Thursday, March 29, 2018

Confession time, here's what I got

When hope was highest: pre-game ceremonies for World Series Game 1.

It's tiiiiiime for Dodger baseball!

And I'm not ready.

The baseball fan in me has been suspended in cryonic stasis since November 1, 2017, the day the Dodgers' championship drought officially reached 29 years.

As you all know, it hurt like a bitch. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who dealt with it by burying the pain deep, deep inside (plus booze).

When the Dodgers made the playoffs, I purposely didn't attend any games because I wanted to save my shekels for the Big Dance. And once the Dodgers made it to the World Series, I smashed my piggy bank and bought tickets for Game 1, the first World Series game in Los Angeles in, well, 29 years.

Hours before gametime, SoSG Sax and I had settled into our seats in Reserve 5 when I got a text from my brother, a Dodger fan unfortunate enough to live in the Bay Area:

That's nice, I thought. He must be going to Game 2. Wrong. He was on his way to Game 1, lateness be damned. That's what 28 years of waiting will do to a fan.

So while my brother was racing down to L.A., Sax & I were giddy and in tears after one helluva National Anthem by Keith Williams Jr.:

The high final note, the was electric.

Honestly I don't remember a lot of details from the game itself because every out, every pitch, felt like life or death. Especially without listening to play-by-play and color commentary, it was too easy to get way inside my head while watching the game.

Somewhere during the middle of the game, my brother landed and was hectoring a taxi driver to get him from LAX to Dodger Stadium in rush-hour traffic — ASAP!

We took a two-run lead in the 6th but it might have well been a tie game for how nervous we were.

My brother arrived in the 7th but he would have to wait. Our section was packed and I couldn't afford to miss a single beat of this experience.

The crowd was exemplary. No bullshit waves, no bullshit beachballs on the warning track. Constant cheering and standing and screaming for every two-out at-bat.

After Kenley slammed the door in the 9th: GIGANTIC EXHALE. The loudest I've ever heard Dodger Stadium. Awkward hugs and high-fiving folks I had never met before and will never see again. We finally found my brother and chilled in our section to savor the afterglow and let traffic ease up (it didn't help).

And that's the sum total of my in-person World Series experience. We had an awesome viewing party for Game 4 at Casa Orel but after Game 7...numbness. The Astros aren't even a really hateable team (Gurriel excepted, honorable mention to Reddick).

The Dodgers' extreme inactivity during the off-season reinforced my moribund mindset, although it's nice to have Matt Kemp back, for purely sentimental reasons.

So ready or not, we'll see how this season goes. We'll still do game/series threads (I think) but I know some of us are still looking for a hangover cure.

Go Blue (I can still muster that)!

Amen, SoSG Dusty.


QuadSevens said...

Right after the World Series it hurt to see the Astros on their championship tour of talk shows and amusement parks. I stayed away from social media for a while to avoid family in Texas posting about the Astros. Then all the Dodger wedding photos started rolling in and the WS hurt faded a bit. Seeing Kemp back in Dodger Blue and swinging a hot bat helped renew my hope for this year. Kershaw has been perfect during Spring Training, which I know doesn't mean anything, but I'm just saying!

I'm looking forward to tonight's game so that we can finally put last season to bed and start thinking about winning it all this year! #ITFDB

Fred's Brim said...

Well said, Orel and Q7
This slow offseason and Turner's injury have me feeling very pessimistic at the moment, like 87-75, struggle all season, never really get any momentum, drive me crazy pessimistic.
Then again, I am always pessimistic
Go Dodgers!

karen said...

My very first comment must, of course, be about my man Matty. I have spent the last several days gathering the surviving old whores. We will all gather today for our 1st annual 'Mattys Home Celebratory Opening Day'!!

Having said that I must remark on Orel's remarks. After Game 7 I didn't hang around for all the happy hugging and celebrating by Houston. Instead I immediately checked into a very dark, very cold cave and have recently allowed myself out. I was sooo buried in my grief I didn't even know about Matt until well into Spring Training. As all a twitterfied as hearing about my boy Matty, like Orel, I still have that scared, sick feeling in my stomach, which I have never felt on Opening Day before. But we must back our Boys. As sick and shattered as we fans were I can't imagine what kind pain they must have had to endure. SO in that spirit as Vin would always say 'Hope burns eternal'. Let's go Dodgers. We are all here standing and cheering right behind you!!

Hideo Nomo said...

I'm feeling mostly positive, but the wait to see if the team can be ONE GAME BETTER is fucking daunting.

I should ask Royals fans how they handled it.

Dusty Baker said...

Well said, all.

But let’s sack up and get back out there now! I’m ready!

Listo. LA Determined.

Let’s do this!

Dusty Baker said...

Good to hear from you, Karen! I knew the Matty news would help you the most.

Orel said...

Thanks Quad, FB, Karen and fellow Sons! Maybe I purged some bad juju writing this piece.