From me to you. Merry Merry!
I know. Seven games in a row was a lot, and the winning streak couldn’t possibly last forever. I get it, I really do. But as I watched the Yankees go down 5-4 to the suddenly Alex Rios-less Blue Jays, I felt sick inside.
Mitre gave up his usual five runs in five innings. Yes, only three of the runs were earned, but so what? Cano may have been charged with the error, but Sergio was the one who made the lame throw. To be fair, he had good stuff, and his strikeouts were impressive. But Kei Igawa strikes out batters too, and the Yankees aren’t rushing to slot him into the rotation, are they?
Still, it was fun to see Jeter, Cano and Hairston go deep. Cano, in particular, has been hot at the plate and he couldn’t have picked a more opportune time. (It was less fun to watch Posada strike out seemingly every time he even looked at a pitch.) And Aceves was brilliant in relief.
But here’s the thing. The Yankees were a little flat, as I knew they would be after the Red Sox series. It was only natural. But I thought I’d better have a talk with Joe Girardi and make sure he understood that there is to be no letdown for the rest of the season. None. Nada. Zippo. Sure, we can drop a game here and there, but that’s it. No losing binges, rough patches or slumps. Especially no slumps.
Here’s our conversation.
I think the Yankees will come out smoking on Tuesday night. Joe will make sure of it.
In May of 2007, when the Yankees were in last place, I couldn’t take it. All the losing was killing me, keeping me up at night, making me snap at complete strangers, giving me a really bad headache. One night, after a humiliating interleague loss against the Mets, I stormed into my office and wrote an article about divorcing the Yankees. The grounds? Mental cruelty. I didn’t have a blog then, so I vented to the New York Times, which published my article. (You can read it here.) As a result of that article I landed a book deal for a nonfiction account of what it really means to be a fan. It’s called “Confessions of a She-Fan” and it’ll be out in February.
Now that I’ve finished it, I’ve been feeling desperate to be in a community of Yankee fans – people to commiserate with and celebrate with. Writing books is a solitary business. You basically sit in a room all day by yourself, wondering why in the world you didn’t pick another line of work, waiting for your publisher to call with news about something (your manuscript, your cover, your sales). I’m hoping that blogging will fill the void and distract me from checking my hourly ranking on amazon and the occasional snarky review.
Yes, it’s late in the season, but today’s game was a revelation. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to beat a team not named the Mariners or Orioles. I’ve been second-guessing Girardi all year – from not starting Kennedy because it might rain, only to use him in relief…to resting Damon when we desperately needed his hot bat…to giving non-answers to questions about players injuries. But he looked like a genius today, juggling the bullpen and sending Giambi up to pinch hit. Taking the finale against the Red Sox wasn’t as satisfying as sweeping them would have been, but it was sweet nevertheless.
Do the Yankees have a prayer of making the postseason? I gave up on them last year and vowed I wouldn’t do it again. But it’s looking bleak. Seriously. A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay loom this weekend. My heart tells me the Yanks can pull off a miracle comeback, but my husband says I’ve been drinking the Kool Aid.