "It was great to have everyone there and make it feel like home again. I was a little nervous, a little chillish, but it was a very special moment. I'm going to cherish it forever."
"Everybody wants something like that," Ramirez said. "It's great. It's exactly what I wanted. I know everybody here, and I feel real, real happy."
As the Yankees applauded, Mariano Rivera gave Ramirez a playful whack in the head with his glove and Damaso Marte removed his cap to also hit Ramirez a few times -- rough-housing exercises that were repeated on numerous occasions within the confines of the Yankees' clubhouse.
Of course, the happy reunion lasted only a few moments before Gaudin and Ramirez were dispatched back to their side of the Coliseum. And not surprisingly, the cries to forget 2009 were launched by Chan Ho Park, a member of the Phillies team that the Yankees defeated in six games.
"Hey, beat it," Park said. "We've got to stretch."