NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson hit a go-ahead homer and made two nifty catches for the Yankees in Thursday's 6-3 Opening Day win over the Tigers, so maybe he should thank Rebecca Black for "Friday?"
The center fielder came to the plate at Yankee Stadium using the 13-year-old singer's viral hit, which has racked up nearly 70 million views on YouTube. Fear not: Granderson said it was all a gag.
"I had no clue what that was," Granderson said. "I didn't pick that song. Maybe they wrote something down wrong for me. I'm not sure what that was, exactly. I've heard it enough to know that it wasn't what I picked."
Granderson's own dabbles with Internet videos may hold the answer. This winter, he teamed with a sketch comedy group in New York, 12 Angry Mascots, to make a video showing how he picks his at-bat music.
At the end of the three-minute Internet clip, an exhausted Granderson gives up and cries after hearing Black's song, currently the most disliked video on YouTube.
"They brought up the idea of showing just how much I've talked about my at-bat song," Granderson said. "It was actually pretty neat; I was surprised at how good it turned out."
"Friday" may only last for a day. Granderson said he is still thinking of going back to his original Busta Rhymes song from last season.
Granderson well enough to start opener
NEW YORK -- When Curtis Granderson learned that the discomfort in his right oblique was a strain, he prepared for the possibility that someone else might be standing in center field for the Yankees on Opening Day.
But Granderson made it through two days of duty at the Yankees' Minor League complex without incident, and with fresh baggage claim tags from Tampa, Fla., still hanging from his bat bag, Granderson's name appeared in the Yankees' lineup, after all.
"I'm definitely surprised where I am right now," Granderson said.
Granderson -- who was tested right away on Thursday, making a diving catch of a line drive for the second out of the game -- strained his oblique while taking batting practice before a March 22 game against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
He passed his final test on Wednesday in Tampa, going 2-for-5 with two doubles against a Class A Pirates team, playing five innings in center field.
"Nothing over the top, but just enough to be out there and play," said Granderson, who hit .385 with three homers and seven RBIs in 15 Grapefruit League games.
With first pitch, Moose gives Yanks a jolt
NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina threw the first pitch of a Major League game 536 times in his career, but he expected there to be even more pressure for the toss that opened the Yankees' 2011 campaign.
Mussina was invited by the Yankees to throw Thursday's ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium and -- with a throw that reached the catcher without any trouble -- he received a loud ovation from the crowd on hand to watch the Bronx Bombers begin their season against the Tigers.
"To be asked to come out here and do this, the first day of the season, that's really cool," Mussina said. "To have them think of me as part of this organization still, and part of the family of the New York Yankees, it's really something special. I think it's great."
Mussina, 42, retired after winning 20 games for the Yankees in 2008, notching his 270th and final big league victory on the final day of the season in a doubleheader at Fenway Park.
Though Mussina began his career in 1991 with the Orioles and pitched for 10 seasons with Baltimore, he said that he felt immediately welcome with the Yankees.
"They've treated me like I've always been a Yankee from the first day," said Mussina, who was 123-72 from 2001-08 with New York.
Mussina was honored with the "Pride of the Yankees" award at the team's Welcome Home dinner on Wednesday in New York and has also been invited back to participate in the annual Old-Timers' Day event.
These days, Mussina said he spends most of his time shuttling his children around to sports games near his Montoursville, Pa., home and claims to be busier in retirement than he was as a player. Mussina also said he has no regrets about his decision to walk away as a 20-game winner.
Mussina did recognize, however, that his former teammates figured to give him a hard time if his first pitch wasn't up to big league snuff.
"Obviously I haven't thrown a lot," Mussina said. "I just want to get it somewhere near that ballpark someplace and get it on target."
In other pregame events, actress and singer Haley Swindal, the granddaughter of the late George M. Steinbrenner, sang Thursday's national anthem. A giant flag was unfurled by 75 West Point cadets, while the West Point Color Guard presented the colors.
During the seventh-inning stretch, Michael Minarik of the Broadway hit "Rock of Ages" performed "God Bless America."
Record longevity for Yanks' 'Key Three'
NEW YORK -- No trio of teammates has played together longer in the Major Leagues than Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, who further extended their record on Thursday.
The so-called "Key Three" got back on the field for a 17th consecutive season, something that no other trio has accomplished in baseball, the NFL, NBA or NHL, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"When we came up in this organization, the organization was known for getting rid of a lot of guys," Jeter said. "Bernie [Williams] was pretty much the first one they gave an opportunity to.
"We definitely just wanted to make it and stay as long as we could. We were always afraid that if we didn't do our job, they would get rid of us and get someone else. We had that fear coming up. That's why we always worked so hard and never took anything for granted."
Last year, Jeter, Posada and Rivera surpassed the prior Major League mark of 15 seasons, set by the Milwaukee Brewers trio of Jim Gantner, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount from 1978-92.
The second-longest trios in Yankees history played 13 years together: Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing from 1930-42; and Whitey Ford, Elston Howard and Mickey Mantle from 1955-67.
Yanks expect ailing Burnett to start Saturday
NEW YORK -- A.J. Burnett received a nice ovation as he jogged to the first-base line during pregame introductions on Thursday.
Unfortunately for the Yankees right-hander, he couldn't hear the applause too well.
Burnett is battling a head cold and said his ears still feel clogged, but the Yankees still expect him to be prepared to pitch on Saturday in the club's second game of the season against the Tigers.
"He's still sick, but we'll let nature take its course and see how he is Saturday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Our plan is for him to go on Saturday. A player has to be really ill not to want to take the baseball."
Burnett enters the season looking to rebound as New York's No. 2 starter after enduring the worst year of his career in 2010, when he finished 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.