State Of Emergency

No, I’m not talking about the Yankees, although tonight’s 4-3 extra-innings loss to the Rays was a bitter one to swallow.

With the wildfire raging (more on that in a sec), my electricity was out this afternoon but came back on just in time for the first pitch.
AJ looked sharp, striking out eight and keeping the Rays’ hitters off balance. Yes, he gave up three runs over six innings, but he more than allowed the Yankees to stay in it and I really enjoyed watching him work. He’s got that great snarl, not to mention filthy stuff, and I wouldn’t mind if he went out there every night. (I know. His arm would fall off. I’m just saying.)
The Yankees’ offense? It was practically non-existent yet again. Swisher didn’t help, getting himself tossed in the seventh with the Yanks down 3-0. David Cone repeatedly said the umpire had a “quick hook,” but Swisher’s job was to stay in the game, not go off by himself to sulk.
The bats finally came alive in the eighth against a tiring Sonnanstine and a shaky Howell. When Tex stepped in with bases loaded, I did my yelling-at-the-TV thing: “THIS IS YOUR BIG CHANCE! BE A HERO!” And suddenly he was the hero, tying the score with a double to left. I went completely nuts and started dancing around the house and talking to myself.
Then the rain. I sure wish New York would send some of it to California.
When Mo struck out Upton, Crawford and Longoria in the ninth, I danced around again. He hadn’t been on the mound in nearly a week and yet he was brilliant.
I was sure the Yanks would win it in the bottom of the inning (Ramiro Pena was safe at first – such a bad call), but nothing.
Onto the tenth. Why didn’t Joe bring Mo back out? It wasn’t as if he’d been taxed. It wasn’t as if he’d labored. It wasn’t as if there was ANY reason to call on ANYONE ELSE, and yet there was Coke pitching to Carlos Pena and serving up a fat one. Granted, Coke has been effective lately, but still. Mo is Mo. Why would you ever use another reliever when he’s available?
So much for the lame bottom of the tenth after Damon doubled. What a waste.
After the game, it was reality time. I switched to our local TV news and watched coverage of the fire, which had roared out of control and forced the Governator to declare a state of emergency. Businesses were closed. Over 8,000 people have been evacuated. And homes are going down. Santa Barbara is in bad shape.
Planes have been dumping water and fire retardant on the affected areas all day, but the winds aren’t cooperating.
My house isn’t directly affected right now, as I live a few canyons away from the one above. But I took the following photos this afternoon from my backyard deck, before the game. As you can see, the fire was definitely looming.
It’s supposed to be hot again tomorrow (in the mid-90s/low 100s – bizarre for the season) and windy, so who knows what’s next. They predict the fire will head closer to me, toward the area that burned in November, which is actually good news; there’s nothing left to burn there. Another possibility is that it will turn toward the city of Santa Barbara itself. I don’t even want to contemplate that.
Having baseball to look forward to again tomorrow night, win or lose, is so small thing.


  1. heartruss

    Jane, I’m so worried about you. I was at a Dodgers game tonight but I thought about you wondering how you were. Stay safe. I’m praying that the fire ends soon and no one is hurt. Meanwhile, I wish the Yankees could win a game for you.


    Ye Godz, that is scary stuff. Are the Illuminati out to get us all? (You know — fire in the west, water in the east — see “Angels & Demons,” of course.) Like you, I’m trying to use an ounce of humor to deal with a ton of worry. You’re brave to hang in there and keep doing this — not everybody would keep up these postings, and we’d totally understand if you didn’t. Be safe, be well, be strong (well, you already are that)…and may the Yankees give us a gram of comfort one of these days…



    You’re practically homeless and teamless, and yet you keep up the fight. I, however, don’t know how much more of this I can take.

    In the next life, maybe we’ll be Rockies fans.

    el duque

  4. rrrt

    Jane, on our news last night they showed some footage of the wildfires, and I was wondering how close you were to that location. That must be scary to look out your window and be able to see the smoke (although what a view you have!). Take care, and stay safe!
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  5. Kaybee

    Oh man, I hope the fires are able to be put out soon! It always seems so hopeless when the weather is going to be that hot and windy. God’s in control of all elements of the weather, though, so He will take care of it. I really feel for all the firefighters who are fighting that. Wow.

  6. Jane Heller

    I wish the Yankees could win a game, period, Cat! Thanks for thinking of me. The fire actually got worse overnight with several firefighters injured and homes destroyed. Oh, man.

    Thanks, Julia.

    The Yankees are escape, Dave, even when they stink. And if we lost our sense of humor, we’d really be in trouble.

    Even if I’m homeless, I won’t be teamless, Duque. I’m stuck with the pinstripes and they’re stuck with me. As for the next life, I think we should take up a less stressful sport – like bullfighting.

    Sue, I’m a few miles from the fire, although it keeps moving, depending on the shifting winds. Very hard to predict – and control. The firefighters say there’s no attempt at containment yet. They’re just trying to protect individual structures and neighborhoods.

    A big black cloud full of rain sounds pretty good right now, Jen. It would solve a lot of problems.

    Thanks, Jeff. I hope so too – on both counts.

    We’ve got firefighters from all over the state, Kaybee, so that probably includes the San Diego area. I just read that they’ve recruited prisoners from the state penitentiary!

    Thanks, Russ. Send us some of your rain!

  7. jboogie

    I can’t even imagine what going thru those fires must be like. Doesn’t it get worse as the weather gets hotter?

    Maybe they should have Teixeira come out there and swing his bat at the fire. He swings and misses enough that he should be able to put some of it out. He was 18 Ks this year as a Yank in 91 ABs. With the Angels last year, he whiffed 23 times in 193 ABs. I know he went 2 for 5 last night with the big base knock, but he needs to get things going and quick.

    Stay safe.


  8. Jane Heller

    Yes, the fires definitely get worse as it gets hotter, J-Boogie. That’s why today’s 100-degree temps and the high winds are going to make any containment unlikely. Tex is clearly struggling, despite his heroics last night. I honestly think he’ll turn it around when A-Rod comes back to bat behind him. He looks like he’s trying too hard.

    I’ll keep you guys updated, Jenn. Thanks so much for your concern.

  9. crzblue2

    I was thinking about you at the stadium when my friend LoveDodger23 who sits next to me was concerned if her niece was going to be able to leave Santa Barbara. It was windy at the stadium last night. I hope and pray that everyone there will be OK.

    Emma _very sad with the Manny news.

  10. Jane Heller

    Emma, I was thinking of you and Cat when I read the Manny news. You must be reeling. I hope your friend’s niece is OK here in Santa Barbara and out of harm’s way.

  11. jewsonfirst and


    I hope you come out of this with no damages! That looks way too scary for me. I wish we could send some of our rain your way.


  12. letsgoyankees

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been a big Girardi guy, and we have to do something. I look at four people who lost yesterday’s game for us, in order here from most to least to blame:
    1. The umpire. Pena was safe, you moron. That was the game there.
    2. Phil Coke/Jose Molina. Phil Coke for making the pitch, and Jose for calling it.
    3. Joe Girardi. Mo hasn’t pitched for like what, five days, and he was on fire! AND he owns lefties (he was a lefty, right?). Keep in Mo!
    4. Texeira. Texeira. Texeira. What can you say? From hero to goat in two innings. Why couldn’t you just pop it into the outfield a little deeper?

    Nothig you could do about the umpire, Tex for the most part had a pretty good game, and that was Coke’s first bad pitch in a while. Leaving us to Girardi. This is the second game (the other being vs. the Royals) I look at and say if it were managed better we would have won. I propose we get Sparky Lyle to manage the Yanks. Sparky manages a minor league team called the Somerset Patriots and has won four championships with them, including one on a walk off HR just last year. Why not try him out if they’re going to look? I know I’d love it, Sparky is the man!

  13. Jane Heller

    I wish you could too, Ken. I appreciate the thought.

    I’m a big Sparky fan, Letsgoyankees. And I know about his success with the Patriots. I just don’t think the Steinbrenners would consider a guy without major league experience, even if they did become disenchanted with Girardi. (I’m sure Tony Pena would get the first look.) But once A-Rod is back I think things will improve, especially Tex’s bat. Why Joe didn’t use Mo for two last night boggles my mind.

  14. greg1969

    Stay safe, Jane. My best to you. Been there (for 5 years), done that, glad I’m no longer there. Godspeed.

  15. Jane Heller

    You lived in CA for five years, Greg? Then you’re all too familiar with this craziness. Not fun!

    Yeah, Manny’s the big news today, Letsgoyankees. He’s a bigger story out here than the fires.

    Thanks, Erin. I just had an email from a friend who had to evacuate and he said, “My house is in the hands of the winds now.” Sheesh.

    I wish you could too, Wendy!

  16. heartruss

    Jane, I hope you are still safe. I heard that some firefighters were injured. I pray for their recovery. I can’t get too excited about the Manny news right now. I am very worried about you. Baseball is a game we all tend to forget. But there is a real world out there which is much more important. Everything still okay?? I am writing this in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for a very delayed connecting flight. I wanted to make sure you were okay. I plan on posting my feelings about Manny when I reach my final destination.
    By the way I have always thought that Derek Jeter is one of the best looking guys in baseball. And he is Mr. Yankee. I just look at dreamy Andre and that hunk Matt and think the Dodgers have it going on as far as handsome players. But I do notice players on other teams.

  17. letsgoyankees

    Mo blows it too? What do we have to do to win? Poison the opposing team?

    Not making any suggestions, of course.

  18. Jane Heller

    Cat, you’re so sweet to think of me while you’re en route to VA. I’m fine. The situation has worsened here, but my house is okay. I’m about to post video I took a few minutes ago outside my deck. I wish you’d been at the Dodger game tonight. My friend Karen (huge Dodger fan) said she would be sitting in the first row over the Dodgers dugout in the Dugout Club. If you’d been there, I would have told her to look for you.

    Poisoning the opposition! Now there’s a thought, Letsgoyankees. It’s probably the only way we could win a game right now, but I’d hate to see the entire roster wearing orange jumpsuits.

  19. diamonddiva

    Jane, you’re in my thoughts. I heard that 75 homes in Santa Barbara have been damaged or destroyed and thousands of people have had to evacuate the area. I’m glad to hear that you are currently safe, and I hope you, your loved ones, and your home all remain safe. We’ve had rain here every day for over a week, with more rain in the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday — I really wish I could send that rain to California.

  20. Jane Heller

    You’re right, Shelley – 75 homes so far. Such an awful situation. But I’m safe, thank God, and hoping for a break in the weather this weekend. It’s the winds that are driving the fires and we had gusts of 80 mph tonight. Sorry about all your rain!

    Thanks, Emily. Much appreciated. Somehow, it looks like we might dodge a bullet.

  21. heartruss

    Hi Jane, I feel so far away. How is everything? We don’t get Santa Barbara news here in Norfolk. Weather here is gorgeous however after the rain yesterday. Apparently it has been raining for 6 days straight. Why can’t they send some of this back to Santa Barbara?

  22. Jane Heller

    The weather is so weird, Cat. And now that I look at my comment to Emily above, I wish I hadn’t jinxed myself. I may not dodge a bullet. We’re very close to the evacuation area now.

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