Game 155: NYY vs. TOR — Ending the road with a whimper… and a sliver of hope

Wow, that’s not what you want. Especially when there’s still a postseason up for grabs. But it is what it is. So there you go.

Enough clichés.

The Yankees closed out their final road game sputtering a bit. Jaime Garcia still really hasn’t found his footing as a Yankee, and today’s finale in Toronto was no exception. He threw 60 pitches into the 3rd inning, gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, and struck out 4 batters. Trouble began when his 2nd pitch became a lead-off solo home run (the 3rd time this particular player has done so this series, by the way).

In the 2nd, a lead-off double stole 3rd and then scored on a sacrifice fly. And then he got into some real trouble in the 3rd. With 1 out, he loaded up the bases with a double and 2 consecutive walks. That would be it for Garcia. The Yankees weren’t about to take any chances. And things looked good for Holder, immediately get a pop out. But then a solid bases-clearing double (runs charged to Garcia) solidified the Blue Jays growing lead. And then Heller got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Bryan Mitchell certainly didn’t help in the 4th inning. He gave up a single and a walk to get things started. Then a single scored one run, a wild pitch moved runner to scoring position, and another walk loaded the bases. Another single scored another run. And then things got interesting as a single scored 2 runners, but then another runner got greedy and was thrown out at home. The Blue Jays challenged the play as a violation of the home plate collusion rule, but the call was upheld. Out at home.

Heller came in to close out the inning with a double play and then had a pretty good 5th inning. Sadly, the first good inning of the game today. But the pattern of struggles was broken. Gallegos’ 6th and 7th innings kept the Jays from adding to their big lead. Betances continued that through his scoreless 8th inning.

But it’s not like the Yankees were exactly quiet on their end. They didn’t get a big opportunity until the 4th inning. Headley and Judge worked walks to lead off the inning. Didi Gregorius’ single scored Headley to get the Yankees on the board. Castro hit into a fielder’s choice that was originally called a double play. The Yankees’ challenged, and Castro was safe a 1st. But 2 outs later, the runners were stranded on the corners.

Aaron Judge led off the 6th inning with a solo home run, his 47th of the season. Two outs later, Ellsbury hit a ground-rule double up the middle, and after walking Frazier, the Blue Jays pulled their starter. The first reliever promptly gave up a double to Greg Bird, which scored Ellsbury. That’s all he got, and the Blue Jays went back to their bullpen.

He got out of the 6th and started the 7th. With 1 out, Headley singled. And then Aaron Judge did it again — another homer, his 48th, his 2nd of the game — a 2-run home run over the left field wall. Suddenly, the Yankees were within striking distance. But then the Jays went to their bullpen again.

And that’s all they’d write in Toronto.

Final score: 9-5 Blue Jays, Blue Jays win series 2-1.

Aaron Judge is just 1 home run shy of the rookie record. In 1987, a young power-hitting Oakland player named Mark McGwire hit 49 home runs in his rookie season. Now, the only AL team Judge hasn’t homered off this season is the Royals, which they play a make-up game tomorrow afternoon back in the Bronx. And wouldn’t that make a really cool story — homering off the Royals (and thus all the AL teams) and tying the rookie record doing so. And if we’re being honest, there’s still 6 more games beyond that for Judge to make that rookie record his.

The Yankees slipped to 5 games behind the Red Sox, reducing the magic number for the Red Sox to clinch the AL East to 3. Yeah, that means the Red Sox need to win just 3 more games or the Yankees need to lose 3 more to hand over the division to the Red Sox. In other words, they need to not play like they did today.

But I believe it can happen. Because… why not? Weirder things have happened. The Yankees were supposed to win in 2004. I mean, they were up 3 games over the Red Sox, and they just needed 1 more game to clinch. And then the Red Sox just took over. Ah, memories all of Yankee Universe would prefer to forget…

But it can happen. I mean, it’s not like they’re not already going to the postseason…

Go Yankees!

Game 149: BAL vs. NYY — A rather “Gray Sonday”

It actually started off this afternoon as a bit cloudy over the stadium. I mean, it progressively got sunnier and the late afternoon shadows started creeping across the field as they always do on sunny matinee game days. The Yankees were hoping for a sweep of the Orioles in today’s finale of their 4-game series, but it was not to be. As sunny as it was today, it wasn’t so much for the Sonny on the mound today.

Sonny Gray got the start, throwing 80 pitches in just 4 innings. He gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs, striking out just 4 Orioles’ batters. In the 2nd, Gray gave up a 1-out double that moved to 3rd on a ground out and later scored on an RBI single to get the O’s on the board early. A 1-out single in the 3rd scored on a 2-out double to double their score. And in the 4th, the Orioles worked a lead-off walk and a 2-out single that moved up to scoring position on a wild pitch and then promptly scored on a big 3-run home run.

With that rather substantial lead, the Yankees turned to their bullpen in the form of Bryan Mitchell for the 5th inning. He gave up consecutive singles that put runners in the corners. A fielder’s choice ended up scoring the lead runner to cap off the Orioles’ runs today. But then Mitchell found his groove and settled into a nice pattern through the next 2 innings. Betances and Kahnle closed out the final 2 innings with flawless pitching, just 10 and 11 pitches (respectively) in each inning.

So, all the Yankees had to do was make up for it. And they were facing the one starter in the league with the highest ERA. Who, apparently, decided to have a pretty good day, unfortunately for the Yankees. In his 5 innings, he only gave up 3 hits and a walk and a 2nd inning lead-off solo home run to Didi Gregorius. (And by the way, the lady who got Gregorius’ home run ball couldn’t be happier!)

The Yankees found a few opportunities to advance once the Orioles got into their bullpen. In the 6th, Sanchez worked a 1-out walk and moved to 2nd on Castro’s 2-out single. Both then scored on Matt Holliday’s double. And Judge led-off the 8th with a double, moved to 3rd when Gregorius reached safely thanks to a throwing error, and then scored on Starlin Castro’s sacrifice fly {No media link}. But the Yankees weren’t able to do much more than that. And it wasn’t enough.

Final score: 6-4 Orioles, Yankees win series 3-1.

Injury updates: there are a few Yankees who are stuck on the disabled list, but the Yankees. Adam Warren has been out since September 3 (officially) with back issues and is threw some long toss prior to yesterday’s game with no issues. Warren has been an effective part of the bullpen, usually solid for long-term relief, so his hole on the roster has definitely been felt. They are hopeful that he will be back in the ‘pen before the end of the season, however.

Aaron Hicks is still recovering from his oblique injury, doing some minor workouts to get back into the momentum of coming back soon. He was briefly sidelined from his recovery due to strep throat last week, but the Yankees are hopeful that successful batting practice in the next few days will open the door to his return to pinstripes shortly thereafter.

Roster moves: reliever Caleb Smith is currently battling a viral infection, so the Yankees placed him on the 10-day DL yesterday, retroactive to September 13 (the last time he pitched in a game). Reliever Domingo German was recalled AAA Scranton to fill in Smith’s spot in the bullpen.

Postseason Prep: Okay, so despite the Yankees’ loss today, there is some good news. The Red Sox also lost their game today (thanks, Rays!), so the standings remain the same. Not that the steady spot in the standings is what you want, but it’s better than the Red Sox gaining in their lead over the Yankees in the AL East.

If the standings remain the same, the Yankees will face the Twins for the one-off Wild Card game following the regular season. The Twins are on their way to New York for a 3-game mid-week series, so people are watching how this series pans out. The Yankees are hoping to gain ground on the Red Sox and push the Twins further down the standings. But the Twins are hoping to gain ground on the Yankees and close the gap between the potential Wild Card teams. Now, as of posting, the Twins are dominating the Blue Jays, and their assumed win will mean they are just 4 games behind the Yankees. It’s going to be a rather tight final 2 weeks of this season.

But that’s what makes it rather fun!

Go Yankees!

Game 146: BAL vs. NYY — Batting practice during #TanakaTime

Well, the Yankees are back home, a short 10 miles from the Tampa Bay’s temporary home this week. And they are hosting the visiting Orioles for this 4-game weekend series.

Masahiro Tanaka got the start for tonight’s game, throwing 102 pitches through his 7 innings. He gave up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs, striking out 8 Baltimore batters. Both allowed runs were solo home runs — a lead-off home run in the 4th and a 1-out solo shot in the 6th. Basically, Tanaka was back into fine form tonight, setting himself up for the eventual win.

And the Yankees’ offense certainly gave Tanaka enough room to work within. In the 1st inning, Ellsbury led-off with a single, moved to 3rd on Judge’s single, and then scored on Gary Sanchez’s double. Matt Holliday’s ground out was the first out of the inning and still scored Judge. Chase Headley’s single scored Sanchez, and Gregorius then singled. That set up Todd Frazier’s big 3-run home run up the middle to secure the Yankees’ early lead and end the Orioles’ starter’s night with just 1 out in the very 1st inning.

A new reliever shut down the Yankees until the 4th inning when Clint Frazier led-off with a single, and Ellsbury worked a walk. They both then scored as part of Aaron Judge’s 3-run home run. A new reliever once again sailed his way through the 5th, but then found trouble in the 6th against the charging Yankees. Clint Frazier led-off with a walk, and Ellsbury worked another walk. And once again, it would be Aaron Judge for another 3-run home run, his 43rd homer of the season. Gary Sanchez then followed it up with a solo home run of his own.

Finally, the Yankees stopped the charge forward, but the Yankee pitchers needed to keep up the momentum. Though they struggled in their own right. In the 8th, Bryan Mitchell came on to relieve Tanaka. The lead-off batter singled, moved to 2nd and 3rd on consecutive ground outs, and then scored on an RBI double. Another double then scored that base runner. Coming on in the 9th, Giovanni Gallegos gave up a lead-off solo home run to give the O’s just one more run tonight.

Final score: 13-5 Yankees.

Okay, there is a meme/video/picture going around of a man from Monday’s game who is giving a thumbs-down to the Yankees’ offense. Todd Frazier picked up on the man’s staid show and actually gave him a thumbs-down on Monday when he got his 3-run home run that night. Well, it continued tonight with Frazier giving a thumbs-down when he got his home run tonight, and the Yankees’ dugout was doing the same as if it were how they cheered on good things that happened to their teammates. All with big smiles on their faces, of course.

And in Yankees doing good things around the City news… Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances teamed up with Mr. Peanut and Boxed (a wholesale company) and found Yankee fans. They asked them a few questions, and fans with correct answers ended up winning tickets to a Yankees’ game. Plus, they got to hang out with, hug, and selfie with Gregorius and Betances.

Postseason outlook: I’m starting this section as we’re winding down the season, and I want to keep you informed on what’s going on so you’re not surprised when all of these teams suddenly enter the picture in a few weeks. So, the biggest story is that the Indians are currently at 22 straight wins after tonight’s extra innings win against the Royals. They are definitely on a roll, and I can’t imagine that bodes well for any of the other teams looking for AL pre-postseason momentum themselves. (Including the Yankees.)

I imagine I’ll see posts of this in my timeline tomorrow from my family who are avid Cleveland fans, donning their continued (and well-deserved, if I’m being honest) hashtag #Windians. (Also, I still think I like “Believeland” better.)

Fun joke at the expense of my Cleveland family: You know why the Yankees don’t need cheesy hashtags to promote their wins and prove they’re actually winning? The Yankees don’t need to self-promote or convince people they’re good because everyone already equates Yankees with winning. (…cheesy dad joke groan, rimshot, and sad trombone sound…)

Go Yankees!

 

Game 140: NYY vs. TEX — Dropping an easy lead doesn’t help postseason hopes

Both the Rangers and Yankees are battling for the postseason, so this weekend’s series is extremely important for both teams for very different reasons. The Yankees are hoping to breathe down the Red Sox’s neck and possibly snag that lead spot from them in the AL East and force them to be the first Wild Card spot. The Rangers are just a few games out of the second Wild Card spot and hoping to up their game wins to finagle a chance for the postseason. It’s that time of year where anything can happen, and it usually does.

The Yankees struck first against the Rangers in tonight’s opener at Arlington, giving themselves a nice lead early in the game. Perhaps a bit too early. In the 2nd, they quickly loaded up the bases thanks to 2 singles and a throwing error and no outs. Jacoby Ellsbury singled home one, and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to walk in another run. Two outs later, Gary Sanchez singled and scored 2 more runs, but Frazier was out on his way to 3rd base to end the inning. And with 2 outs in the 3rd, Didi Gregorius followed up that big inning with a nice solo home run to cap off the Yankees’ run tonight. {Media note: for some reason, the only clip for Gregorius’ home run in the Espanol version.}

So with that nice, hefty lead, the Yankees looked to their starter, Masahiro Tanaka, who just needed to maintain a semblance of order from the mound. But instead, he left far too many pitches up and not enough in Sanchez’s catcher’s mitt. Pitching into the 5th inning, Tanaka threw 81 pitches, gave up 8 hits and 7 runs, and still struck out 7 Texas batters. A solo home run led off the 2nd to put the Rangers on the board. And they chipped away at the lead in the 3rd. A 1-out single scored on a nice double, and then that runner scored on another double.

In the 5th, a lead-off single promptly scored on a double, and a single put runners in the corners, who then moved up a base on a wild pitch scoring the tying run. After another allowed double, and still no outs in the inning, Tanaka was done for the night, still responsible for the 2 runners on base. Tommy Kahnle came in and gave up a single that scored both those runners to give the Rangers the lead. Chasen Shreve came on for the final out of the inning before throwing a scoreless 6th.

Oh, but the damage was done yet. Caleb Smith had a rather rough going when he came on in the 7th. He quickly loaded up the bases with a single, wild pitch, walk, and another single before getting the hook himself. Ben Heller then tried to keep things under control but struggled himself. A sacrifice fly scored one run, and a single another. But it would be the 2-run triple to cap off the night for the Rangers and finalize their now solid lead over the Yankees. Bryan Mitchell came on to close out that inning before finding a scoreless 8th.

The Yankee batters after that 3rd inning struggled to do much more with their offense. The Rangers’ pitchers effectively shut them down for the final third of the game, including a 3-strikeout 9th inning that made the home crowd very happy. Yankee pitchers gave up 15 hits, despite their 11 total strikeouts, while the Yankee batter managed just 8 hits (all off the Rangers’ starter and all far too early in the game).

Final score: 11-5 Rangers

Austin Romine sat out tonight’s game as a result of his suspension appeal after the melee in Detroit a few weeks ago. Romine was the one who the upset Tigers’ batter initially felt compelled to take out his aggressions on that started the whole benches-clearing incident. Originally issued a 2-game suspension, upon appeal, it was reduced to a single game, which he took tonight. Fortunately, the Yankees missed no solid catching time, as Sanchez just came off his own sentence from the same incident to catch tonight’s game.

And looking ahead, with yet another hurricane barreling down on the southeast, safety is always a priority. The Yankees were originally scheduled to play the Rays in St. Petersburg right after this series in Texas, but it looks like Hurricane Irma may cause some problems for the state of Florida and most of its upcoming sporting events are being rescheduled or relocated. Out of consideration, the Mets have opened their home field to the teams for the games as they will be hitting the road themselves after this weekend. Tampa area fans with tickets can find out information about refunds and exchanges, while New York area fans can get tickets to the series at Citi Field beginning tomorrow (Sept. 9) at 10 am.

Go Yankees!

Game 134: BOS vs. NYY — September off to a stunted start

And just like that fortunes reversed. September begins, and the Yankees are still in heated contention with the Red Sox (and a few other teams) for the postseason. Sonny Gray got the start tonight, and certainly had mixed results. On one hand, he struck out 9 Boston batters in just 7 innings, but on the other, he gave up 4 runs.

Gray threw 98 pitches in those 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and a walk. And those pesky 4 runs, all scored on home runs. In the 3rd, he allowed his lone walk before a home run scored both runners to put the Red Sox in the lead. A 2-out solo home run in the 5th and a lead-off solo shot in the 7th added those 2 more runs for the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, the Yankees kicked off the offense in the 1st when Brett Gardner hit a lead-off double and then scored on Aaron Judge’s double. Then they struggled with much offense, only getting 2 more hits and a walk off the Red Sox’s starter in his 7 innings.

Aroldis Chapman’s 8th inning was almost perfect, where he got all 3 outs as strikeouts. And Adam Warren kept the Red Sox from adding to their score with a 14-pitch 9th. But unfortunately, the Red Sox’s relievers for both innings followed the example and threw 2 scoreless innings as well, leaving the Yankees in the dust.

Final score: 4-1 Red Sox

Before the game today, former Yankee legend (and Grammy-nominated classically trained guitarist) Bernie Williams performed an amazing version of the national anthem as Little Leaguers from the area who narrowly missed representing the US in the recent Little League World Series joined Yankee players all over the field to be honored for their success this season.

Roster moves: just in time for the September call-ups, the Yankees activated Matt Holliday from the DL, after his recovery from a back injury. They also transferred pitcher Luis Cessa, who is still dealing with his ribcage injury, from the 10-day to the 60-day DL, effectively removing him off the 40-man roster. This made room for the Yankees to select the contract of newly acquired Erik Kratz, promoting him from AAA Scranton.

They also recalled pitchers Jordan Montgomery, Ben Heller, and Bryan Mitchell from AAA Scranton. There is still room for additions this month, but the Yankees also want the RailRiders to work on their own upcoming postseason and potential repeat of their championship in a few weeks. They finish their season on Monday as division leaders (by 7 1/2 games!).

Like the big leagues, the team with the most wins will face the winner of the Wild Card games (to be played on Wednesday and Thursday). The RailRiders are ready for that role unless they get swept by the Phillies’ AAA team. Their Division Series (best of 5) begins next weekend. Their Championship Series is shortly after that (beginning September 12) for the “Governor’s Cup”. And the ultimate championship game between the Pacific Coast League and the International League (where the RailRiders play) to be played on September 19 at PNC Park (the RailRiders’ home park). Best of luck to you guys once again in your postseason!

Go Yankees!

Game 124: NYY vs. DET — Bronx Bombers in Motor City

Well, that certainly made up for some Fenway failure this last weekend. So tonight’s opener against the Tigers in Detroit was a mix between some pretty great pitching and some just stellar offense.

Recently activated off the DL, tonight’s starter was Masahiro Tanaka, who threw 90 pitches in his 7 innings. He gave up 6 hits, no walks, and 3 runs, striking out just 4 Detroit batters. In the 3rd, a lead-off single scored on a 2-out double to get the Tigers on the board. And a 1-out double in the 7th scored as part of a 2-run homer for a few more runs for the home team.

Chasen Shreve continued a pretty good start with 2 innings of his own to close out the game. One of the 2 allowed hits was a 2-out solo inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to add one more run for the Tigers in tonight’s game.

Meanwhile, the Yankees kicked off tonight’s game by making a big offensive show and then continuing to do so throughout the game, just dominating the Tigers all night. The first 3 pitchers for the Tigers only pitched 2 1/3 innings a piece, struggling to get control of the game. In the 1st inning, Hicks hit a 1-out single and then scored on Gary Sanchez’s monster 2-run home run, a 493 foot shot nearly hitting the big scoreboard out in left field (more below). Then Judge works a walk and ends up at 3rd on Gregorius’ double before scoring on Tyler Austin’s sacrifice fly.

In the 3rd, in a pseudo-moment of deja vu, Judge worked a lead-off walk, moved to 2nd on Gregorius’ single, and then scored on Tyler Austin’s single. Todd Frazier hit a deep 1-out triple that scored both Gregorius and Austin. {No media link, sorry!} That was the end of the Tigers’ starter, but the new reliever gave up a sacrifice fly to Torreyes that scored the waiting Frazier from 3rd.

Consecutive singles led-off the 5th, and a force out at 2nd put runners on the corners. A belated fielder’s choice (though it looked more like a fielding error) allowed Hicks to reach safely and also scored Frazier. Aaron Judge’s single scored Gardner and kicked another Tigers’ pitcher out of the game.

Gardner tripled to lead-off the 7th and then scored as part of Aaron Hicks’ 13th home run of the season, a 2-run shot into the right field seats. And Wade hit a lead-off single in the 9th and scored as part of Gary Sanchez’s second home run of the game, his 25th of the season to just solidify the Yankees’ huge lead in tonight’s game.

Final score: 13-4 Yankees

Tonight, Gary Sanchez hit two big home runs. His first onefirst one in the 1st inning was a 493 foot shot, the second longest home run of 2017. Second to his teammate Aaron Judge, who hit a 495 foot homer back in June.

And speaking of Aaron Judge, he has been on a weird streak in the last month. In the last 37 games, he struck out at least once in every game, breaking former strikeout streaks (mostly by players even I’ve never heard of). So with tonight’s line score reading much better — going 1-for-1, with 3 walks, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI — I’m sure he’s glad that strikeout streak is done. Not exactly the best thing to have the record for, but I’m guessing the 37 home runs so far this year is the one we’ll remember more.

Roster moves: after Sunday’s game, the Yankees optioned reliever Bryan Mitchell back to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in anticipation for tonight’s move. They activated tonight’s starter Masahiro Tanaka from the 10-day disabled list, after dealing with some shoulder inflammation.

Go Yankees!

Game 120: NYY vs. NYM — Kings of New York in the #SubwaySeries

Call it a sweep either way, but the Yankees are the winners of the Subway Series. Light up the Empire State Building, celebrate with a pint at the local bar, and rest up. Because now the Yankees head to Fenway to face the red-hot Red Sox yet again.

And a good portion of why tonight’s game was so successful was thanks to starter Luis Severino (who still needs a proper hashtag, Yankee Universe). He threw 106 pitches into the 7th inning, gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 1 unearned run, and struck out 9 Mets batters. That lone run came in the final inning for Severino, the 7th. With 1 out, a batter reached on a fielding error and then advanced all the way to 3rd on a messy wild pitch before scoring easily on a single.

So the Yankees turned to Chasen Shreve to close out the 7th and breeze his way through the 8th inning, adding 3 more strikeouts to the count.

The Yankees also gave Severino (and the rest of the pitching staff) a nice cushion with their offense that only sparked in 2 innings all night. In the 1st, Gardner led off and reached on a throwing error and Hicks worked a walk. Gary Sanchez then hit a 1-out 3-run home run to get the Yankees on the board early.

Then in the 4th, the Yankees loaded up the bases with singles by Austin, Torreyes, and Severino (yes, he pitches and hits!). Brett Gardner’s double scored 2 runs to keep the momentum going. With 1 out, the Yankees loaded up the bases again when Judge was hit by a pitch. That was the end of the Mets’ starter, but the first reliever gave up a single to Sanchez that scored 2 more runs for the Yankees.

And with that now hefty lead, the Yankees’ bullpen and defense spent the remainder of the game defending that. Any chances of adding to it were shut out by a surprisingly good showing by the Mets’ bullpen tonight.

So, into the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees needed just a quick 3 outs to get out with the game and earn that sweep. But Bryan Mitchell was having one of those days you don’t want to have in cases like this. He threw just 12 pitches, gave up a double, a single, and a walk to load up the bases before giving up a beautiful grand slam to a certain former Yankee. It put the Mets within striking distance, so the Yankees put a call into their bullpen for a life-preserver of sorts.

It would be Dellin Betances — 11 pitches, 3 outs, 8th save of the season. Game over, sweep won.

Final score: 7-5 Yankees, Yankees sweep Mets 4-0 (or 2-0 if you count the two 2-game series separately)

Injury news: Garrett Cooper was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to tendonitis in his left hamstring, after reporting some discomfort following yesterday’s game. In his place, the Yankees recalled Tyler Austin, who started tonight’s game at 1st base. Austin made his MLB debut with the Yankees a year ago this week, and is now back after battling injuries for most of this season — a broken ankle and strained hamstring.

And now, we’re off to Boston. Fingers crossed that we can narrow that 4 game lead in the AL East that the Red Sox currently hold over the Yankees. They’re also hoping to broaden their own lead in the Wild Card race.

Over halfway through August means that there’s only about 6 weeks left of the season, and the Yankees have made it clear that not making the postseason is a failed season. And with the loaded roster, it’s hard to believe the Yankees won’t make October baseball. It’s certainly still up in the air as to where they’ll land to play in the postseason. Only one team in the league is talking about being eliminated from contention right now, as most divisions are still very up in the air.

But isn’t that what makes this time of year kind of fun? The unknown is still very alive. Anything really is possible. And that’s just kind of wonderful.

Go Yankees!

{Personal note: Charlottesville, Sierra Leone, Barcelona, the USS Fitzgerald, and far too many places in this world… Cherish the moments you have and the people you are privileged to share them with; life is too short to cling to hate and anger and exist in placid passivity. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones in these recent tragedies.}