From The Depths Of My Yankee-Fan Heart, Thanks To…

Grant Balfour
Oh, Grant. How can I truly express my gratitude? You came into Sunday’s game in the eighth with your Rays leading the Yankees 3-1. You allowed singles to Damon and Tex and then you walked A-Rod to load the bases. You opened the door. You gave me hope. You even entertained me with your cursing. (Yes, Grant. I read lips.)
More thanks to…
J.P. Howell
I owe you so much, James Phillip. You relieved (so to speak) Balfour by walking Cano and forcing in a run. What a thrill for me to watch Damon trotting home and pulling my team to within 3-2. My goodness. You made it possible for me to believe in miracles.
But I’ve saved my biggest thank you for…
Willy Aybar
Willy, Willy. Willy. You are such a wonderful, generous person. Why else would you boot Posada’s routine double play ball and not even attempt to throw any runners out? More importantly, you not only let the Yankees tie the score, but it was your error that led the way for Matsui’s go-ahead chopper. Wow. I will never forget this, I swear.
I don’t mean to suggest that the Yankees did nothing in their own behalf to beat the Rays 4-3.  The win may have been the Rays’ gift to us, but we didn’t just sit there snoozing like some lazy guy on a Sunday afternoon.
Joba pitched well.
Swisher went deep.
A-rod flashed leather.
Ditto: Tex.
Aceves: struck out four.
And Mo was Mo with a 1-2-3 dismissal of the Rays in the ninth.
Wait. There was also Melky’s run-saving catch of Zobrist’s liner in the sixth. OMG. Talk about a great dive! Talk about a great route to the ball! Talk about….Well, just watch.
OK, we didn’t exactly crush the Rays. We kind of beat them and they kind of beat themselves. But a win is a win, and I’ll take it.



    Sure our Yankees looked like the Rays drugged them for the first 7 innings, but apparently we drugged their bullpen! >:D Hopefully we’ll slide into the second basemen so many times that teams will stop even trying to attempt double plays, (I hope A-Rod reads that.) And I didn’t comment on it before, but Michael Kay wonders why Torre never retaliated if one of the Yankees were hit, well this is a good example: AJ Burnett suspended for not hitting anyone after our player was hit twice. Nice…

  2. levelboss

    there’s a guy at work who i talk baseball with (he’s a Yankee-hater though, lol).. and we laugh that Grant Balfour’s name sounds like ‘Grant ball four’.. which he did for A-Rod
    another pitcher (from Oakland) is named Josh Outman – what a name for a pitcher! but my favorite name for a ballplayer (and a pitcher too) is Rollie Fingers – great name for a pitcher!

  3. scofid

    It’s funny how one’s perspective can change so much in one day’s time! LOL! It was a great win and it assures us that we’ll head to Boston in no worse than a tie with the Red Sox depending upon the outcome of tonight’s game with the Rays. Hopefully, our Andy will be better than their Andy…


  4. luckylori

    I can only hope the Rays are that generous to my Angels. After the last two in Detroit, I’m starting to think the only way they’ll get a win is if someone wraps one in a box and hands it to them. I’d take it too. This is no time to be proud. Congrats on the win (gift), whatever…who cares, right?

  5. steve_t

    I can’t stand those Rays. Last year they were the best in the league. This year, they seem to have fallen back a bit, but they’re just good enough to be spoilers this season. I miss the old “Devil” days, when they were reliable punching bags for AL East teams.

    Steve T.

  6. cheshirecat9

    Yesterday was a beautiful day for baseball. I actually got to the park early enough to make it to Monument Park which was nice. We had seats in the right field bleachers so I got to participate in the roll call. I love how Johnny Damon always acknowledges the bleacher creatures. Swisher stood at attention and gave us a salute.

    It wasn’t the prettiest win but it is a win. I love the video of the diving dog. Hehe. I like dogs.

  7. cheshirecat9

    Also the Yankees were clever yesterday. They showed Sarah Palin on the jumbotron during the national anthem so no one could boo her.

  8. PAUL

    I can’t get over how many people (some of them smart enough to actually know what they’re talking about) are surprised at how many of the Rays have regressed to their pre-2008 performances. Balfour was never very good before last year and he, along with many of the Rays, have floated back to earth with a thud.

  9. ooaooa

    Went to the Stadium yesterday for lunch (lobel’s sandwich). While we were there we caught a real good game on a perfect day. Second game we have been to and Stadium is clean and still very friendly.

    All teams have injuries and Rays are going through their share right now. They along with Blue Jays will compeditors all year.

    Jane, hope your trip brings good weather and wins!

  10. peggy3

    Hey Jane…

    Are you sure that wasn’t Brittany Spears?? Isn’t Kate much blonder?

    I’m looking forward to meeting you at the book signing or Stadium. I hope I can find my book …I must have let someone borrow it and I can’t remember who????

    I’m looking forward to the Boston series…hoping with much better results this time around. Let’s start by getting a win tonight before we leave for Boston. I’ll be going to two of the Met/Yanks games too. I want to SWEEP, SWEEP, SWEEP …Boston & the Mets. Greedy …aren’t I?? lol…

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!!

  11. Jane Heller

    Seindsfeld, I don’t necessarily agree with Michael Kay that Torre wasn’t a fan of retaliation. He had enforcers like Proctor and Sturtze and Jeff Nelson, not to mention Clemens. But he was never going to turn Mussina into Rambo!

    I love all the baseball names, Levelboss. And “Ball Four” is one of the best for the pitcher.

    Let’s hope, Scott. At least our Andy didn’t have to go into a game as a pinch runner. That was weird the other day, wasn’t it? We try to keep our pitchers off the base paths (see: Wang) and they use theirs in close games. Go figure.

    You’re right, Lori. Who needs pride? We’ll take wins any way we can get them! LOL. Sorry about your series with the Tigers. Ouch.

    The old “Devil Rays” were pesky too, Steve. At least for the Yankees. They didn’t have pitching, but Carl Crawford was always a thorn in our side. But you’re right: I’d rather play THAT team.

    Oh, no, Julia. I’m sorry to hear the forecast isn’t good. I want the games to be played, but I also dread flying into JFK on Thursday in a storm. Bring on the bad plane wine!

    I love how Damon reacts to the Bleacher Creatures, Cheshirecat. He does this bend and points with both hands, right? Glad you got to see a win.

    I think that’s true about the relievers, Paul. But there’s a lot of talent on that club. And they’ve been hit hard by the injury bug. Kazmir, Iwamura, Bartlett, and now Longoria. Not the same team as last year.

    See above, Jeff. Too soon to throw the towel on Cinderella. When they get healthy and fix their bullpen, look out.

    Aceves was great yesterday, Emma. He’s had a few bad outings but overall he’s been a godsend for us.

    Thanks, John. I really hope 6/17 will be the kind of weather-perfect day you just had at the Stadium. I’m counting on it.

    Yup, I’ll take it, Kaybee.

    I was surprised that Kate had dark hair, Peggy. Maybe it was a wig? Or she dyed it for a role? I’m greedy too about the sweeps. These are big games coming up, so I hope the Yanks are feeling confident. Looking forward to meeting you too!


    Ah, ’tis good to steal one whenever u can, but esp. from a talented division rival…guess Mr. Renegade is still stewing over THAT one! And it’s always nicer to double it with a Red Sox loss, esp. after Saturday’s double-whammy. So tonight, we po’ folk/cheapskate Yankee fans get to see a game nationwide, hoping to take the series but looking at the week ahead with one eye open…Ms. Peggy3, wish I had your optimism — may you make me feel stupid for worrying about this week (and that ain’t hard to do)…!!

  13. Jane Heller

    I’m worrying too, Dave, but it’s in my DNA. I expect the worst but hope for the best, as they say.

  14. Jane Heller

    Yeah, the Mets are like a M*A*S*H unit, Paul. Unbelievable.

    I will, Russ. We give enough away, so we might as well take a few back.

  15. letsgoyankees

    Hey Jane, we owe Mo an apology. We should also call Mo an idiot. You know why Mo gave up four earned runs the other day? Stomach bug. He was throwing and being rolled onto the trainers’ table five minutes before he walked into the bullpen. One of those 24 hr. bugs.

    Don’t know about you, but I’m relieved. I also woud like to extend to Mo my sincerest apologies. And I would like to yell, “You idiot! Why were you pitching anyway?”

  16. heryankeefandiary

    I’m glad I found your blog Jane, not only is it very funny (I love the pics) but I agree with all of your “calls” on the games. I’m another one of those insane Yankee She-Fans- (from California too & trust me I know how it’s no fun to be around all the Angel fans which is pretty much everyone I know.) -and not that “Our Boy’s” winning or losing is the center of the universe (on the large scale anyway) whether they win or lose really determines if I consider my day to be GOOD or BAD. I’m sure you understand.

    Here’s one of mine—CMW??? WTF? I don’t get it, I don’t get why he’s so high on the pedestal. It isn’t 2006 anymore. Am I a bad person when I think that it was good when he hurt his foot and couldn’t play last year, and much of the beginning of this one? Fine, maybe I am. Whatever. That boy’s gotta screw loose and I don’t think that keeping him in the rotation is gonna make it tighter. We’re talking about WINS vs LOSES here! We’re talking about facing THE SOX! We’re talking about FIRST PLACE!

    Oh, I wanna cringe thinking about him starting tomorrow. Unless they just keep him in there for 3 and bring in, oh I don’t know…Hughes? AND Josh Beckett is pitching. Lovely. I would love, LOVE to be proved wrong on this, God help us.

    We’ll see how much I yell at my computer as I watch the game on MLB.TV. I just hope that our spectacular offense does their thing-in their own amazing way.

    Oh and, um HELLO-what about the newbie #29 Francisco Cervelli?!? Not only is he serious eye candy like most of the team but he’s GOOD. I really hope he sticks around, not that I’d wanna see Molina go-can’t they keep 3 Catchers???

    You seem to have a crazy schedule doing all of your “Ms NYY Fan” running around—I’m so jealous—but if you have the time, check out my blog.



  17. Jane Heller

    Letsgoyankees, Mo is a competitor of the first order. He doesn’t make excuses. He never complains. He just tries to do his job. I guess he felt the team needed him. Plus, if he was that sick, the trainers would have alerted Girardi.

    Welcome, Vanessa. I’m glad you found my blog too. I look forward to reading yours. Yes, being a Yankee She-Fan in CA isn’t easy, but we must stick together! As for CMW, I’m not giving up on him yet. I cringe at the thought of him pitching at Fenway, but maybe he’ll surprise us and throw a great one. If not, we’ve got Hughes as backup. One thing’s for sure: there will be a lot of yelling at the TV/computer during this series. Oh, and I like Cervelli a lot. Hopefully, he’ll turn out to be our catcher of the future.

  18. heryankeefandiary

    Jane-thanks so much for stopping by my little blog! You’re too sweet! =) What a nice surprise!

    So far my day is looking pretty good so far, with TWIN HR’s by Tex & Swisher! YA! YA! YA! 3-0 Whoot Whoot!

    Oh and good news…Looks like at least for Tuesday, A.J. Burnett will be pitching. THAT takes a load off.

    I’ve gotta get my hands on your book! Would love you to sign it too…Any plans for a book signing in OC?


    P.S. Hands off Cerveli, I called him first. And A-Rod, Jeter, Damon…Petitte & Joba…Melky and now I’m finding myself a fan of Tex, hated him when he was with the Angels…Yes, my Yankee Boys fantasies stretch far and wide-not even some blondie who’s written a BOOK about them can stop me!!! =)

  19. heartruss

    Jane…a win is a win and congratulations to the Yankees. I tip my Yankees cap to that. (Yes, I bought one out here in Virginia in honor of you and your team) Good luck today. I hate flying into JFK myself but I dislike flying into O’Hare more. Turbulence doesn’t bother me as long as I am sitting in my seat with my seat belt buckled and I don’t have a bathroom emergency. Just think pleasant thoughts like the fact you will be seeing your Yankees in person!! You will meet many of your admirers at the book signing. You will have a great time with your Mom. Many things to look forward to. That was the only way I kept myself sane during my last flying experience a week ago.

  20. Jane Heller

    Those twin homers were great, Vanessa, but now the Rays have tied it up. BOOOO. Let’s hope our guys get back on top and that Andy can give us another inning. We may be seeing Hughes tonight. No signing planned for OC. Are there enough Yankee fans there to make it worthwhile?

    Thanks, Cat. On behalf of my team, I’m honored that you bought a Yankees cap in Virginia! I’ll return the favor, I promise, and buy some Dodgers gear. I’m trying not to think about the flight to NY until I actually get on the plane on Thursday. Instead, I’ll focus on all the good things you mentioned.

  21. heryankeefandiary

    Well, they did it! Not only Twin HR’s but Quad HR’s! Tex, Swisher, Damon & Jeter. Really, could we ask for more??? Well…I thought for sure A-Rod would add to the list, but maybe he’s saving it for Fenway? Yeah, lets just go with that.

    Hmmmmm…Are there enough NY Fans in OC for a signing??? I think that’s probably a YES, but more importantly-probably, is the question of getting your fiction readers to wanna get to know the Yankee fan in you. 😉

    I’m going to do a little searching around on MeetUp, I had looked on there a while back to find people to get together with to watch Yankee games, you know…Go as a group to some Sports Bar and rub it in! I’ll get back to you on that one…

    It was a GOOD day.


  22. Jane Heller

    I hope A-Rod is saving it for Fenway, Vanessa. I just wrote a post about that. How great would it be if he got hot now? As for the signing in OC, I did one at a store in Costa Mesa for one of my novels a few years ago and the turnout was fair. Maybe I could arrange something for when the Yanks come into town to play the Angels. I wish there was a group there like the one they have in LA called Evil Empire West. They watch games together all the time at different sports bars. You’d love it.

  23. heryankeefandiary

    Well it looks like if A-Rod or any of the boys were saving-they’re saving it all too well. Today’s game was—well, you know. A BAD DAY indeed. Horrible in fact. I know you know how I feel. Urgh. Obviously my RSS feed for your blog is NOT working properly since I’ve checked it about a dozen times since last night’s game. I’ll have to read it ASAP.

    What’s up with the Red Sox’s announcers? I mean, they are such ******** talking about the Yank’s durring the ENTIRE game, what happened to objectivity? The YES guys can have silly conversations but they’re never disrespectful to the visiting team. It made what was going down so much more irritating! GOD! I watch the games on MLB.TV, as I’ve mentioned and since I didn’t buy the Premire package I watch the games w/the home team’s station. Which CAN be annoying sometimes, but damn…Never like THIS. Maybe I’m hormonal, but they really pissed me off! Grrrrr.

    You know…I’m jealous that’s there’s a group in LA for us! What the hell??? That does it, I’m gonna start my own group.

    The Yanks come to Anaheim (which I live about 4 miles from but can never afford the hiked ticket prices to see my boys in person) next month, let me know what you think of!

    I’m gonna buy your book, for sure-I read the excerpts on your site and loved it. Can’t wait to read the whole thing.

    Alright, off to your next post, although I know it’ll be a downer given what we already know about today. =(


  24. Jane Heller

    Tonight was, indeed, a bad game, Vanessa. UGH. Just finished my post about it. But now that I vented I feel better! And you should definitely organize a group of fans like the one they have in LA. They send me emails whenever they’re meeting up at a sports bar or someone’s house to watch a game together. I hope you love the book when you do buy it. I have a hunch you will.

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