It’s not that the Dodgers are the Godfather 3 of the sports world, exactly. I mean, while we can argue whether the third installment of the great movie franchise ever should have been made or not (not), the 2012 Los Angeles entry into the National League baseball season pretty much had to be. Imagine the scheduling mess with one less team, for openers.
Oh, and remember how poor Sophia Coppola was absolutely savaged by the press for what was at that time her chosen profession of acting? I suppose Juan Uribe is the directing scion in this scenario, and perhaps he’ll go on to greatness in another line of work, as Coppola did. And the sooner the better.
But look, L.A. has been an incredibly streaky club this year, as frustrating to watch over a stretch of time as any in recent memory. Just about every time they lose a few games – heartbreakers usually, with perhaps only a lone clutch hit the difference between victory and defeat – and we, the fans throw up our hands in resignation, the Dodgers do something dramatic to give us hope.
In other words, every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in, literally forcing me to stick with every twist and turn of the next game, the next series of games, and let’s face it, the rest of the 2012 championship season.
Going back just as far as Friday the 13th – July 13th – the Dodgers won the first game coming out of the All-Star break before losing four straight, putting them at 48-44 and deader than dead. Seemingly. Then they win five in a row, only to get swept three by the Cards in St. Louis.
Just when all seems lost, L.A. beats the living crap out of the Giants in San Francisco, sweeping the three-game series by a combined score of 19-3.
Feeling good, Los Angeles? Well forget that, because you’re about to watch Arizona outscore you 19-4, with a humiliating sweep of their own.
Then a sweep of the Cubs starts a nine-out-of-12 run, plus a stirring seven-of-ten road trip, with Los Angeles beating two tough teams in Pittsburgh and Atlanta back to back.
The Dodgers float home from Dixie almost without need of an airplane, proud to be 67-55 on August 20 and primed for San Francisco. Only somebody forgot to tell the Giants, who promptly beat them in yet another sweep, and even the baldest among us is pulling his hair out, violently.
Next comes a little two-game win streak, highlighted by an Adrian Gonzalez home run in his first at bat after the blockbuster trade with Boston, then three losses in a row, a win and two more downers at the hands of the Dbacks this past Thursday and Friday.
And I don’t know about you, but after those last two defeats – to a sub-.500 team which had just lost six straight before hitting town – I was about as fed up with this bunch as could possibly be.
So of course Josh Beckett spins a beauty Saturday, the Dodgers get homers from Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier, and the bullpen assures a 2-1 win, with Brandon League saving his first game as a National Leaguer. The savvy Dodgers faithful is uplifted, but skeptical.
Sunday was one of those great but not-seen-recently come-from-behind jobs, with Gonzalez driving in the tying and winning runs with a bottom of the ninth ringing double to right. Shane Victorino slides majestically into home with a flourish that had to have you thinking, “OK, this is it, this is it, THIS IS IT! The Dodgers are on their way!!!” But who the hell knows?
The obligatory “chemistry” concept has been discussed a lot lately, and I say this to that: chemistry is a class most of us absolutely sucked at in high school. We didn’t have a clue, and neither do the Dodgers. Not about chemistry. Not really.
Don Mattingly is closest to the answer when he talks about winning bringing good chemistry, and about how that’s all the team has time for anyway. What were they to do, after all, keep the alleged good-chemistry-team-that couldn’t-win team together or make the necessary changes and risk chemistry?
Yesterday’s victory was either a trend-setter or it wasn’t, but I’d certainly rather have the W than the L right about now. And it’s the first win of its kind with this new group, and that’s got to mean something. I think. Maybe.
I'll be up for the weekend. not so much saturday with capuano and cain, but the other two the dodgers should win.
Howard Cole Johnny To me, Howard, the Dodgers not making the playoffs is only the second worst thing in the world. The very first worst thing in the/my world is the Giants ending up ahead of the Dodgers at the end of the season, whatever the standings.
Mattingly is learning on the job, which isn't helping, but the line-up should be producing much better than it has been.
@DeathByYoungblood well said. but he'd be criticized like hell in the playoffs by the national media. I mean, when was the last time he outmanaged somebody. anybody.
Howard Cole DeathByYoungblood True. I often felt that way about Torre too...
well, it's ONLY a one-run game heading to the bottom of the ninth. let's see what side the baseball gods are on.
Watch, League'll give up a run, and the Dodgers will come back with a run, and lose 5-4.
question been meaning to ask: of the Dodger fans still on the thread which team did you root for in the 2010 World Series: Giants or Rangers
@Tom in San Mateo I can speak for every last one of us confidently and say texas. the 2002 was the tough one. giants and angels. man, was that tough for me. I wanted rain until january, but grudingly rooted for anaheim.
Howard Cole Tom
2002 was tough for you. Shit, I was sitting in a pub to watch the sixth game and Gawd what a horrible ending. when the Angels went up in that game I knew it was over for the G's and it was.
I like both the A's and the G's. too bad you don't like both the Angels and the D's. makes the season better, esp if one of your teams stinks that year.
@Tom in San Mateo I'll give you kemp for scutaro right now. then scutaro can leave as a free agent in a month and re-sign with you guys.
not that hard a play, just a basic goldtend but yeah. would've given them the lead. I'll take it if it means he's ok.
almost a big fight in SF. sharp hit to Belt. Belt fires to third for a force but he wasn't near the bag but I guess he put a tag on the runner coming into third and the runner got pissed off at Sandoval and went after him.
Howard Cole Tom
almost, but no. Bochy came out and explained to the umps that he called off his dogs to save them so they can beat the shit out of the Dodgers.
@Tom in San Mateo @Tom people are saying on twitter that panda overreacted...but they're not saying it that nicely.
Howard Cole Tom Tom
he probably did. the throw from Belt caught him off-guard and the runner, seeing Panda was not in position to make force, went in to knock the ball loose and ran into The Beer Truck. sandoval probably did overreact. he screwed up a basic move. he should have been at the base prepared to take throw for force.
@Tom in San Mateo @Tom he's there for his bat, so you have to live with the rest of his game. and with melky out, they sure do need him.
Howard Cole Tom Tom
gone from .298 down to .286 or thereabout since he came back from hand problem. but hitting. no panda power, though. no jacks.
Howard Cole Tom Tom
not one homer. G's need his power stick to do anything in the playoffs (if they get there). remember, yaneverknow
@Tom in San Mateo @Tom I'm just looking forward to the dodgers getting on the road again. they're better there.
Howard Cole Tom Tom
I think so. was a while ago. he's gone scores of AB's without homering
jansen will be ok. and god forbid, the dodgers actually do something to prevent an injury like billingsley's. they do this over and over and over again. he was hurt, they sent him back out there and now he's hurt much much worse.
Well, guys, I need to start cooking, so I have to change to full screen so I can see the game when I walk by. Goodnight if I don't get back.
That's the advantage of being retired and living by myself - I can eat when I'm hungry and sleep when I'm tired. Whatever time it happens to be is irrelevant.
@Johnny Dodger I'm not retired (just way underemployed) but I eat whenever I want. sleep when I'm tired too. so there.
really too bad about Billingsley and Jansen. I mean that. I never like a player to be out from injury or other condition.