Archives for posts with tag: st. louis
Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker cheer as Clayton Kershaw singles in two runs in the second inning.

Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker cheer as Clayton Kershaw singles in two runs in the second inning.

Another weekend, another sweep! What can I say? The Dodgers took care of the ball-hiding Rays with aplomb, routing them, 8-2, on Sunday.

That whole “hidden-ball trick” thing was really something. Sure, it’s clever, but I heard one stupid sportscaster say, “The Rays helping their case with the old hidden-ball trick.” How did that little ruse (instigated by James Loney, by the way) help their case? They lost that game 5-0!

I used to like James Loney, when he was a Dodger. I know he got traded, and people hold grudges against employers who let them go. But that first game, when the Rays jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Loney was all over the base paths with this big, shit-eating grin on his face, like, “Yeah, we got this!” You guys got it all right! You got swept!

All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.”
— Blaise Pascal

Blaise PascalOn Friday night, I went to dinner with my son, my niece and a friend. I took the subway. The Dodgers were losing to the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first time the Rays had been to the Ravine, and they are a really good team. It was not a surprise to me, therefore, to walk out of dinner, check MLB AtBat on my phone and see a 6-1 Dodger deficit.

I’m philosophical about these things these days. The Boys in Blue have won so many games since the All-Star break, they are bound to lose one here or there, right?

As I make my way back to the Hollywood & Vine subway station, I listen as the Dodgers score two runs in the eighth inning. I think to myself, “Well, that’s not too bad. I’m sure we can score at least three runs in the ninth to tie it up. If the Rays can score three in an inning [which they did twice that game], then why couldn’t we?”

Many people I know have scoffed at such thinking in the past. I have said things like that for years, only half-heartedly believing it could happen. But this year, it’s a completely different story.

This year, I believe. I believe every game that the Dodgers are going to win. No matter how tired they are, or how crappy their defense is playing, or how far behind they fall.

As soon as I got off the subway downtown and got back to where I had internet service, I checked the score again.

I let out a loud, “What the fuck!?!

In my hand, my phone said: DODGERS 7, RAYS 6, Final.

I was speechless. It was a miracle, in a year full of miracles.

Now, I realize that I was hard on the Dodgers the first couple months of the season. I was boycotting their money-grubbing ways, which still don’t sit right with me. I hate the way they think money is the root of all winning. I hate that they raised ticket prices and changed pricing policies to gouge Dodger fans on days when they give out bobbleheads or when we play the Giants. I hate that they wouldn’t sell me a miniplan in the Top Deck after all my years of loyalty. I hate that they don’t sell pretzels or programs with scorecards in the Top Deck. I hate the elitism that doesn’t allow public access to all levels of the stadium. I hate that Magic Johnson lied right to our faces about Frank McCourt’s continued enrichment from Dodger fans. Yes, there are a lot of things to hate about Dodger management. But the team? That’s something else.

This team is amazing, and it isn’t just the high-priced talent that is contributing every single game. It is everybody. It is A.J. Ellis and his brother, Mark. It is Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto. It is Ricky Nolasco, who has wanted to play for the Dodgers his whole life. It is Juan Uribe and the Manna From Havana, Yasiel Puig. It is also Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, but those are guys you expect to be good. The chemistry of this team has gelled, and I have been so excited about it, that yesterday, when Steve asked me if I wanted to go to the game, I said yes.

Dodger Scorecard for PWI went, I took score, I ate a Dodger Dog, I screamed and whistled, and I had a great time watching the Dodgers win, 5-0.

Which is all leading up to the big announcement: THE BOYCOTT IS OFF. I give. I don’t want to miss any more of this season than I already have.

(Also, they do have miniplans in the Top Deck, now, so my original gripe has been resolved, at least for this season.)

Today, I bought a 10-game Flex-Plan in the Top Deck and I plan to go to as many games as possible, although I will have to share some of the tickets with Steve.

So, you win, Dodgers! You have won me back. I surrender to the feeling.

Joan of ArcTo paraphrase my friend Chris Erskine, “Only Joan of Arc was hotter than these Dodgers.”

Despite a sadness lingering over the Dodger dugout, our boys in blue managed to pull off another win, their seventh in eight games on this road trip, when they beat St. Louis, 5-1, to move to 5½ games in first above the D-Backs.

With great pitching by Hyun-Jin Ryu and a three-run homer by my favorite catcher, A.J. Ellis, the Dodgers took another series, meaning they haven’t lost one since the June 14-16 series against the Pirates (and they have only tied four times).

Matt Kemp with Joshua Jones at Dodger Stadium.

Matt Kemp with Joshua Jones at Dodger Stadium.

But the joyousness was tampered by the devastating news that young Joshua Jones, the ill teen befriended by Matt Kemp in San Francisco, had lost his battle with cancer, dying at the tender age of 19.

Earlier this season, Kemp took time after a game at AT&T Park to say hello to Joshua, and spontaneously took off his jersey and his shoes and gave them to the ecstatic young man. Later, Kemp brought Joshua and his family to Dodger Stadium, fulfilling one of the wishes of Joshua’s all-too-short lifetime.

According to the L.A. Times, Kemp had told Bill Plaschke: “I don’t think some athletes understand how big it is to be an athlete, what they can do with just a simple gesture of shaking a kid’s hand. It can make a fan’s day. It can make a fan’s life.”

You are the man, Matt Kemp. This is exactly why we love you so very much. Thank you for making Joshua’s life a little bit happier.