The One-Game Playoff Survival Kit

Masahiro Tanaka

The day that Major League Baseball announced there would be a five-team playoff format with a one-game playoff for the wild card, I began to worry. I knew at some point this new system would backfire and force the Yankees into nerve-racking wild-card situation, and after Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays, it’s official: the Yankees are going to the one-game playoff.

I have long been afraid of the game that’s going to take place at Yankee Stadium (if the Yankees don’t blow this lead as well) in 12 days. One game to determine the Yankees’ season. One game to decide if they will go on to play the Royals (or Blue Jays if they keep winning) in the ALDS, or if they will go home like the other 10 postseason-less AL teams after playing just one postseason game. If the game is anything like Tuesday and Wednesday in Toronto, I’m not sure if I’ll make it mentally, physically or emotionally. That’s why I have come up with a One-Game Playoff Survival Kit to get through the one-game playoff and the potential letdown of the one-game playoff.

Oxygen Tank and Mask

Oxygen Tank

This is the most important item to have. Between panic attacks and hyperventilating, breathing into a brown paper bag isn’t going to cut it. I figure the one-game playoff will about three hours. That means I will need six 30-minute tanks to get through it. If it goes past three hours, it will probably have gone to extra innings and that means I will probably have passed out, so I won’t need additional tanks.

Bottles of Water

Poland Spring

If the Yankees lose the one-game playoff, I plan on going off the grid and into hiding for an extended period of time because the season will be over and the Mets’ postseason won’t have even started yet. Since I don’t plan on leaving my bunker indefinitely, I’m going to need water and a lot of it to stay alive.

Flashlight and Batteries

Flashlight and Batteries

I would like to think there will be light or electricity wherever I’m hiding, but you never know. Flashlights and batteries are always recommended in planning survival for natural disasters and after blowing an eight-game division lead and losing (if it happens) the one-game playoff, well that’s basically a natural disaster.

Old Cell Phone

Cell Phone

I won’t be watching cable or going on the Internet or using technology of any kind and I will be cutting off my connection to the world. However, I might need to make a call here or there in the event of an emergency, so a flip phone that doesn’t have Internet capabilities will work.

Clif Bars

Clif Bars

I’m not even sure if I’ve had one of these. If I have, I’ve had only one or part or one or a bite of one. They might taste awful for all I know, but I know they don’t go bad and astronauts eat them in space, so if they’re good enough for space, they’re good enough for me.

Cliff Lee Sad Songs Playlist

There’s a good chance the Yankees face the Astros in the one-game playoff, and if that happens, the Yankees are most likely going to face Dallas Keuchel. In two starts against the Yankees this season, Keuchel is 2-0 with this pitching line: 16 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 21 K. Keuchel is Cliff Lee 2.0 against the Yankees and this means the Astros need to not be in the one-game playoff.

The songs I used to cope with Cliff Lee choosing the Phillies over the Yankees in 2010 will help me deal with another enormous disaster. But once I have let all of the sad emotions run their course, I will need a pick-me-up and that is …

Christmas Music

Frank Sinatra

I’m against listening to Christmas music outside of Christmas season, but Christmas music puts me in the best mood, so I’m all for breaking my own rule to overcome potential heartbreak and devastation.

2009 Yankees World Series DVD


Six years feels like forever. It might as well have been 60 years at this point. The 2010 ALCS loss thanks to Cliff, who should have been a Yankee. The 2011 ALDS loss thanks to no one getting a hit with the bases loaded in Game 5. The 2012 ALCS loss thanks to Mark Teixeira, A-Rod, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher. The 2013 and 2014 seasons thanks to injuries. 2009 was a long time ago, so it’s time relive it.

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty by Buster Olney

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

Sure, the title sounds depressing, but the book actually takes you through the creation of the most recent Yankees dynasty. And when you’re stuck watching a team that includes Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley, reading about and remembering a better time is necessary.

Alcohol … Any Kind


Beer, wine, whiskey, gin, rum, vodka, tequila, Twisted Tea, wine coolers, you name it and I will be sure to have it in stock to get through this. I have never been someone to just drink a glass of straight whiskey or tequila, but I think that’s going to have to change within the next two weeks.