It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the Dodgers. I didn’t want to create some dramatic rant about how every time I’m at Dodger Stadium since the All-Star Break, I’m nervously jiggling my foot, holding my breath when anyone gets up in the bullpen or otherwise going into some sort of rant against some situation that I have deemed ridiculous as that particular moment.
My spring mantra of “who am I” to question Joe Torre was replaced with a 15-minute discussion with Tanaya about how Torre needs a Twitter account so we can helpfully point out all of the things he’s missing during the game.
My desire to not to engage in any scoreboard watching has been replaced with a midafternoon check of the Giants and Rockies score and a nightly reading of the box scores.
My steadfast belief that we “should just see if we can win with this team” has resulted in my quite literally banging my head on my desk when the Dodgers let John Smoltz end up with the Cardinals.
I’ve watched the offense struggle. I’ve watched Manny’s lackluster defense in front of millions of adoring fans. I’ve watched pitcher after pitcher not make it through the 5th inning.
Right after the Break, we sat in the stadium in some sort of nailbiter, and I clearly remember saying, “This is not good. It’s only July.”
We both looked at each other and pretty much realized that we’re going to be nervous wrecks through the end of the season. Forget the playoffs, my blood pressure is going to rise and fall with the numbers in the W-L column for the next six weeks.
And I love it.
I absolutely love it.
Yes, it would have been nice to cruise into September with a 15-game lead, all but obliterating the hope of Giants fans for the NL West title. Yes, it would have been nice to sit here knowing that Kershaw had finally worked through the issues I witnessed firsthand in the spring and that he was consistently overpowering hitters for 8 and 9 innings. Yes, it would have been nice to be able to name all five guys in the rotation with confidence.
But baseball happens. It happens this way as a sort of slow torture that is designed to keep me coming back. After all, when have I ever liked anything easy?
And my nerves? And rants? And screaming?
Love. All love.
And I take that love, along with a clenched jaw and a tapping foot, with me for the next few weeks.
Until I can progress to nervous pacing in October.