Monday, August 10, 2015 was an off day. The team flew out to Cleveland, to begin a series with the Indians the following day. Joe Girardi was not on the plane. He was no longer manager of the Yankees.
He was widely viewed as an interim sacrificial lamb, a placeholder until a manager with some gravitas could be plucked from the ranks of the unemployed or free agents before the 2016 season. He hoped to prove the naysayers wrong, much as two controversial earlier choices (Buck Showalter and Joe Torre) had done.
On Wednesday evening, August, 12, 2015, I ate at a Caribbean food truck on Ontario Street just outside of Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. I awoke in the middle of the night with a very pronounced case of food poisoning. After struggling for an hour or so in my room, I called my wife looking for help, as though she could hold my hand at 4 AM from afar, then contacted the front desk asking for suggestions, I ended up taking a cab at 5AM to an emergency room. I was in the hospital most of the day, and was discharged late in the afternoon.
Too weak to even consider spending the night at a ballpark, I now missed my fifth game of the year, and my fourth in less than ten days. At this rate, it was a toss up as to who had the worse record, the Yankees or me.
When the conversation turned to me, and how I found myself sitting in that particular locale, I was advised that it was not the food, but the Yankees that had made me so ill. I could hardly put up a fight, both because of my weakened condition and the state of the squad that I had now followed, at least most of the time, for almost four and one half months.
Thankfully, at least on this night, victory was ours. Jacoby Ellsbury hit two home runs, only the third time this year that anyone on the Yanks had accomplished that feat in one game, drove in six runs, and the final score read 8 to 5.
In 11th grade I was known as a pretty good soccer player. Captain of my team, I was being counted on to be its most prolific scorer. After the third game, I developed a small rash under my chin. When it persisted for several days, I went to a doctor for a diagnosis. I was informed that I had impetigo. I rested for the remainder of the season, almost two months, for what was quite candidly, not much more overwhelming than a pimple.
As I lay in bed that night, I worried if I would be strong enough to continue on the road trip. I am sure the following morning my family was in contact with one another, chronicling my episode and laughing at my latest version of impetigo,