Sports

About The Dodger Blue(s): An Open Letter in a Time When Open Letters are Flooding Your Feed

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Game 7 of the World Series last night—proving that baseball and the doormen of America’s pastime, the sanctity of its historical lore, care nothing for the Blue Heart emoji or the less-happy ones thereafter.

Baseball is the house and the house won—and the Houston Astros won, too. There should be a universal congratulations to that team, that city, and so on, from near and far. Because they were an outstanding ball club, one that has been built over years—not month-to-month HOLY PAYOLAS, as we are accustomed to seeing in baseball (and other major sports).

So, congrats to Houston. To the city, the team, the fans, to the Jose Altuve’s of the world—don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t reach that peanut butter on the top shelf, or reach for your dreams, either. You go for your dreams and eat your peanut butter.

Now, about those Dodgers…

The Dodgers rolled into the finale as what could be coined as the Greatest Sliced Bread Since the Things About Sliced Bread were Coined, and holy shit, it was so much more. More BREAD! Carbs! Carbs in a town that looks at carbs in the same way a greedy dictator views the payout when you pass Go in Monopoly.

But anyway, the point is, the Dodgers had momentum. The “look.” And fueled by a “meh, not solid contact, but that’s F’ing baseball” hit in Game 6, off the bat of Chris Taylor, this team—and town—were sent into a frenzy. Bars were filled by the Prius-loads, blue as far as the eye could see. (I don’t have my numbers in front of me, but I seriously doubt there is a single can of Pabst Blue Ribbon left in the Echo Park/Silverlake area…until next Monday’s delivery, of course.)

But I digress with such trivial beer speak, because the real focus from that kind of profit and loss is the beauty of sport and what it can do in an instant, the power it has to bring together people who know nothing of baseball (this includes a number of Cubs fans) and the diehards, and for several hours the collective becomes the beating heart before one’s favorite guitar solo at a concert. Thump, thump…thump-ety thump.

Game 7 was that perfect moment, the perfect setting, an outline for what seemed to be one hell of a nice script: all of the elements set in place and ready for ACTION!

Tommy Lasorda was there. Vin Scully was in the seats; reminding most fans that, even though he wasn’t calling this great game, it didn’t mean we couldn’t hear that iconic voice in our head, the interwoven grace of storytelling while calling the critical moments that is second to none in baseball—regardless if you hate him, hate the Dodgers, or not.

Sandy Koufax was courtside, reminding Dodger fans of what once was, and what could be relinquished to another lefty named Clayton Kershaw. Magic Johnson was close by, reminding us that he’ll pick up the tab.

Jason Bateman was there, and that’s fun on many levels.

John Hamm was there, too, in his St. Louis Cardinals hat. Which reminds me:

Yeah, the moment was meant for the Dodgers. For Mary Hart. For Larry King. For the guy who I always think is Jeff Bridges’ agent from the film Crazy Heart. For the people who have DirectTv, who are forced to watch Rockies games on the alternative channels. For the men and women who battle Sunset Blvd. traffic, the hell of going two miles in one hour, that goddamn Alvarado intersection—I mean, what the actual fuck?! For THEM, especially.

For those who know the shortcut past The Short Stop, for those who park and walk and then Uber and then walk and then walk some more…all of you, one town, one glorious misunderstanding by the national naysayers, who don’t know the passion there is for this team, for this game. Lakers NOT be thy name!

Unfortunately, the Baseball Gods weren’t interested in any of this. They looked at the shooting script and didn’t see what the rest of us were seeing. They saw Titanic in a way James did not. They decided to have the iceberg hit the ship and sink within the first five minutes of the film. FREEZE JACK, FUCK ‘EM ALL!!

And with that, the worst momentum killer in the world (series)—taking the home crowd out of the game before the game even really begins— is what was signed off on… And the Astros obliged: they hit the ball; the Dodgers threw it away. And with one swing of his mighty bat, George “Not Jerry” Springer put it to bed…during a time when some people were still parking.

Game. Set. Match in the gas tank…BOOM! BOOM!

The only matter left was the ending, that final scene, one of the more depressing moments you will see in sports: A large number of sad home fans, watching in silence, the only noise in the ballpark is the echoing cheers from the away team as they celebrate on the national stage —that isn’t theirs.

And….CUT!

So, the Dodgers lost the WHIRL SIRI!!! What a Coke stain on a nice pair of white pants that shit is. It’s a tough pill to swallow, no doubt, sort of the sideways chicken bone and whatever. But this doesn’t need to become another layer of smog, either, draping over this glorious desert and stuff, adding layers beneath the layers. No way. Not today, not tomorrow, and no way during Award Season! Get out of here with that negativity and pass me some Meryl Streep.

meryl

And pass yourself some Shout for those white pants, because I have a suggestion!

The day after such an epic blah—the ho-hum final act of a series that, up to that point, was so amazing some were calling it the greatest World Series ever—it’s expected for things to be, well, blue. But that shouldn’t necessarily be the case with the Dodgers and this town, the fans, DirectTv, etc. Because, for seven games, a week of baseball, a sport often compared to mushrooms growing, the idea encompassed by Dodgers fans is to always be blue. After all, the Blue Heart emoji means loyalty and a nice pat on the ass for being YOU—for being blue.

To that, it’s November gang. There are parts of this country where it is snowing and raining at the same time and that is one slushy you don’t want, trust me! All of the summer gear—the shorts, the Tommy Bahamas—has been packed away in the attic, right next to granddad’s golf clubs. And it will stay there, collecting dust bunnies the size of small dogs, for six to seven months, at best. (Maybe!)

And you? Well, I’d imagine most of you don’t even have an attic space, what with the way houses and apartments are built out here. And, really, why not tan?! Like, right now?! NOW-now!

And lastly, so what of the mushroom thing? If it’s psychedelic, then hey, maybe go existential (like a Lincoln commercial) and start writing the script for the 2018 season. Go bananas.

No, GO BLUE!

Honestly, I don’t think the Baseball Gods wouldn’t have it any other way.

See you next season…

 

 

 

 

 

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2 replies »

  1. I was watching in a bar surrounded by people in brand new Dodgers hats. The girl to my left shrieked “[McCullers] is hitting them on purpose!” I tried to explain that pitchers rarely throw at batters with two-strike counts in Game 7 of the World Series. She disagreed. Next year I’m gonna watch in a different bar. (Assuming I’m not watching in person at Angel Stadium, which seems a safe bet.)

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