Thursday, September 27, 2007

Even Scully Didn't See This Collapse Coming

Christine Daniels of the LA Times has a nice piece on Vin Scully today, who was surprised by the Dodgers' freefall from first place to .500 mediocrity:

But the Dodgers' bizarre hike through 2007, a well-mapped mountain climb followed by an abrupt cliff dive, has caused those seen-it-all eyes to blink hard more than once this summer. The potential he saw in this team in March far outscaled the barely-.500 plateau of late September.

"Most bad years are bad the whole year, you know what I mean?" Scully said Tuesday evening, a few hours before he called the Dodgers' 9-7 loss to Colorado, which officially eliminated the team from playoff consideration.

"This was a different year, because this was a team that, first of all, I was positive would either win the division or certainly be the wild card. I was positive! In the spring.

"And you know they were in first place at the end of July. So that made this different. And even when they started their slide down, you kept thinking, 'Yeah, but they were in first just a week ago, just two weeks ago.' You kept waiting for them to get back up again. Well, it never happened. So it was a different kind of a year."

I'm delighted to have been able to introduce my kids to Scully as we watch Dodger games together on television. Scully has spoken to three generations of my family, rabid Dodger fans throughout. And it's sad to read his quotes, tinged with the "what might have been" ringing like an unrequited love.

If the Dodger front office had any sanity, they would stop reading the rest of the "feud" drivel and start reading stories like this, to help ground them with their responsibility to improve this team in the offseason. They owe it to the Dodger fans, who have been jerked around by parking increases, illogical lineups, and being forced to watch Juan Pierre every day. But they also owe it to Vin Scully, who deserves to call one more World Series title.

Come on, Frank and Ned. Step up.