There’s only one word to describe the improbable comeback the Los Angeles Dodgers staged on August 9 against the Tampa Bay Rays: “No dad-gum way!”
I know that’s more than one word, but please forgive me as I continue to bask in the glow of this 35-8 run the Dodgers have displayed since June 22. Baseball is fun again!
The opener against the red-hot Rays at Dodger Stadium wasn’t televised in my neck of the woods – Braves Country. I was checking the game out in real time on my laptop and was tuned to MLB Network for live look-ins.
After a long week of work, though, I have to admit that I went to bed with the Dodgers down 6-0 and I chalked the impending loss up to the yo-yo effect of Chris Capuano.
So, much to my surprise, I awoke Saturday morning, grabbed a cup of coffee, rubbed the crust out of my eyes and powered up my computer. As I visited the second-best website after www.throughthefencebaseball.com — www.dodgers.com — I almost lost my Maxwell House when I read the score “Dodgers 7, Rays 6!”
That was just one more taste of proof to convince me the Dodgers are the real deal in 2013. They’re not like GM Ned Colletti’s expensive hairpiece; these Dodgers are the shiznak!
April, May and most of June were like “Caddyshack 2,” “Dumb & Dumberer” and “Son of The Mask” – painful, pointless and never-ending. It was excruciating to watch my Dodgers implode at every turn. If I heard another reference about money not being able to buy chemistry, I was going postal on someone.
Winning is awesome, but it’s not the only reason I’m loving every minute of this baseball season. Adding the icing on my baseball cake is the fact the rest of the NL West is caving faster than IQs on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
The Dodgers own the NL West, and all of the other teams in the division know it! After we win the West, the focus will then obviously be on the postseason. Facing teams like the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals or the Cincinnati Reds won’t be easy.
However, after the way the Dodgers have played since late June, do you think they fear any of these teams? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way!)
Why am I so confident the Dodgers will cruise to the NL West pennant? Here’s why:
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Snakes are in a tailspin from which they won’t recover. Arizona led the Dodgers by 9.5 games in the West in late June; now the Dodgers own a 5.5 game advantage. One of the reasons the Diamondbacks won’t catch the Dodgers: They traded away their biggest jerk on July 31 – Ian Kennedy. Kennedy pissed the Dodgers off and he got in their heads. Sure, he was in the midst of a disappointing season, but Kennedy went 36-16 over the past two seasons, and he was a fiery spark in the clubhouse. Without Kennedy, the Diamondbacks are just one other big jerk (Miguel Montero), a budding superstar (Paul Goldschmidt) and a bunch of role players.
San Diego Padres – God help Padres fans. I almost feel a little sorry for them, but when I do, I stop it quickly after realizing all of the other things there are to do in San Diego besides suffer through another losing baseball season. The Padres are to the NL West what the Astros are to whichever division they moved to in the American League — necessary fodder for the standings. Admit it: Unless you live in San Diego, you don’t really know anyone who is a Padres fan! You never see anyone wearing Padres gear. The Padres are a harmless necessity in the NL West so people in San Diego can have something to do when they get free baseball tickets from work or from a radio contest.
Colorado Rockies – I remember back in May when the Rockies were the darlings of MLB. The Rocks were in first place in the NL West, and people everywhere were marveling at how amazing it was that they were ahead of the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. I reminded baseball friends that the Rockies’ best starting pitcher only won five games in 2012. “But their hitting is potent,” friends would say. “Yes, but their pitching is putrid!” I would refute. Now, the Rockies are still scoring six runs a game, but they are giving up 10. The only hope the Rockies have of not finishing in the NL West cellar is if the triple-A Fresno Giants who reside in San Francisco beat them to the punch.
San Francisco (Fresno) Giants – I’m enjoying seeing the Giants in their 2013 free-fall almost as much as I am watching the Dodgers soar. San Francisco is Buster Posey and a bunch of AARP candidates waiting for the 2013 season to end. If MLB really wants to punish Alex Rodriguez for his part in the Biogenesis PED scandal, they shouldn’t suspend him. MLB should force A-Rod to play out his 211-game suspension hitting clean-up for the Giants. Hunter Pence was praying that he would be traded prior to the July 31 deadline so he could have a chance to win a championship, but that didn’t happen. Pablo Sandoval is Pablo Sandoval — fat and average. There are only two teams that have scored fewer runs than the Giants this season, and the team is in the penultimate position in the league in home runs.