That didn't make their poor showing on opening day easier to digest.
Sabathia gave up six runs in his Yankees debut, and New York fell to the Baltimore Orioles 10-5 on Monday.
Signed to a $161 million, seven-year contract during the offseason, Sabathia (0-1) allowed eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, walked five, threw two wild pitches and did not record a strikeout for the first time since July 25, 2005, at Oakland.
"I was terrible. I battled from the first inning on," said Sabathia. "At some point I'm usually able to find it. Today was just one of those days where I didn't. When I have one of those days, this is the result you get."
The six runs were the most he allowed in 32 starts since last April, when the left-hander pitched for Cleveland. A year ago, Sabathia was 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA after four starts, so his performance against the Orioles was not particularly stunning.
"I've been through this before," he said. "It is one start. I go back out in five days and try to be better."
New York has an entire season to rebound, but the Yankees have no intention of digging themselves into the same hole they did a year ago, when they went 14-15 in April and never recovered.
"I guess we can't go undefeated," manager Joe Girardi said with a thin smile. "Yeah, it's one game. We didn't execute today."
Sabathia wasn't the only newcomer to struggle in his debut with the Yankees. First baseman Mark Teixeira went 0-for-4 and stranded five runners, including two in the eighth after New York had cut a five-run deficit to 6-5.
Teixeira was booed throughout the afternoon by Baltimore fans who were angered that the first baseman opted for a $180 million contract with the Yankees instead of signing with the Orioles. Teixeira grew up in Baltimore, and understood completely how the Orioles fans felt.
"I expected nothing less. The fans are passionate; they're the greatest fans when the O's are winning," he said. "I think they're looking forward to a good season for the Orioles."
Baltimore lost 93 games last year, finished last in the AL East and is a long shot to end a string of 11 straight losing seasons. But on opening day, the Orioles were better than the mighty Yankees.
"The guys that were supposed to step up and do it, did," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Mariners 6, Twins 1
Seattle -- with five new faces in the lineup -- handed manager Don Wakamatsu, baseball's first Asian-American in that job, a win in his debut.
Seattle spoiled the final of 28 openers in the Metrodome's history. The Twins move to open-air Target Field next spring.
Griffey's 41 homers against Minnesota are his most against any opponent. His eighth opening-day home run matched a major league record and gave him 612 for his career.
Angels 3, Athletics 0
With John Lackey sidelined by a sore right elbow, Saunders (1-0) yielded three hits over 6 2-3 innings in his first opening-day assignment.
Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields and newcomer Brian Fuentes combined to finish the three-hitter. Fuentes, signed during the offseason to replace Francisco Rodriguez, sent the A's down in order in the ninth to earn his first save.
Dallas Braden (0-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings for the A's.
Rangers 9, Indians 1
The Rangers had 15 hits against four pitchers, including Jarrod Saltalamacchia's solo homer in the eighth. It matched the most hits for Texas in a season opener.
The Rangers jumped ahead with four runs in the second off Lee, who allowed only four earned runs in his first seven starts a year ago.
Millwood (1-0) yielded one run and five hits in his fourth consecutive opening-day start for Texas.
Lee (0-1), the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings for the Indians.
Blue Jays 12, Tigers 5
Umpires waved both teams off the field for nine minutes in the bottom of the eighth inning after two balls were thrown from the stands in the direction of Tigers left fielder Josh Anderson.
Groundskeepers cleared paper airplanes and empty beer cups from the warning track as the public address announcer read a message warning the crowd of 48,027 that the game could be forfeited.
Lind had four hits and set a team record for RBIs in an opener. The Blue Jays roughed up Justin Verlander (0-1), who matched a career worst by allowing eight earned runs in only 3 2-3 innings.
Making his team-record seventh consecutive opening-day start, Halladay (1-0) pitched seven innings.