Hi guys, it's Stacey. Long time, no see. In case you don't follow me on Twitter, don't listen to the podcast and didn't hear the news, my dad is fighting to survive in a New York City hospital and because of what's been happening with him, watching baseball and more specifically, writing about it, has taken a bit of a backseat in my life.
Until this morning.
My dad is the one who introduced me to baseball. He took me to my first games, he taught me how to score and if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't be writing about baseball so it has been hard for me to sit and watch games knowing he's in a hospital bed with lines stuck into his body and tubes shoved down his throat. The thing that upsets me the most is that this is a man who has never been seriously ill. He worked for 42 years, never took a day off and the most he ever had wrong with him was a bad cold. Seeing him so vulnerable in a hospital bed with a feeding tube in his nose, a ventilator hooked up to his body and his eyes glassed over has been upsetting, stressful and awful for all of us.
But last night, my brother made me turn on the game and I reluctantly sat down to watch it. I hadn't watched an entire game since my dad first went into the hospital on August 18th and it felt a bit strange to do so. I have only seen bits and pieces and have looked at some highlights but I hadn't been able to sit down and actually watch a game in so long that I almost forgot how to do it. I even felt slightly antsy and a bit uncomfortable.
As you know from watching it yourselves, it was a typical Yankees-Red Sox contest. The Red Sox went up early but the Yankees fought back to tie the game then time seemed to stop and the game felt like it was taking forever.
When the Red Sox went up 4-3 on Brock Holt's homer, I didn't feel like it was a completely hopeless situation but I wasn't exactly confident that the Yankees would be able to make a comeback either and yet, as the bullpen kept putting up zeros, I thought, "They just need a bloop and a blast!" Of course, I then laughed at myself for even believing that could happen because as we've seen this season, asking for a home run from this lineup is a pretty tall order. Sure, the occasional long ball will happen from time to time but the current Yankees are not the Yankees squads of 2009-2012 that had players batting in the low to mid .200's who were still able to drive the ball out of the Stadium.
As the bottom of the ninth started, I - and everyone else in the fan base - were thinking that Mark Teixeira was due. Actually, no, he was due due having not rounded the bases since before my dad was even taken to the hospital. And you know who else was due? Koji Uehara. He was definitely due for a fall back to earth. His 2013 was a dream season and he played a huge role in the Sox winning the World Series but it definitely wasn't sustainable as the Red Sox have rudely found out in 2014.
Luckily for us, both of those things happened: Uehara hung a pitch and Tex launched it into section 205 to tie the game. As he rounded the bases in his goofy, cartoon character-like way, I thought "Good, at least they're showing some fight and tied the game but will they actually win it now?" And while Brian McCann, who has been a big disappointment this season made an out for the first out of the inning, he hit the ball to left field and the contact he made gave me some hope that Uehara would hang another pitch and that someone could do some damage and end the game.
Paging Chase Headley! Come in Chase Headley.
If my brother were home with me last night, he would have said something like, "He's hanging his pitches. Headley can do this. He just has to pick the right pitch." And then I would have pessimistically said, "Yeah, okay."
When Headley hit Uehara's 3-2 pitch for the game winning home run, I felt a kind of happiness that I hadn't experienced in a while. My reactions to any improvements my dad has made have been measured because I don't want to be disappointed if they don't pan out. But last night, I allowed myself to enjoy the Yankees' win.
It does seem a little silly. My dad is in the hospital, and his recovery has been arduous. It also seems like every time he makes progress, he takes a step back the next day but in that way, he's similar to the 2014 Yankees. They will win a few games, give us hope that they could possibly make a run and then they fall back to earth.
The result of last night's game also gave me some hope. Everyone keeps declaring the Yankees' season over and they somehow, someway keep stubbornly staying alive and maybe the same thing will happen for my dad. He's fought for this long so hopefully there's still a bit of fight left in him too because as old our friend Yogi Berra once famously said, "It ain't over til it's over," and it ain't over for the Yankees and more importantly, for my dad.