Yanks-O’s: I Have Five Words For Girardi

“The Yankees were sloppy, Joe.”
sloppyjoe.jpg
CC looked bad right from the start, couldn’t get out of the fifth, and had zero strikeouts. I know, I know. He has a history of crappy Aprils, is a second-half pitcher, blah blah. I’m sure he’ll be fine. I just really wanted him to strut his stuff in his regular season debut. Instead, I was disappointed.
disappointed.jpg
Other Sloppy Joes?
* Cody Ransom making an error-that-was-ruled-a-hit.
* Nady getting caught off third and killing a rally.
* Bruney doing an excellent impression of the erratic reliever he was two years ago.
* Marte having a curious meltdown ever since he took off his Pirates uniform.
* Tex going 0-for-4 with a walk and not sticking it to the O’s fans who reacted as if they were bitterly spurned lovers. 
spurned-psychos.jpg
The game wasn’t a complete disaster by any means. Gardner made a strong throw from center. Tex made a great pickup on a low throw by Jeter. Posada and Matsui went deep. Swisher smacked a double coming off the bench. And Albaladejo shut down the Orioles for an inning-plus.
But here’s the part that saved the day for me: I watched a few innings with a person who put the game in perspective.
As some of you know, I volunteer at my local hospital every Monday.
SBCH.jpg
During my four-hour shift, I walk around the hospital and visit patients, providing a shoulder to lean on in difficult times or simply spreading a little good cheer.
Vintage-Barbie-Candy-Striper-Volunteer.jpg
But today was Opening Day and, as I wrote in that New York Times piece on Sunday, I really do try to arrange my schedule around the Yankees. Couldn’t I skip my shift just this once and stay home to watch the game?
No. My conscience wouldn’t let me. I put on my uniform, went to the hospital and did my thing. At about 1:30 PT, I walked into the room of a patient who happened to have ESPN on; he was watching Yanks-O’s! I was so excited!
I reminded myself I was there to focus on him, however. He was a young man with serious medical problems, but he was able to talk.
“So you follow sports?” I asked at some point.
“Yeah, I grew up in the Bay Area and I’m an A’s fan,” he said. He also told me his brother played high school baseball with CC Sabathia. He added that he hated the Yankees.
Suddenly, the Yanks scored and I must have let out a shriek. I apologized, but he laughed and asked if I wanted to stay and watch the game with him.
Before I knew it, I was sitting down in the chair next to his bed and yelling at the TV just like I do at home. He thought it was funny that I was so “into it.”
I didn’t cure him. I didn’t take away his pain. I didn’t even refill his water pitcher the way I was supposed to. But when his doctors arrived (my cue to split), he thanked me for being there and said he hoped the Yankees would have a good season.
“Hey, I thought you hated them,” I teased.
“I guess they’re not that bad,” he said with a smile.

39 Comments

I wish we could figure out how to beat Baltimore. It seemed like a few years ago, the Yankees owned the O’s. But that’s started to change the last couple of seasons. Hopefully, Game 2 will go much better although I’d feel more secure with Burnett pitching than Wang…at least until Wang can get back into a groove. Oh well, maybe the Yankee bats will show up…

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Jane – what you found was a “fan” – and fans love the ups and downs of the game and just enjoy sharing that experience with other fans. Scott and I found that out this past weekend; we might not love the same team (or in our case teams…there was hockey & football talk also!) but just being able to talk to another real fan is a great experience. And I promise – it’s only today that Scott is cheering for my Red Sox!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Thanks…I needed that. What little I saw & heard of the game was miserable…got home mid-game, and Son #1’s big caca-eating grin said it all…then he said he hates the Yankees MORE than Boston because of 1996 and “that kid” Mayer…but it’s so good to regain perspective, as you did (and people, please read Jane’s book — it’s full of good moments like yesterday’s). Coming down from the intensity of the NCAA tourney and going thru that sporting transition makes Opening Day feel more crucial than it really is…and the last hoops game was unwatchable for me, so it was overall just a night to forget. Spit it out; it’s a new day…

Jane – since you helped take his mind off his problems for a bit, then you were doing your job. Sometimes we just need to put everything in perspective, but it’s not always easy to do! Sorry the Yanks lost in such crappy fashion – maybe they just needed to get it out of their system.🙂
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Jane, anyone who is generous enough to volunteer their time earns extra points in my book. Glad you got to see the game, even if it didn’t turn out like you wanted.

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

Jane- Nady (or should that be “Nodoff”)got caught off base since my boy (temporarily it’s him when you know who is called up then that he’s my boy) the Salad Man (Cesar Izturus) made a beautifiul diving stop. Furthermore, B-Rob was messing up CC. He was dipping and diving on the basepaths and made CC mental, ithrowing off his concentration. Posada had 6 passed balls/non-catches and looked awful and your new fave , Gardy, looked slow out there and didn’t catch anything hit in the gaps. Also, the left side defense was exposed as being way below average, which goes to show to that A-Roid is a very good fielder.

Very nice that you volunteer at the local hospital, but my Dad just can’t envisign you in the candy stripers outfit!

Finally, Jane are you accusing me as a spurned psycho!!!!!!! BTW Happy Passover!!

Scott- The O’s are getting better and the Yankees really aren’t.
Jordan
http://upin36011cc.mlblogs.com/

Jane- Nady (or should that be “Nodoff”)got caught off base since my boy (temporarily it’s him when you know who is called up then that he’s my boy) the Salad Man (Cesar Izturus) made a beautifiul diving stop. Furthermore, B-Rob was messing up CC. He was dipping and diving on the basepaths and made CC mental, ithrowing off his concentration. Posada had 6 passed balls/non-catches and looked awful and your new fave , Gardy, looked slow out there and didn’t catch anything hit in the gaps. Also, the left side defense was exposed as being way below average, which goes to show to that A-Roid is a very good fielder.

Very nice that you volunteer at the local hospital, but my Dad just can’t envisign you in the candy stripers outfit!

Finally, Jane are you accusing me as a spurned psycho!!!!!!! BTW Happy Passover!!

Scott- The O’s are getting better and the Yankees really aren’t.
Jordan
http://upin36011cc.mlblogs.com/

You’re like a real live angel on the level of Jedi; which makes it even odder that you get along so well with a Lord of the Sith such as myself.
Maybe if Girardi had spent less spring training time playing in the blocks or having romper room, and more time on fundamentals (or as Keith Hernandez refers to them, “fundies”), they wouldn’t have made such egregious gaffes.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/

I remember those days when beating the O’s was a given, Scott. Sigh. We left 11 men on base! Shame on us. I thought we’d mount a comeback after Jorge’s HR, but oh well. We’ll get them tomorrow.

The O’s must have had a “Mayer” in left field yesterday, Dave. Did you see that “catch” that Damon didn’t make because of fan interference? I guess it’s even now.

Always good to get crappy games out of the way, Sue, although the season is usually full of them. Such is the long season.

Thanks, Steve. I think volunteering picks me up as much as it does the patients.

“The salad man.” LOL, Jordan. Happy Passover to you too!

I don’t think it was the romper room activities that caused the gaffes, Paul. I think it was that Cody Ransom isn’t A-Rod; that our third base coach is new at this; that the pitching was bad almost without exception; and that the bats didn’t get it done. But they certainly looked lame, I’ll grant you that.

A little perspective is always good, I have found; thanks for sharing that story. That’s the beauty of baseball, to me. It’s so easy to share it with someone else, and you can learn a lot about yourself and other people through watching it. Also, I loved the photos in this entry! You always pick great ones to go along with your words but I found these to be especially funny; the Barbie is awesome.
Paige
http://bestof162.mlblogs.com

I think the New York media forgot to tell the fans that CC can have a bad first month. Last year he went 1-5 before finally finding the steering wheel and righting his car towards the Brewer’s playoff berth.
But you are right, people kept thinking that the Yankees reliever corps might be better than last year all off season. You never know, maybe Baltimore might be the Yankee’s Albatross the way the Jays handled the Red Sox in 2008.
Some teams just have your number some times.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Yeah, I heard about that “Fan’s Revenge” on Damon from Son #2…missed the “joy” of seeing it live, as I was on my way to an umps’ meeting…Son 2 also said that the O’s fans were so rabid, they even took a ball away from their OWN team…they’re a bitter bunch sometimes, esp. when the Yanks or the Bosox come to town, and the home fans are outnumbered (do you remember that from your visit?)…but that may change, and all too soon…in recent seasons, it seems that the Orioles LOVE to play N.Y., but they lie down like obedient puppies for the Red Sox…oh well…

Baseball is the universal language for sure, Paige. And glad you liked the pix!

It’s funny that way that works with some teams having other teams’ numbers, Renegade. The Yankees used to beat up on the O’s with regularity but not in recent years. Hope you get your game in today. Good luck!

I can’t blame the O’s fans for not liking it when they’re invaded by Yankee fans or Red Sox fans, Dave. It must be really annoying. That said, I think the booing of Tex was hilarious. He didn’t take a pay cut to play there because he was born nearby? Seriously.

My Reds made their share of blunders in the field yesterday. Sounds like you had a nice time with the patient.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Hey, Russ. It was only the first game, so we’ll give our teams a pass for the blunders, right? They just need to get it together soon.

Absolutely great pictures with Carrie and the sloppy joe…always a fun and entertaining read when I stop by your site. Keep up the great work, and let’s keep our heads up for game 2 tomorrow.

Wow, what a great story Jane! I’m glad you were able to spend some time with a baseball fan like that.
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Great story! I’ve always believed baseball can be a powerful elixir. But if I was on my deathbed and the only surgeon in the world who could save me was a Yankees fan, I’d still tell him they suck. 😉

Great story! I’ve always believed baseball can be a powerful elixir. But if I was on my deathbed and the only surgeon in the world who could save me was a Yankees fan, I’d still tell him they suck. 😉

As the season goes on, I think that CC and Tex will get better, and used to being Yankees. I hope that Burnett doesn’t have the “Yankee Jitters” on April 9th.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

Will keep my head up for Game 2, Stephen. You do the same. You’re really rocking with your blog. It’s fabulous.

Thanks, Kaybee. He’s such a nice guy, so it was fun watching with him.

Luckylori, let’s hope you don’t have to face that situation – and that your Yankee fan surgeon has a sense of humor.

I think so too, Babu. And AJ will be fine. I love all our new guys.

Your team can’t beat the Orioles and mine can’t beat the Mariners. A pretty crappy Opening Day all around. At least your misery made someone else really happy. I’m sure that poor guy really appreciated your visit :)-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

The planets need to realign, Erin. The Twins should beat the Mariners with their hands tied behind their backs!

Sorry, had to smile during that game. $$$ ain’t everything, eh? Did you see? Farnsy gave up a go-ahead 3 run dinger to Thome in the 8th just now. They’re burning Farnsy in effigy already… all three fans in KC.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Ah, Farnsy. I feel for those three fans, Jeff. Wouldn’t you think some pitching coach somewhere could help the guy?

Jane, Regarding the Yanks first baseman, who conveniently is now wearing Giambi’s #25 (I guess to save the Yanks fans from having to buy a new jersey!!) Andy MacPhail made it quite clear that Tex wanted the most money and that he wanted it and expected to get it from the Yankees. I’m just happy that Andy never made a useless counter-offer and that we have players who are sincere about wanting to play for the O’s and are good citizens also!

And, by the way, I saw Tony Tarasco in the late 90’s at a AAA in Indianapolis and he was still pissed about Garcia’s errant call.

Your bullpen could soon be replaced by another compound word that starts with bull if they keep getting hit hard.

Ken
http://brooksrobinsonrules.mlblogs.com

I’m sure Teixeira is a fine citizen, Ken.

And you are one of the people that make this terrible world a good place! A good person, with a good heart! (Even though you cheer for the team with the darker shade of blue (joke – haha)) CC will eventually find his groove, as always, and you’ll be happy with your Yankees. I’m sorry if I missed it in a recent post, but what games are you attending this season in NY?

– Donnie
http://donnieanks.mlblogs.com/

Your story just proves that it’s not just a game. It helps people through a lot. Even if they aren’t Yankee fans. Hope you had fun watching the game with him. And yelling at the TV…
Canuck
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Hope the Brewers didn’t wear out Sabathia last September. I think they would have pitched him every day if they could have knowing they weren’t going to resign him.

Great post Jane. Sorry the game didn’t go your way. Somebody said it earlier, CC is a slow starter. I think last April his ERA was over 7. Like always, the Yankees will be there in the end. Hopefully it will be at the Rays expense and not the Sox’

Greg
Red Sox Ramblings: http://thevendahhh.mlblogs.com

“Not that bad.” Hah! Only the greatest in history! However, it’s a step forward for the young man. Certainly hope he gets better.
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

“Not that bad.” Hah! Only the greatest in history! However, it’s a step forward for the young man. Certainly hope he gets better.
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

“Not that bad.” Hah! Only the greatest in history! However, it’s a step forward for the young man. Certainly hope he gets better.
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

Awesome story, Jane. You probably made that guy forget about his problems for a little while.
As for the Yankees, who’d have thought that Albaladejo would start the season with a better ERA than CC? I neeeeearly bought a ticket for that game…so glad I didn’t.
Shelley
http://diamonddiva.mlblogs.com/

Thanks, Donnie. I haven’t figured out which games I’m going to yet. I’m shooting for NY in late May. I’ll post about my upcoming trip for sure, once I set the dates.

I did have fun, Canuck. I guess I yell at the TV no matter where I’m watching!

I certainly hope the Brewers didn’t wear out CC, Gloamin. I think he’s just a slow starter, looking at his previous spring records.

Thanks, Greg. Yup, CC will pick it up. Congrats on your win today. It must feel good to get the first one out of the way.

That’s right, Neal. It’s a step toward not hating our team. Progress!

I was surprised to see Albaladejo in there at all, Shelley. But then they didn’t pick a long reliever so I guess it’ll be bullpen by committee.

great story about the hospital…i loved your piece in the times the other day.
mike

Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.

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