September 8, 2008. 2:15 p.m. The Main Squeeze and I get married and the Dodgers roll off eight straight to save the season (again). Coincidence? I think not.
OK fine, if you want to split hairs, seven straight wins since the actual day, and eight only if you include the pre-game festivities the night before. No YouTube video available for either that event or the wedding night, sorry.
The bride did not wear Dodger blue. At least, nowhere obvious to the casual observer. There was, however, a stack of Dodger pocket schedules fanned out in each restroom, an appetizer of mini-Dodger Dogs (grilled, not steamed), and a finely frosted blue-and-white cake.
For the grand entrance, a ten-second organ music rally call, ala Nancy Bea. No joke.
The Dodgers had beaten the crap out of off Dan Haren to lead 7-0 by the time rings had been exchanged, and there was nothing to do but celebrate. With props to the baseball gods and gratitude for all in attendance, I must say, we couldn't be happier.
Driving home from our Central Coast honeymoon on Saturday, with the Dodgers plating seven off a second erstwhile Arizona ace, Brandon Webb, Squeeze popped the question re the Dodgers chances of winning the West.
My initial response, "I don't know," seemed like as a good an answer as any, and honest, but after further review I followed up with "50-50." Now that the Dodgers have beaten the Diamondbacks once more to lead by a game a half, I'll stick my neck out and adjust the odds to 52-48. Maybe even 53-47.
Los Angeles looks like a champion and Arizona a confused lot, but the reverse could be true at any moment. Literally any moment. So while I did spring for the postseason ticket strip, insisted upon by club brass, I'm making no predictions. And though I think the Dodgers will pull it off, I have no idea.
The club might just stink up the road and tumble downward starting tonight, or they might end up the first National League team to clinch.
Though perhaps without as keen a philosophical touch as one Don Drysdale, Nomar Garciaparra said it well: "That's baseball. You can't explain it. You can't figure it out. You find somebody who does and I'll call him a liar."
Big D's explanation would've gone exactly like this: "Well, I tell ya, if you could put this game in capsule form, you'd never be able to spend all the money." Then he'd no doubt say that if somehow, some way, the Dodgers did manage a postseason entry, "it's Katie bar the door." Translation? Stay tuned.
I'm skeptical, sure, but not a total grinch. Eight straight wins is significant, and there's no ignoring the positive signs. The most recent starting eight, with Dodger Berroa at short and Blake DeWitt at second, along with what is now an inspiring outfield of Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, is looking better both on paper and on grass with each passing day.
With Nomar helping any way he can, Rafael Furcal and Takashi Saito set to contribute in September, and Chad Billingsley and Derek Lowe looking as good a one-two as the league has in it, there are reasons to be optimistic.
Of course, with Joe Torre all but incapable of penning a lineup without Russell Martin, the Dodger catcher could collapse at any minute. Whether or not Katie will be able to bar the door if that occurs is anybody's guess. That first-in-the-NL clinching by the home team might just be a required item.
Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…
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Like I said earlier, call me a grinch, but replay in baseball is an unbelievably lame idea. I try to rag on Bud Selig as a matter of course, remember, but still, this is as dumb a baseball concept as home field in World Series being determined by the outcome of a mid-summer exhibition.
And I'm reminded of a book I read many years ago. 1978, to be exact. "Noonan: A Novel About Baseball, ESP, and Time Warps," by Leonard Everett Fisher. In what you might call a "1984" look at baseball's future, all games are played "ball studios," with all calls being made electronically by machine.
Only in Wrigley is baseball played the old fashioned way, outdoors with the human element in full form. It seems that not even in fantastical glimpse into the future could the author conceive of, much less suggest, the presence of night games at Wrigley.
It's out of print, but 30 copies are available at ABEBooks.com. Enjoy…
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Remember, glove conquers all….
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