Recently, I asked my brother-in-law if he thought the Dodgers would be able to put together 100 wins this season. It seemed a given, but they’ve lost 9 of their last 10 games and it reminds me of the 2008 season when the first place San Diego Padres lost 10 in a row in the last month of the season to allow the Giants to win the division, and eventually the World Series.
I know. I get it. Us Giants fans are supposed to hate the Dodgers so we’re always cheering for their demise, but I’m older and have a different perspective. Back in the 1950’s when there were only 16 MLB teams, the closest being located in the Midwest, you had to be a Dodger or Yankee fan, but you couldn’t be both. I was torn because Mickey Mantle was my hero. But the Dodger’s were generally considered the underdog, so they had to be my team.
When the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers moved West it changed everything. West Coast fans were of course delighted. Since I was an Oregonian at the time the closest MLB team was now San Francisco Giants. And that’s how it’s been since 1958, when I got to watch my first live pro baseball game between the Giants & Dodgers at Seal Stadium.
I may be the only Giants fan who’s delighted in watching Yasiel Puig, the snot nosed rookie from Cuba, dive in over his head to become a bonafide contender against the odds. And it wasn’t because he didn’t have the talent, he did. But his attitude stunk up the place and we generally cheered for his demise. His numbers aren’t all that great even now, but I still pay attention when he’s at bat. And then there’s Kershaw. If we could have him and the D’Backs Goldschmidt we could easily be back in the saddle again. But “what ifs” are for Fantasy players.
So this morning’s Wall Street J0urnal published a great article by Jared Diamond bringing up some memories of the 2001 Mariners and comparing that team to the current Dodgers in their win/loss record. The semblance is striking and should make the Dodgers a bit nervous about their chances in this year’s playoffs.
After the awful season the Giants have put us through this year, I’m going to root for the Dodgers and hope I can get some sort of satisfaction through them. I’ll just pretend it’s 1958 and start all over again.