Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’

What Will Cashman Say Next?

Does anyone remember Jim Carrey’s character in the comedy “Liar Liar?”
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He had to tell the truth no matter what because of his son’s birthday wish. After reading about Brian Cashman’s WFAN sponsored breakfast today and all the gems that popped out of his mouth, I’m wondering if one of his kids made the same birthday wish. The Yankees have often been accused of being a secretive organization, not disclosing injuries, not wanting to discuss contract issues, evading reporters’ questions, but not today and not with Cashman at the mic.
To wit, here are some of his candid remarks:
* He foresees Jeter moving to centerfield (as opposed to third base) at some point in the future.
* He rates the Red Sox as the better team (except for our bullpen).
* He thinks Joba is washed up. (OK, he didn’t say that, but he did admit that Joba hasn’t been the same since his shoulder injury.)
* He implied that a couple of our minor league pitchers are better than Nova.
* He repeated that he wasn’t on board with the signing of Soriano.
* He doesn’t want Andy back unless his heart is in it.
Will Cash’s truth-telling compulsion continue? And if so, what will he blurt out at the next media event? A few possibilities…
* “I’d be willing to trade anybody for Felix Hernandez.”
* “I like Hank better than Hal, as it turns out.”
* “I always laugh when I see that commercial on YouTube with Coney doing the ‘El Duque.’”
* “I wish I had my own funny commercial.”
* “I wish I were taller.”
* “I wish I had as much hair as Theo Epstein.”
* “I wish the Yankees would win the World Series this year so fans would stop sulking over Cliff Lee.”
* “I wish Cliff Lee had said yes.”
That’s it for tonight. I’m off to watch the State of the Union address. Wouldn’t it be cool if politicians were forced to tell the truth – even for 24 hours?

Top Ten Reasons Why Dave Eiland Was Fired

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Cashman said Eiland’s dismissal had nothing to do with the Yankees’ pitching performances in the playoffs, so that’s not it. And he refused to say whether it was related to the mysterious “personal leave of absence” that kept Eiland away from the team for nearly a month. So we’re left to speculate on our own, and in my case that’s a dangerous thing. Herewith some theories…
#10 He had a secret Twitter account under the name @Joba_Rules_Are_Stupid.
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#9  He repeatedly told Mo that the Panamian skirt steak at Mo’s New York Grill was tough and overcooked.
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#8  During Game 6 of the ALCS, he picked up the phone in the dugout and called 1-800-FLOWERS.
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#7  He refused to wear a jacket and tie on the flight back from Texas.
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#6  He acted huffy because the Yankees wouldn’t let him sing “God Bless America” during the season – even though Haley Swindal got to do it.
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#5  He had T-shirts printed up that said, “Javy Vazquez belongs in the National League.”
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#4  He teased Jonathan Albaladejo that he looked like Lurch in the Addams Family.
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#3  He deliberately miscounted the number of innings Phil Hughes pitched this year. Oops.
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#2  He invited Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to the same cocktail party.
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And #1 (Drum roll) He was the one who gave A.J. the black eye.
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Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse

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OMG, what an amazing ride. And there are people in the world who don’t watch baseball? I mean seriously. Raise your hand if you saw or listened to the game and didn’t think it was exciting, no matter which team you root for. Not possible.
CC was awful and who would have expected it. I had dismissed all the talk about the extra rest – nine days worth – but he looked rusty. If you had told me he’d only last four innings I would have laughed, but there it was. Still, his play at home in the first was fantastic. For a big guy he got down fast. I bet the earth moved when he hit the ground.
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When Joba came in with the Rangers ahead 5-0, I figured we were in mop up mode. But after he held Texas scoreless and then Moseley pitched brilliantly and Cano went deep, I couldn’t help thinking maybe C.J. Wilson would be pulled and we’d break the door down.
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And that’s what happened. As improbable as it seemed, the Yanks silenced the white towel-waving crowd in Arlington after Gardner’s head first slide into first base triggered a barrage of hits. Could we put our hands together for him, Jeter, Swisher, Tex, A-Rod, Cano and Thames?
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With the Yankees now up 6-5 (and me in absolute delirium), Wood couldn’t find the strike zone and nearly made me stick my hand through the TV and wring his neck. But all I can say is THANK YOU, IAN KINSLER! I guess your deer antlers didn’t have magic powers tonight.
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How about that rundown? LOVED Jeter’s little fake throw that preceded the tag. Was that pickoff the straw that broke the Rangers’ back? Probably. But Michael Young’s strikeout against Mo was pretty devastating. You could tell by the change in mood of George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan.

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 (Hat tip to Friend of the Blog Michael Fierman)
Anyhow, the Yankees gave us fans a miraculous victory that I’ll be reliving in my head all night. I can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon when the game will be on at 1 o’clock here. For once I won’t be blacked out by Fox.
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Well, It’s Not The Worst Thing To Be The Wild Card

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I’ve made no secret about how much I wanted to win the division and secure home field advantage. And I thought it was doable. Seriously doable. But, as I said, the situation could be worse for the Yankees; at least we’re going to Minny as opposed to heading for the golf course or hunting lodge like some teams.

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And today wasn’t a total loss. It’s always fun to score off Papelbon. The bigger issue confronting us fans right now is the state of the Bombers. Moseley did a pretty good job, I thought. Just a couple of mistakes that my dearly departed grandmother could have hit out of the park. Robertson looked exhausted, Joba did his usual high-wire act, Logan was ineffective and I don’t think Ring has a prayer of making the postseason roster. And then there was the persistent problem of stranding runners. It was painful to watch Jorge hit that dribbler with bases loaded, for example. On the positive side, Gardner has been gaining confidence at the plate, in the field, on the bases. He’s ready to do battle. Lefties. Righties. Doesn’t matter. And Tex is hot at the right time. Plus no worries whatsoever about Cano, who is, quite simply, a beast.
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So today isn’t about doom and gloom. It’s about celebrating the achievement of getting back to the postseason. And how better to celebrate than to visit with our old pal Surf Dog Bill, the grand prize winner of last year’s She-Fan Video Awards.
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For newcomers to the blog (or those with short term memory loss), Bill Connell is a local icon here in the Santa Barbara area. A huge Yankee fan, he and his hot dog stand are must-stops both for the hot dogs and the conversation.

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Here’s a recent article from the Santa Barbara Independent that’ll give you an idea of just how passionate Surf Dog is.

Baseball Drama

When the L.A. Dodgers Play the S.F. Giants, Wackiness Ensues


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whenever the Hot Dog Man, aka Bill Connell, visits Dodger Stadium, things seem to get stirred up. He was there late last month when the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead over the New York Yankees into the ninth inning. “All theL.A. fans went home,” said Connell, an ardent Yankee fan since his boyhood in New Jersey. “The Yankees scored four runs against [Jonathan] Broxton to tie it. In the 10th inning, Robinson Cano hit a home run to win it. The only people in the stadium were wearing Yankee caps.”

Not only were Connell's hot dogs a hit with the crowd--to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party--but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor's evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.

Courtesy Photo

Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.

Connell recently wore quite another Yankee adornment. He was among the caterers at a party hosted by Jeff Jacobs, a Montecito denizen with lofty connections in entertainment and sports. Guests included Chris Bosh, the newly minted center of the Miami Heat, and Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds. “There I was, handing out hot dogs, with this New York Yankee ring glittering on my finger,” Connell said. “Can you believe it?”

Only a couple days later, Connell hit the trifecta–another memorable trip to Dodger Stadium. This time, he took 50 people with him on a chartered bus from his Surf Dog stand in Carpinteria. We expected to see a low-scoring duel between two of the game’s best young pitchers, Tim Lincecum of the Giants and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Instead, we were treated to an evening of wacky incidents that stoked up the L.A.-San Francisco rivalry.

Much to our surprise, the Dodgers got to Lincecum for five runs in the first three innings. Kershaw was in command until the fifth inning, when the Giants got a break, thanks to Xavier being Manny–rookie Xavier Paul, subbing for the injured Manny Ramirez (more slug than slugger these days) in left field, had a flyball drop out of his glove. Three runs later, the Giants trailed just 5-4.

In the bottom of the fifth, after brushing back Matt Kemp with a pitch, Lincecum nailed him with another. A smattering of boos was directed at the Giants hurler. When relief pitcher Denny Bautista threw a fastball under the chin of L.A.’s Russell Martin in the sixth inning, the natives grew even more restless. They rose to their feet–almost a third of them to boo, the rest to get more beer. The home plate umpire took offense to an animated scolding by Bob Schaefer, the Dodgers’ bench coach, and ejected him.

Kershaw’s first pitch leading off the seventh inning squarely hit the Giants’ Aaron Rowand. Next to “It’s not about the money,” the most laughable sentence in a ballplayer’s repertoire is when a pitcher says about a retaliatory delivery, “It just got away from me.” That was Kershaw’s unconvincing explanation for his last pitch of the game. After he was ejected, along with manager Joe Torre, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo retired the next six San Francisco batters, preserving the Dodgers’ one-run lead.

I could not understand why people were leaving the stadium in droves. I guess they got what they came for–a James Loney bobblehead–but they missed a deliciously bizarre scene in the ninth inning.

Broxton, L.A.’s massive closer, made his usual dramatic entrance to the thundering sound of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and promptly loaded the bases. Then Don Mattingly, filling in as L.A.’s manager for the departed Torre, made an ill-fated visit to the mound, which technically became two visits when he stepped off and back on the dirt, which prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to remind the umpires that was a no-no. They ruled that Broxton, who had begun pitching to Andres Torres, must immediately be replaced (their interpretation was later called into question). Out of the bullpen came George Sherrill, whose first pitch was hammered by Torres to the wall in left field for a two-run double. The Giants went on to win, 7-5.

Connell and his busload, predominantly Dodger fans, stayed to the end. “We got our money’s worth,” the Hot Dog Man declared cheerfully.

Surf Dog is always “on” whenever I stop by his hot dog stand, and yesterday was no different. He took a few minutes to chat with me. Wait – let me amend that; he took a few minutes to deliver a monologue about the Yanks. Take a look.



OK, the Joba part about getting a start? I don’t think so. Otherwise, he’s been pretty accurate in his predictions. At least he was last year. I’ll be visiting him throughout the postseason (let’s hope it lasts awhile) and will pass along his pearls of wisdom. I wish I could pass along his hot dogs too. They’re really good.

That Game Nearly Killed Me – In A Good Way

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Is there a Yankee fan who wasn’t hyperventilating tonight? I doubt it. Where/how do I even begin to talk about this game?
First: the decision to start Hughes instead of Moseley. Whether it was Girardi’s idea or Cashman’s edict, who cares. It was the right move for every reason, and Huuuuughes rose to the occasion. I feel so much better about our pitching after seeing how he stepped up.
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Dice K was dealing, so Tex’s bloop single and A-Rod’s homer were enormous. Just huge. Kudos to them for giving us the lead for the first time in ages. A-Rod looks ready and willing to carry this team if necessary.
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Cano drove home the tying run and is a lock for the MVP now. OK, not a lock, but he sure made a good case for himself tonight.
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Dave Robertson. Great job in a pressure situation. How lucky are we to have him? Same goes for Kerry Wood. And really nice outing by Joba – yes, Joba – as well as Boone Logan.
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Girardi was playing Russian roulette with all the moving parts, but the game had a happy ending. Miranda’s walkoff walk (I love typing that) wasn’t a pretty type of win, but who needs pretty. Given the Rays’ loss, we’re only a half a game back in the division. Way to capitalize, Yankees.
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I can’t not mention the obvious: Mo blew another save – his fourth in the month of September. I’ve been saying, “No big deal,” but maybe there’s cause for concern after all. I’d love to know if he’s injured and not telling anyone, or whether he’s simply going through an ineffective period. I love him too much to even contemplate the possibility that he’s wearing down.
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And Jorge. Seriously. Not only couldn’t he give us a sac fly when we needed a run, but those throws. Ugh. Why not just send out a press release to other teams that they should run on his arm whenever possible?
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But I quibble. Tonight was a great baseball game and the Yankees came out on top. (Freya, you promised we’d win and you came through!) I’m going to bed feeling nice and secure.
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Yanks-Rays Round 4: Back Where We Started

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Yes, we ended up with a split. And there was nothing pretty or sweet about it. How many times have we watched CC disintegrate? Hardly ever, that’s how many times. And yet he looked vulnerable through the fifth inning and positively horrendous in the sixth – like a great big parade float that was punctured and fell to the ground.
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Still, I give him a pass. He’s been terrific, so he’s entitled to a bad game even if it did cost him the Cy Young award. And David Price is a really, really good pitcher. Still, how to explain the Yankees inability to score with the bases loaded – more than once? That was more troubling to me, as was Joba’s ineffectiveness and the fact that Vazquez couldn’t find home plate if he had a shovel.
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Did he hit three batters in a row or did I dream it? Never mind. I know the answer. If he had plans for the postseason, he can probably forget about them and schedule a nice, long vacation for himself. Will the Yankees win the division now that they’re basically tied with the Rays again? Tampa has some comfy match ups, while we’re stuck with the Red Sox and Blue Jays. I have no idea what will happen from here on – none. Maybe I should consult the tarot card reader I spoke to last year, but I’ve been afraid to. What if she tells me something I don’t want to hear? Couldn’t handle it.
Changing the subject, did everybody see the ESPN Steinbrenner documentary directed by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple? I missed its premiere on Tuesday night, but watched it after the game tonight. As some may remember, I flew to New York last year to be interviewed for the doc.
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I met Barbara too, and it turned out we both grew up in Scarsdale loving the Yankees.
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Here’s the bad news: I ended up on the cutting room floor of the doc. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t in it and wasn’t surprised. Barbara shot a ton of film, interviewed hundreds of people and only had an hour of air time. The focus turned out to be the transition from the old Stadium and George’s running the team to the new Stadium and Hal’s ascendance, and I don’t think I said anything particularly interesting about any of that. I really enjoyed the film, especially the interview with Hal. Here’s a clip. It requires sitting through Pujols hawking Dove soap, but it’s worth a look.
Getting back to the present, I’m nervous about the Red Sox series this weekend. Not because it’s the Red Sox but because we just need to win games right now. Need to win games. Right now. Please.

Yanks-Rays Round 2: My Head Was At Borders But My Heart Was In The Bronx

I knew tonight would present a conflict.
I was scheduled to be on a writers panel at Borders here in the Santa Barbara area, but I didn’t have to arrive until 7 pm. Since the game started at 4 pm PT, I figured I’d see most of it before I left the house. (I couldn’t very well cancel my appearance; authors never pass up an opportunity to plug their books.) But I was a little panicky prying myself away from the TV with the score at 5-3 and Hughes coming out for Vazquez.
I listened on my phone in the car on the way to the store. Still 5-3.
I continued to listen even after I walked in, was introduced to my fellow panelists, sat down and waited for the Borders events coordinator to clear his throat and begin the program. Phone tucked away in my purse, I spent the next 90 minutes answering questions about the She-Fan book and this blog, as well as focusing on the work of the other writers. And then, when there were no further questions and we were done, an audience member approached me.
“The Yankees won 8-3,” he said with a big smile.
I was taken aback at first. I mean you don’t expect to meet a lot of Yankee fans in California. For example, the panelist who sat next to me was a sportswriter who rooted for the Dodgers, and the panelist next to him was a newspaper editor who rooted for the Giants, and the events coordinator from Borders was an Angels guy.
“Thanks for telling me,” I said. “So you’re a fan too?”
He was a fan all right. He told me that his house had burned down in the last wildfire and that the possession he was most saddened to lose was the signed copy of the autobiography of Mickey Mantle, his childhood hero. Now that’s bleeding pinstripes.
Meet Jerry.
I had a good time at Borders, but I had an even better time when I got home and watched the rest of the game. Yaaaay, us! I was afraid the Rays would keep chipping their way back, especially with so many of our relievers unavailable. But Cano’s shot past Crawford was huge and Joba held on, and my night had a very happy ending after all. 
After the game I watched the profile of CC on HBO’s “Real Sports.”
What a lovable guy. When he teared up about his father, I teared up too. Of course, I had to laugh when I saw the size of his house at the end of the piece. It’s….large.
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Oh, one more thing. Here’s a pic of The Boss’ newly unveiled monument. It was sent to me by Friend of the Blog John (aka ooaooa) and taken by his daughter, who was at tonight’s game. Thanks, John.
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Talk About A Seesaw Game

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First we lost a heartbreaker last night. Then we jumped out to a healthy lead against Garza tonight, thanks in part to homers by Cano and A-Rod. Then Nova and Logan coughed up the lead.
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Then Cano tied it up at 7-7 and it was yet another battle of the pens.
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I was hanging on every pitch from Joba, Wood and Robertson and went nuts with joy and relief when Granderson made the catch of our season. Just look at his handsome face and maybe give him a clap or two, OK?
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You could tell the team was fired up after that, so when Jorge came up to pinch hit I was ready for something good to happen. And it did.
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Did he crush that ball or what? Up by just a run with Mo on the mound in the bottom of the 10th – the second straight night of extras – it was tense times. Everybody knew Crawford would try to steal second and make it, so I was getting antsy with all the throws over to first. But what happened next was straight out of a dream (a good one this time). Crawford took off for third and was nailed – absolutely gunned down – by none other than Greg Golson. Who?
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Yeah, I didn’t know he had an arm either. Fast? Sure. A decent call up? Right. But a missile to throw out Crawford? Flabbergasted. So, it seemed, were the Yankees as they celebrated the win. I haven’t seen Jeter that excited in awhile. This is one series that has earned the advance hype: the two best teams going at it. I can only imagine what Wednesday night will bring. The one thing I do know is that since I’m back in California I returned to my playoff ritual of grilling turkey burgers for dinner during the games, and the rally burgers worked tonight. I will be eating another one tomorrow night. Care to join me? I’ve got plenty of them.
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Nooooooooooo!

The evening started off so promisingly. My dinner guests arrived, unsuspecting that I had ordered the special Yankees cap cake (see previous entry). Everybody was having fun, the Yankees were up 5-4, and the bullpen was pitching scoreless baseball. The only sour note was that Vasquez was given a quick hook again. (Would it have been so horrendous for Girardi to leave him in for another inning? I feel sorry for Javy at this point.) Oh, and there was that abysmal call at second base where replays showed that Jeter clearly tagged Kinsler. But OK, we could win this. I felt pretty good. And then Joba served up this.
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And Nelson Cruz ate it up to tie the score. From then on it was the battle of the pens, and I started getting really tired and cranky. My guests had gone home. I had dishes to wash and leftovers to put away. I wanted to go to sleep – with the game firmly in the win column. Instead, I sat there like an idiot watching us strand runner after runner. It was sickening. It seemed inevitable that Gaudin would serve Cruz a meatball too, and all those wasted opportunities would end in disaster. I hated the game. I hated that I stayed up late to watch the game. I hated that my evening with friends – my end-of-vacation thank-you dinner to them – was tainted.
Or was it? There was still the Yankees cake, and we really enjoyed it. Not only did it look great but it tasted incredible. Underneath the cap was a moist chocolate dessert with creamy vanilla frosting – three layers worth! 

Jorge’s Head And My Nervous System

Today’s game nearly drove me nuts.
I was up after the Yankees went up over the O’s 1-0. 
I was down after Wieters hit that homer because Nova had pitched so well. 
I was up after we had a rally going in the 7th and it looked like we’d come back.
I was down after Cervelli swung at the first pitch and killed the rally.
I was up after watching Joba take the mound in the 9th and throw the ball like he used to.
I was down after wondering why Girardi didn’t use Posada in place of Cervelli back in the 7th.
I was up – way, way up – after A-Rod led off the 9th with a solid single and Swish smacked a walkoff. In fact, I danced around the room and yelled “Yaaaay” like an idiot.
And then I was down after reading that Posada might have a concussion.
And then I was up again after reading that he didn’t have one and was day to day.
The point is that I now need a vacation from my vacation because I don’t feel very rested at all.
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