It’s No Longer Time for Dodger Baseball

And so, another Dodger season is over.

After winning 106 regular season games tying a franchise record, a wild-card game, the five-game division series against the Giants, as well as two games against the winning Atlanta Braves who will go on to play in the World Series, the 2021 Dodgers are in the books.

As a fan, it is always a weird, empty feeling knowing that your favorite sports team in the world is no longer going to be on the radio or TV playing.  You hold on to every last moment including the final time you will hear Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday on KLAC or Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra on Spectrum.   The announcers and analysts rarely say “see you next year,” their voices and faces disappear  off the air into a commercial.

For the Dodgers, the current roster will undergo changes due to players becoming free agents, among them:  Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Max Scherzer.

My guess is that Kershaw will return.  I can’t imagine that he and the Dodger organization don’t come up with an agreeable plan to allow the all-time great leftie to end his career in Dodger blue.

I’m afraid to say the it is doubtful any of the others will be back.  Not even the mighty Guggenheim Group who owns the club can give out big contracts to every player.

Looking back at this unprecedented 9-year run of Dodger playoff baseball, from 2013 to 2021, the only shame is that all those seasons, eight of them as first place division finishers, resulted in only one championship, and it had to be the crazy coronavirus shortened one so that critics can claim that it was because of the 60-game season that they won.  Those same critics should be reminded that the Houston Astros cheated their way to the 2017 banner which MLB should have revoked.

I don’t see the Dodgers fading away from the playoff picture quickly, but expect an eventual downturn with the Giants and Padres rising in quality for the foreseeable future.

One day Dodger fans will look back yearning for the days of Kershaw and Jansen and Seager and Scully.

For now, we wait 5 months for spring and baseball to return.

Inspirational Dodger Opening Day

Due to my son’s school being closed on Monday, I had to take a day off of work to be home with him. That day happened to be my birthday, so the stars were aligned when I found out that April 1 was also the Dodgers’ Opening Day. And it was an experience that I will never forget (and I hope my son doesn’t forget either).

If someone asked me what would you like to see on Opening Day, there is no way I could have asked for all the wonderful moments that occurred at Dodger Stadium.  The fact that my boyhood idol, Sandy Koufax, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and that Dodger legendary hall of fame announcer, Vin Scully, narrated the whole scene over the P.A. system was fantastic. I told my son that no matter how the game played out, the day was already amazing.

Little did we know what was to unfold. Clayton Kershaw, a southpaw like Koufax (notice how both of their names start with ‘K’, a letter that symbolizes a strikeout), broke a scoreless tie leading off the bottom of the eighth inning with his first career home run, then pitched a complete game, a shutout no less. Well, even the best Hollywood screenwriter could not have come up with such a scenario.

I’ll forever remember Monday’s game and the fact that my son shared it all with me.  But my birthday wasn’t over with yet. 

Later that evening, my son pitched a scoreless final inning for his little league team, striking out the side.  He told me he felt inspired seeing Sandy Koufax.  That’s the best birthday present a dad could ever have.  Like father, like son.