Stumbling to the Finish Line

This race will be over soon. One way or another, the Yankees will get through this Boston series, the one at Fenway and the one in Toronto, and they will be in the playoffs. Don’t ask me how, given how badly they’re playing right now, but somehow it’ll happen. Not with Ivan Nova, however, and certainly not with Chad Gaudin. Nova has been intriguing and I wish him well for next season, but today he confirmed that he unravels way too easily.
And Gaudin just needs to be gone. Period. As for the Yankees offense, Lester is a very good pitcher, just like David Price is a very good pitcher, but where’s the opportunistic, hungry, attacking lineup we know and love? When a guy like Lester or Price gives up walks, you have to take advantage and make something happen. Are we doing that? No. Why? Because we are playing like dead people!
Or maybe, as someone said on Twitter, the real Yankees have been taken over by the body snatchers and are just pods.
I know, I know. Yesterday I was chirping about all the homers we hit. Today I was happy to see Granderson and A-Rod go deep. But other than smacking home runs, what is this team doing? What? If I were Girardi….Well, if I were Girardi I wouldn’t have brought in Gaudin when the game was still winnable, but that’s another story… If I were Girardi, I would insist on a closed door meeting with the boys before Sunday’s finale, remind them that last year was last year and this year is this year, tell them that maximum effort is required ASAP and that the idea that “there’s always the wild card” is not acceptable. I would, in other words, get mad. Vein-popping-out-of-my-forehead mad.
I was pretty mad myself after today’s game, but then I went for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara, and I came upon a couple in the process of getting married.
After I took this pic I saw their getaway car all shiny and pretty waiting for them.
wedding car.jpg
It was a 1955 T-Bird in pristine condition, and it – and the newlyweds – got me thinking that life’s too short to obsess about baseball. Seriously. At least for the next 24 hours.


  1. ooaooa

    UGLY, yesterday and this week and this month. Enough said about the game we sat through. Best entertainment of the day in the Bronx was watching the planes taking off from LaGuardia flying over the Stadium. During BP one of the “Core 40” Red Sox players I dislike the most, Josh Beckett, tossed my son a ball during BP. My son thanked him (with his fingers crossed).
    Onwards and upwords, well maybe not upwords but onwards.


    Hi Jane. I’ve been following your blog since last year and it’s great. Very funny, creative, and informative and it’s no wonder why you’re the most popular fan blog. Keep up the good work. I love your blogs. Now, as for the game, I honestly wasn’t expecting us to win. Nova vs Lester was just way too much of a lopsided matchup against us to expect a victory. It would’ve been nice but it wasn’t meant to be. Now the day before was a game we should’ve won and the one I’m still frustrated over. Pettitte was just awful and all he had to be was serviceable, probably even mediocre, and we would’ve had it with the offensive explosion we had. I did enjoy watching the team battle and not giving up easily so that had me somewhat optimistic despite the loss. I agree about Gaudin, he’s just dead weight. Tonight I’m optimistic if only for the fact that we’re facing Matsuzaka. 6.31 ERA for the season against the Yanks and I’m hoping we can bloat it up some more. Also, he’s had a 8.34 ERA for September. Now all Moseley needs to do is be serviceable along the lines of no more than 4 ER in 6 IP. I’d be satisfied with something like that. Oh and Girardi needs to have the A lineup ready to play every day until we officially clinch a playoff spot; barring any nagging injuries of course.


    That was lovely Jane, the ending gave me tears in my eyes. Wish I had a beach to walk along, though it’s beautiful here in the Northeast at this time of year.

    I always find it very difficult to be upset when we lose to Lester. He’s so young and talented and to have gone through such a scare with cancer – well, I just wish him all the best.

    It is time for the Yankees to act like Yankees again. I keep reminding myself that they won 8 in a row not that long ago, and perhaps when they playoffs come they’ll get in a hot streak. We’ll just have to see.


  4. razzlegator

    My brother and sister-in-law got married there nearly 30 years ago. Not on the beach, but in the park above the beach. Beautiful place.

  5. Jane Heller

    If the best entertainment of the day was watching the planes overhead, John, it must have been torture. Sorry. At least your son got a ball – from Beckett, but still. What would he have done if Joshy said, “Would you like me to sign it for you?”

    Hi, Leo. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the blog and decided to leave a comment and join the party. Welcome. You’re right about yesterday’s game. On paper, it certainly was a mismatch, although the Yanks have gotten to Beckett fairly frequently once he moves through the lineup a few times. Still, the game before was the winnable one, as you said. A few more men on base and we could have had a very satisfying comeback, despite Pettitte’s awfulness. Today’s plan has to be to wait Dice K out: take pitches, let him walk guys and then drive in the runs. Solo homers are well and good, but singles and doubles are just fine too. The Yanks have had such trouble with runners in scoring position, so I’d like to see that change starting today! As for Moseley, I only hope the relievers are ready to take over. And I don’t mean Gaudin!

    Yeah, the Yankees’ schedule down the stretch is brutal, Peter. Especially compared to that of the Rays. But no excuses. They’ve played badly all on their own.

    I’m very lucky not only to be able to clear my head with a walk on the beach, Melissa, but to have the games be over early enough here on the west coast to still enjoy the day. I agree about Lester. He’s a very good pitcher who has overcome a lot. But the Yankees are playing without inspiration. They’re flat, and somebody needs to sit them down and say, “Let’s get this done. Now.” I’m not a big Ken Burns fan, so I’ll probably pull a Kornheiser and watch something else. Barry Bonds and steroids? Anecdotes from Mike Barnacle? I’m cringing already.

    Don’t even say the word “collapse,” Virginia. My palms start sweating when I even think it. They will make the playoffs. What they do after that I don’t know, but they could get hot. It’s all up to the pitching.

    Oh, that’s so nice, razzlegator. The beach where I walk is Butterfly Beach in Montecito, opposite the Biltmore Hotel. There’s a wedding there almost every weekend afternoon, and I love walking by and seeing everybody in their gowns and tuxes. Really beautiful. I bet your brother and sister-in-law have great pictures.

  6. thomasox

    Hey Jane!
    Sorry for your delayed celebration. We know it’s inevitable. I, too, took to the beach yesterday and also watched a wedding. The groomsmen had their portrait taken on the slippery jetty. I thought any second and one would take a spill. Those slippery rocks bring this Sox fan to the thought of many broken bones. Not that I am making excuses–all teams face injuries.But, wouldn’t it have real interesting tonight and then next weekend’s series, if . . .? I did find relief in the beautiful ocean, with summer temps lingering, with the hopes that the waters were a kind of a holy cleansing for the Sox’s season.
    Cheers to you and all the great blogging of the year.

  7. nyyfaninvt

    After yesterday’s game I was really feeling sorry for you, Jane – I wouldn’t have had the energy or desire to write a blog entry. But, once again, you showed us why you are the ultimate she-fan by capturing our mood but then lifting it and bringing us back to reality with your ending. It’s just baseball, after all. Yes, we love it and we love our Yankees but, ultimately, it is just a game. And though the Yankees are stumbling now and have been throughout the month, for most of the year they have played this game pretty darn well and they will again. Let’s just hope it’s sometime this year;).

    On the radio broadcast (I really need a TV in the kitchen) John Suzyn and their fifth inning Daily News guest were talking about 2000 when the Yankees lost 15 out of 20 in September but came back to win the World Series. But they said that was a younger team and seemed pessimistic that we could repeat such a feat. I believe we can and this team is up to the task. We have a number of younger players as well as mature players like Tex and A-Rod and Granderson who still have plenty of good stuff left to give. And though Jeter has had a down year he is coming on strong now – Isn’t his hitting streak at 13 games?The pitching scares me, I’ll admit, but every one of our pitchers has demonstrated brilliance – they just need to again. We can do this! And if we don’t – well, it’s just baseball.

    Another weird thing going on the radio was some ad that kept recounting the Red Sox come-from-behind win of the 2004 alcs playoffs. It played a couple of times but was yanked from the air before it finished. Don’t know what was happening there but I sure didn’t appreciate being reminded of that disaster!

  8. Jane Heller

    I liked the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Paul. To me, as a kid, it was the creepiest thing ever. But the Sutherland remake was good too.

    Promise, Freya? I need you to swear they will win. Come on. Do it!

    Really, razzlegator? That’s funny. Small world.

  9. nyyfaninvt

    I just made a comment and it totally disappeared. Stupid me – I should have learned by now to copy before I post! Oh well – you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was brilliant. I’m too tired to write it again.

  10. Jane Heller

    Michael, always good to see you. What a coincidence that you took to the beach and saw a wedding! Where do you live? I assumed you were in the Boston area, so wasn’t it dark by the time the game was over? Anyhow, your team was certainly riddled with injuries this season but somehow they never dropped out of the race entirely. They still scare me.

    I wasn’t looking forward to writing about yesterday’s loss, Audrey. I admit it. But after I came back from the beach it wasn’t so hard. I, too, was listening to John and Suzyn. (Fox blacked me out and only showed the Padres game, so I was forced to watch Fox Espanol on mute and listen to the audio on WCBS. The audio delay made the whole exercise a challenge.) John did sound pessimistic, even angry. Or maybe frustrated? He kept using the word “bleak.” I don’t buy the age factor as being the problem. Tex isn’t exactly ancient. Neither is Granderson or Cano or Cervelli or Gardner – or Ivan Nova, for that matter. That said, our senior citizens like Thames didn’t help our cause yesterday, and you know how I feel about Gaudin. Sigh. And when people bring up “the year that shall not be mentioned,” I just refuse to listen. Lalalalalalala. (Holding my ears.)

    I’ve never been to Cold Spring Tavern, razzlegator. It’s on my list of places to go, but somehow I’ve never gone. One of these days.

  11. Jane Heller

    I just heard that, yankeesfan27! Whoa. I’m not sure which scenario is the reason for Hughes’ start, but I’m fairly sure it’s not because Moseley is injured. I think it could be a combination of your scenarios. We need the win AND Hughes could help out of the pen in the playoffs. The only thing wrong with him relieving is we’d be back to a three-man rotation, and with Pettitte not himself yet that’s a bit worrisome. On the other hand, the first round is only 5 games, so maybe. No clue about your Giants. I’m not a football fan, sorry.

  12. yankeesfan27

    OK, so the Yanks just announced Moseley has been scratched and Hughes is starting. No explanation. My thought: It has been decided that Hughes will be a reliever for the post season, so they are going to have him get to his limit of 175 and then let him relieve for the rest of the season.
    My second thought is that they want Hughes to shut down the sox so we have a better chance of getting the magic number down to 1.
    And on a football note, since most Yankee fans are Giants Fans, what up with all the personal fouls against the G men today?

  13. Jane Heller

    The comments out of order thing has bedeviled MLBlogs for a long time, Audrey. Drives me crazy, because it seems like something that should be easy for them to fix. It’s especially bad when I try to post responses from my phone.

  14. yankfansinla

    Hey Jane. @HeartyLarry here. I decided I had to do something about this decline. So I am here in New York and I am going to the game to make sure they win and get straightened out. Will be sitting in @simplysmoov ‘s section behind home plate. I am vein-poppingly mad and ready to make some noise.

  15. Jane Heller

    Hey, Larry! Really glad to hear you’ll be at the game. (You’re missing some unbearably hot weather here.) And what good seats you’ll have, sitting in Chris’ section. Please say hi to him for me – and exert your power to bring us a win! Of course, if we do win with you there, you’ll have to stay east and go to the rest of the games.

  16. bklyntrolleyblogger

    Stumbling, Fumbling and Bumbling into the playoffs is not the way you want to be; agreed. I think Girardi is still auditioning pitchers for a roster spot so I’m inclined to give him a pass on how he’s using pitchers lately. But he is doing strange things at strange times. A Wild Card and a first round encounter with the Twins isn’t a bad place to be.

  17. YankeeCase

    I know they were going through a bad stretch, but it was only after hearing John Sterling say they will be 6-12 in their last 18 games if they lost that game Friday. Of course they did, and then lost yesterday too. I was a bit shocked in hearing those numbers. I thought immediately about 2000, as I’m sure most other Yankee fans did.

    But while one can only hope that they do repeat that year’s performance and ‘turn it on’ in the playoffs, this team looks more and more like the 2008 Yankees. You remember them, don’t you? They just could never get the big run home. They could never get that big hit. Simple things like first and third, one out. It seemed a double play was always in order.

    I still think (hope?!) they’ll make the playoffs, but they definitely need to get out of this clutch funk they’re in. And their starting pitching needs to step it up too! I don’t know what the 2000 team’s issue was (i didn’t have access to watch every game that year. i hadn’t come back home to NY yet.), but somehow they were able to get past it all.

    And you’re right Jane. Girardi has to get in their grills and get this team to play Yankees’ baseball! Or maybe send Brian Cashman after them again!

  18. Jane Heller

    Thank you, Freya. I’m taking your word for it because you know our boys so well and have such a positive outlook. Only a half hour to go now. I’m ready.

    No, Mike. This isn’t the way I wanted things to be at this stage. But I’m not conceding that we won’t win the division quite yet. The Rays lost today, so if we win tonight we’ll only be a half game back heading into the final week. As for the pitching, all I can say is Oy!

    YankeeCase, I think Brian Cashman came after them today. When Girardi announced that Hughes was pitching instead of Moseley, I’d be willing to bet that it was Cashman’s idea/edict. I didn’t see Joe’s pregame session with the media, but those who did said he seemed very tight and didn’t say a lot. Panic move or not, I think it was the right move. And I, too, heard Sterling yesterday and those stats you mentioned. He used the word “bleak” and I agreed.

  19. crzblue2

    When I started working for the company where I’ve been for the last 15 years, we used to get invited to the Sales Conference at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara. Those were the good old days spending the weekend there. Now those conferences are done very close to work.

  20. Jane Heller

    Lots of companies have stopped sending people to luxury hotels for sales conferences, Emma. It’s certainly true in the book publishing business. Sigh. The Biltmore is beautiful, and I had a delicious dinner there after my walk last night.

  21. peggy3

    Hi Jane & Fellow Baseball Fans….

    I was at the game last night …dying with every pitch. It’s all my daughter’s fault about Mo…she kept saying she didn’t have a good feeling about him last night. WHY ?? I have no clue but she turned out to be right. She also predicted Alex’s HR…and …she predicted we would win in the 10th…maybe she is psychic ?? I’m was REALLY happy about the win prediction. Talk about tense …my stomach was in knots. I had two Boston fans in front of me who were busting them when Mo gave it up. It was sweet revenge when Paps blew the save in the bottom of the 9th. They really shut up when we loaded the bases in the 10th and slithered out when we won. I LOVED IT !!!! Paps was whining about the strike zone after the game …same zone given to Mo who had the grace to blame himself and no one else. Both pitchers are full of class …Mo …high class and Paps… all low class. Alex was AMAZING …he now only needs one homer to get to 30 with six games remaining. Big hit by Cano and what patience shown by Miranda. Hopefully we get the win tonight and lock up the playoff spot. Then let’s get the division …I still want the division.

    What commercial with Robbie? I haven’t seen it …what’s the commercial for??

    Special shout outs to my new face to face blog buddies…Becky, Melissa, Jane & Eddie. Loving your posts Eddie ..keep up the good work. Becky …it was 3 against 1 for the picture so I didn’t stand a chance Hopefully next season we can have a big blog meetup …it’s such fun meeting new Yankee fans especially the fans on this particular blog because EVERYONE is so nice.

    Last but not least …I did get tickets to two playoff games so far….Game 1 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS. I’m so excited …the only post season game I went to last year was a good one …Alex hit the game tying homer in the 9th and Tex had the walk off against the Twinkies. I hope to see two equally great games when I go this year…naturally Yankee wins … :o)

    Have a great day all …thankfully the Yanks are in the dome tonight as it’s weather for ducks here today. At least AJ doesn’t have to worry about a rain shortened game …let’s hope he pitches great tonight. Here’s to “good” AJ….

    Go AJ !!!! Go Alex (get #30) !!!!

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  22. peggy3

    Oh Lord …how could I forget Hughsey …he was FANTASTIC !!!
    The kid is full of confidence and I love that …he is using the change up more and more. When he has that perfected the rest of the AL better watch out …Young Master Hughes is going right to Ace status. I could care less if switching Phil back to Sunday was a panic move or not ….it was definitely the RIGHT move and I’m glad Joe made it.

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  23. Jane Heller

    Peggy, why did you leave your comment on this post from the day before? I looked everywhere and just found it. lol. Anyhow, how cool that you were there last night (Sunday) and got to see our amazing comeback. Your daughter must be psychic. Maybe she could tell you if the Yankees will win tonight! Robbie’s commercial is part of Nike’s new “boom” campaign. Basically he just says “Boom” but he’s adorable. Congrats on getting your playoff tix. SO jealous, but I feel good that you’ll be there to represent. And yes, Huuuuughes was huuuuuuge!

  24. peggy3

    Yes Jane …I reposted on today’s post ….I’m TIRED !!! LOL
    Happy tired from last night’s game ….

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

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