Who Can You Trust?

Let’s say you’re Joe Girardi. It’s the seventh inning of Saturday’s game against the A’s. Andy Pettitte has been pitching an absolute gem, and the Yankees are ahead 1-0. Pettitte’s only at 79 pitches but suddenly he’s in a jam.
Hairston: doubles.
Nomar: walks.
Cust: pops up.
You’ve got the rested and reliable Aceves warmed up and ready to go. Do you pull Pettitte?
Or do you let him keep pitching?
You take a walk out to the mound and ask your starter if he’s OK. Obviously, he says, “I’m fine, skipper. Let me get out of this inning.”
So you leave him in.
And then this happens.
Davis: singles, scoring Hairston. Score tied 1-1.
Crosby: bunt singles, loading the bases.
You walk back out to the mound, knowing the media and the fans are already second-guessing you, and you pull Pettitte. You give the ball to Ace and cross your fingers.
And then this happens.
Ellis: pops up. Huge sigh of relief.
Powell: singles, scoring two. A-s up 3-1.
Kennedy: singles, scoring one. A’s up 4-1.
Cabrera: doubles, scoring two. A’s up 6-1.
You walk back to the mound and pull Aceves, who recently told the media his name should be pronounced AcAYves, not AcEVes.
Dave Robertson retires the next batter. This being the scrappy, clutchy, comeback-y 2009 Yankees, the offense rallies, thanks to homers by Jeter and Tex, and keeps hope alive for a ninth straight win.
It is not to be. The Yankees lose 6-4 and the streak is over.
Oh, well. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. But I do wonder what I would have done if I’d been Girardi.
On a happier note, I had a great time last night at Dodger Stadium. The first thing I did was put on a Dodgers jersey so I’d fit right in.
jane@DODGER GAME.jpg
Well? Why not? When Obama goes to a foreign country, doesn’t he don the local garb?
The second thing I did was gorge on all the incredible food offered at the restaurant for those with seats in the Dugout Club. Michael and I snagged a table and went to work. At one point, I actually looked up from my plate and at the next table was Dodgers legend Don Newcombe. What a nice guy! As he was getting up, he stopped by to shake our hands. He may be in his ’80s, but he’s still a big, strong, handsome dude!
I was too young to remember Newcombe’s specific accomplishments, so as soon as I got home I looked up his bio. Get this. He’s the only player in major league history to win the Rookie of the Year, the MVP and the Cy Young Award. Plus, he was the first black pitcher to start a World Series game and the first black pitcher to win 20 games. I was in the company of greatness.
Once in our Dugout Club seats, which are directly behind home plate, we talked to some diehard Dodger fans, including this guy.
He had autographs of players past and present all over his jersey.
Then there was Larry King, who holds dual citizenship as both a Yankee fan and a Dodger fan.
I saw Torre, naturally, but never caught a glimpse of Mattingly. Bummer. And yes, Manny was very much a part of the experience. The crowd goes wild when he appears in the on-deck circle, let alone at the plate. Note the unusual “stat” on the scoreboard. (“Manny is the first Dodger to hit a grand slam on his own Bobblehead night.”)
MANNY scoreboardcopy.jpg
was a gorgeous night in L.A. People did the wave over and over again, and beach balls were bouncing around the stands. Everybody was having fun, and life was good. The only sour note came from the Marlins. They won the game. The nerve.


  1. matttan7

    Nice work I bet you had fun watching the Dodgers in person. The Yankees did cool off today though, they’ll be at it tomorrow. Larry King is both a Dodger fan and a Yankee fan? Who does he like better, I’m wondering?

    Matthew T.

  2. Jane Heller

    I hope the Yanks will rebound and start another streak, Matthew. Larry King is an ex-New Yorker. I sat near him at the Stadium during the Subway Series in 2000. But he lives out here now and his kids are big Dodger fans, so he is too.

  3. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    My daughter and I were out shopping most of the day but we stayed in touch with the game by car radio. We got home in the 7th and as we watched the rest of the game we were all so sure they were going to complete the comeback. Posada grounding into the double play blew any chance of that happening. Ah well, we can’t win them all. We just have to hope for a Red Sux loss tonight and that our beloved Bombers go on another winning streak starting tomorrow. My hubby and I are going out to see a friend’s band at a local club now. Later.

  4. heartruss

    I’m here at Dodger Stadium watching the celebrity softball game. Wish u were here watching the Dodgers beat the Marlins tonight. Plan on coming back soon to the dark side.

  5. Jane Heller

    Jorge’s GIDP was a killer, Diane. Just not a good at-bat at all. But let’s hope tomorrow is a better day.

    I’ll be back, Cat. Have no fear. Go Dodgers.

    Thanks, tribechick. The Yanks were bound to lose one of these days, so now let’s see if they can get back to winning.

  6. raysrenegade

    It is so wild to see you in a West Coast dynasty shirt. But you have to admit that Chavez Ravine is the one place in America that would ultimately be ruined by a retractable/dome.
    It would be a crime against nature to put a roof on those stars and that landscape.
    At least you have a west coast “fix” when the Yankee blood begins to boil and you feel trapped by miles and miles of cable TV feed between you and the Bronx.
    BTW, I would have either left Pettitte in the game, or turned it over to Brian Bruney. Probably Bruney.

    Rays Renegade


  7. Jane Heller

    You hit the nail on the head, Renegade. The Dodgers are the perfect antidote to the intensity of watching the Yankees. They’re a fun team with a beautiful ballpark, and they’re right in my backyard (almost). So you wouldn’t have used Aceves today? He’s been pitching well, whereas Bruney has been shaky. But as it turned out, Bruney was the one who shut the A’s down.

  8. peggy3

    Hi Jane …

    Two things for me …I could NEVER wear another team’s jersey and I would NEVER call doing the wave over and over fun …ugh !!! I can’t stand the wave ..especially when it’s a 2-1 game and my team is up at a crucial time in the game. It drives me CRAZY !!! I’ve been to Dodger Stadium(that’s what I was told to call it by the locals ..not Chavez
    Ravine). We signed up for a tour when I was in Cali …drove out there and wasted half of my vacation day because they called the tour off but never notified any of us.
    They forgot they were filming Mr. 3000 (I think that was the name of the movie). They allowed us to go in and look at the field from the upper level and then they gave us a bobblehead of Fred McGriff (who had been traded by then) to say they were sorry. Needless to say all the people who showed up were not happy campers…especially with the “gift” they wanted to dump on us…the ex bobblehead. The little I did see of the Stadium it was very nice tho’.

    As for the Yankees …too bad the streak ended but hopefully they will start a new one tomorrow. It’s easy to second guess the manager from the living room. Ace has been doing great out of the bullpen and if Joe G. wasn’t going to Phil then Ace would be the natural one to go to next. It was good seeing Bruney pitch well …I hope he gets on track and stays there …just makes the bp that much deeper.

    It’s 1:30 am here …nighty night….

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!

  9. luckylori

    Okay, Jane. I’m glad you had fun at the Dodger game but the wave?? That’s a rally killer every time. Did they doing the wave at Yankee Stadium too? Tough loss but I would’ve left Pettitte in too. Unfortunately, sometimes nothing works.

  10. Jane Heller

    Peggy, too bad about your experience at Dodger Stadium. Things have changed since then with new ownership. And I guess we’re different regarding the jerseys. I was the guest of the Dodgers and was happy to wear their shirt for the night. As for the wave, this is California, land of surfers and beach balls – a whole different atmosphere. It was great to see Bruney pitch well. He could be huge for us going forward.

    The wave is looked down on at Yankee Stadium, Lori; the atmosphere is very different there. At your stadium they do the monkey. Each to his/her own.

    I guess Easterners do like the wave, Julia. You’re the first Fenway-er to admit that!

    No myth, Steve. They do leave. Well, not everyone, but the place does thin out a bit. California is a car culture, and the traffic can be brutal. It’s a natural reflex out here to try and beat it!

  11. raysrenegade

    That is why I am in the stands and not in the dugout.
    I get it right too many times.
    Dodger Stadium is one of the spots I still have to hit before I die.
    Everyone should have a list of at least 50 places to see before you leave this earth. Done old Shea and Yankee Stadium, now I have to do them both again………..with a thicker wallet.
    Well, Toronto just took us 5-1, you guys do not have to hear us knocking tonight, but we will see you tomorrow night for 3 games.
    Fun, Fun , Fun.

    Rays Renegade


  12. Jane Heller

    I’m not switching, Jeff. I love my Evil Empire – the Eviler the better.

    I just saw your score, Renegade. I guess this time the Jays held on. And tomorrow night our teams go at it. I wish I could be at the Trop for that series. Should be a good one.

  13. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    Well, the Yankees winning streak had to end sometime, and yesterday they ran into a solid performance by A’s starter Gio Gonzalez, who really gave the Yanks a difficult time at the plate !!! … Andy Pettitte also pitched a solid game, but the A’s started to hit him in the 7th inning, so we really cannot second-guess Joe Girardi for going to the bullpen in that situation … Aceves has pitched very well this year, but he didn’t pitch in awhile before his appearance in yesterday’s game [maybe the only second-guess could be, Girardi should have bought in a different reliever] … A win was just not meant to be, I guess !!! … The key move was taking Gonzalez out of the game, though, by the A’s !!! … The two Yankee homers by Jeter and Teixeira were given up by A’ reliever, Wuertz !!! … Anyway, the Yankees did have a few more chances after that inning to tie or win the game, and it did not happen !!! … Oh, well, lets win today’s game [Yanks leading 7-5 at this writing] !!!
    Looks like you had a very enjoyable time at the Dodgers game … and, great Don Newcombe trivia !!! … Larry King a Yankees fan ??? … I don’t know, as he grew up in Brooklyn, and was a long-time Brooklyn Dodgers fan … I can see King being a L.A Dodgers fan, but also, a Yankees fan? That is kind of interesting to hear !!!
    It is amazing that Manny is still very well received in L.A. … I guess that’s “L.A being L.A.” regarding Manny !!!
    Excellent pictures, as usual, Jane !!!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend !!!
    — Jimmy, “BY&L”
    p.s. — Yankees win 7-5 … Yes !!! [9-1 on this home stand] !!!

  14. raysfanboy

    Glad you enjoyed the game–and that you fit in. It would be bad if you went through what you had to deal with in Anaheim. Your Yanks got a nice win today and, with a loss by both the Rays and Sox, picked up even more ground. I’m thinking more and more that we might be fighting for the wildcard spot.

    The Rays and Yankees open a HUGE series tomorrow. This will go a long way towards deciding whether the Rays are in it or out of it. I’ll be heading to tomorrow’s game to see it first hand. Gonna be fun!

  15. Jane Heller

    Hey, Jimmy. We did hold on today to beat the A’s! Woohoo! As usual, Mo was outstanding, and it was quite a homestand. I think you’re right about Larry King, and I jumped to the wrong conclusion about his being a Yankee fan as well as a Dodger fan. It’s just that I’ve seen him at the Stadium in the Bronx quite a few times, so I just assumed. Thanks for the heads up. Now let’s hope our Yanks will make us proud against the Rays.

    Speaking of which, very cool that you’ll be at the Trop for tomorrow night’s game, raysfanboy. I’m looking forward to watching on TV, but it would be even better to have a ringside seat. This series will be a big test for both our teams. Very exciting but nerve-wracking too!

  16. peggy3

    Well Miss Jane…guest or no guest I could never don another team’s colors…nor would I expect anyone of another team’s loyalty to wear a Yankee jersey if I invited them to a game at the Stadium but I must say you do look good in that color blue….just not as good as you do in PINSTRIPES !!! :o). When I win the lottery and we do our road trip ONLY Yankee jerseys allowed tho’ ….(wink)

    I’m happy the Yankees are back to their winning ways. I usually go to Tampa for a few games but I decided to go
    to the three games at the Marlins this season since I had
    never been there. I’m not a big fan of the Trop but I will admit it’s nice to have a controlled climate when at a game in Florida ….it was HOT sitting outdoors for the games against the Fish and felt even hotter because we lost 2 of the 3 games.

    Bruney looked good for that one out which was a very BIG
    out. After his last three outings (even with the two homers) he’s starting to look like the Bruney we all were waiting on…let’s hope so since the BP will be a killer with a reliable Bruney joining the ranks. Robbie driving in the three runs was big too …who says miracles can’t happen….lol…too bad he overslid the bag but I’ll forgive him since he did get the rbi’s.

    Here’s to the Yankees having a very successful road trip and being even further ahead of the Sox by the time they
    come back to face them at the Stadium on August 6th (I’ll be there with bells on …NOT cowbells tho’ which are even more annoying to me than the wave…haha)

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!!

  17. Jane Heller

    Jeremy, the Jays are starting to bore you? With all that drama going on in Toronto? Actually, I’m sure it must be very wearing to keep hearing rumors about Halladay without knowing for sure whether he’s staying or going. And it’s got to be a distraction for the players. Keep the faith. I would think you’ll find out the outcome very soon. And thanks for the compliment about the jersey.

    What’s wrong with wearing a Dodgers jersey? Jeez, Paul. I had a good time!

    LOL, devilabrit. You’ve got my number. The Yankees bounced back today with a win and now I’m thinking “streak” all over again.

    We can wear our Yankees jerseys when the Yankees play the Dodgers next season in interleague, Peggy. (Well, if they don’t meet in the WS this year.) I assume you’ll be up for that road trip, right? I wish you were going to Tampa for the upcoming series. We’ll need some Yankee fans to cheer our guys. I agree that Bruney’s looking better. Cano too. All good.

  18. Jane Heller

    Congrats on the sweep, tribechick! The Mariners are a good team, so your guys must be playing well. I’m hoping for another streak for the Yanks, but the Rays will be a tough opponent.

    So you did a double take, Jenn? LOL. I’m still a Yankee fan, but I did enjoy my time at Dodger Stadium.

  19. ibleedpinstripes

    Hey Jane, tough one yesterday, but we definitely bounced back today. Hopefully this road trip will be just as good or better than the homestand. The pitching matchups against the Rays look intense… Looks like it may be up to small ball yet again to get these games nailed down, but let’s hope the bats light up and keep the small ball on the back burner. I know I’d like that a lot better. =)

    – Lisa

  20. Jane Heller

    Those Marlins are a pain, Erin. They had some nerve intruding on my fun!

    We sure did bounce back, Lisa. Now we have our work cut out for us on this road trip. Fingers crossed for AJ’s start tomorrow night.

  21. junojen

    Look at you in Dodger Blue. Hey – I made a rhyme!

    Please just don’t let me see you wearing a Manny hat with dreads hanging down the sides of your face. That would not be right.

    As for the wave at Fenway… I actually took video of it this weekend. I think it’s fun watching it jump over to the Green Monster seats then pick up momentum again in the outfield. I guess I am easily amused. Maybe I will post my Fenway Wave video just for you.


  22. Jane Heller

    Oh, that’s right, Jen. You were at Fenway! I hope you had a great time. Please do post the wave video. It’ll be fun.

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