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Pavano expects jeers from Yankee fans

By Sheldon Published: April 18, 2009

 Carl Pavano became Public Enemy No. 1 during the four years he spent with the Yankees, even though he was one of them. So he wasn't surprised when a chorus of boos descended from the grandstand when his name was announced during the team introductions for the Yankees' home opener on Thursday. 

He should expect nothing less when he starts for the Tribe today.

"I didn’t even think about it until my buddy Cliff Lee said, ""Aren’t you worried? They’re going to boo the crap out of you,' '' Pavano said. ""We kind of had a laugh about it, but it didn’t cross my mind until he said that. I spent four years here. I knew what was coming, and I’m sorry they feel that way.'' 

Added manager Eric Wedge, ""There was nothing surprising. I don't think anyone would be surprised about (being booed) Sunday.''

Injuries limited Pavano to 26 starts as a Yankee, but the media and even some of his teammates felt he just didn't want to pitch in New York.

""I wish I could have given them more to cheer about,'' he said. ""Hey, I was disappointed a lot of the times, too. It was difficult for me, too. But I learned a lot from it. I’ve got another opportunity here, and that’s all I can ask for. 

""This is kind of bittersweet for me, because obviously the opening of the stadium is exciting. The old stadium -- as difficult as those four ears were for me -- I celebrated a World Series in that visiting clubhouse in 2003, and that was obviously exciting. To say I didn’t have any good times in New York would be a lie, because I had a pretty good time in 2003 (with the Marlins).'' 

MINOR(?) SETBACK -- Adam Miller's injured right middle finger began to bother him when he threw batting practice in Goodyear, Ariz., on Monday, and he was told to stop for a few days.

""We're allowed three or four days for the symptoms to become resolved,'' head trainer Lonnie Soloff said Saturday. ""He's scheduled to play catch today. We are playing it as cautiously as possible, but it's certainly a bump in the road for him. We'll know more when he starts his throwing program in the next three to five days.''

It's still possible that Miller will have to undergo surgery that could put his career at risk.

""Surgery has always been an option,'' Soloff said. ""But we're encouraged, because his symptoms have resolved themselves.''

PACKING HIS BAGS -- David Dellucci (strained left calf) was scheduled to travel to Columbus Saturday night and work through his program today before beginning a 20-day rehab assignment with the Clippers on Monday. 

He will be in the lineup as a DH for two or three games then move to the outfield.

AIR BALLS -- Wedge thinks balls travel farther in the new Yankee Stadium than the former ballpark across the street.

""Balls dsefinitely fly better here than in the old park,'' the manager said. ""But it's only been a couple of games, so we'll see.''

Apparently, Wedge isn't the only person who thinks so, because already there is a theory as to why balls travel farther: The wider concourse acts as a wind tunnel with the air blowing out from behind the plate and along the base lines.

AIRING IT OUT -- Yet another amenity at new Yankee Stadium: air conditioned dugouts. Air ducts on the back walls of each dugout can blow either hot or cold air.

ON SCHEDULE -- Both Jake Westbrook (Tommy John surgery) and Jamey Carroll (broken finger) remain on track to return to the active roster. 

""Jake is throwing off-speed pitches off the mound and doing quite well,'' Soloff said. ""He will progress to simulated games about three weeks from now.'' 

Westbrook is not expected to be activated off the DL until mid season. 

""Jamey's fracture is still in ideal alignment,'' Soloff said. ""He has X-rays every five to seven days, and hopefully we'll will see healing in the next two X-rays.''

There is no timetable for Carroll's return yet.

FARM FACTS -- Michael Aubrey doubled and singled three times, driving in a run to raise his average to .531, but Buffalo lost 5-3 to Toledo... Matt McBride, Lucas Montero, Roman Pena and Cristo Arnal each had two hits in Kinston's 4-2 win over Winston-Salem. Zach Putnam (2-0, 2.45 ERA) worked six innings, allowing two runs and four hits, while striking out eight...Nate Recknagel had two hits and two RBI in Lake County's 5-3 win over Delmarva.

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