Tuesday, October 31, 2017

World Series 2017: My Dog in the Fight Is Pantone 294

It is no stretch for me to report that all is not right with the world. In some very serious matters, the world and our country, are on edge—politically. socially, etc. I am, too. My issue, though not serious, is still problematic—personally, emotionally, even spiritually. I have looked at myself in the mirror and now is the time to come clean. I cannot hide the truth any longer: I have a growing interest in... the enemy....a team I loathe, an organization represented by a color I should refuse to wear, but must admit I like. I even know its Pantone number. If you are an Angelino—the coolest name for an American city dweller—you do too. Pantone 294 aka "Dodger Blue" is a color no self-respecting San Francisco Giants fan should include in their personal color spectrum. Ever. I have. I am. Hear me out. 
If you are a baseball fan, it's been hard not to avert your gaze this year from the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the near entirety of the season (minus August) this team refused to lose. Due to their ardent success and a prediction they might win as many as 120 games, the Dodgers appeared in, on and across all sports media more than ever before. Any appearance for this lifelong Giants fan, was one showing too many unless of course, it was the Sports Center reel of the 64-98 Giants beating LA (which we did eight times). Or, watching those pesky Dodgers crash and burn as they have many times in post-season baseball. Not this year...or maybe....Game Six awaits.

I have tried to tell friends that I have no dog in the fight...that watching this year's World Series has been easy, but that's not entirely honest. I wouldn't say that I am actively cheering for the Dodgers, but I can't say I have been cheering against them like I thought I would. Like I should.

Part of me is relieved that the Giants no longer have to go to bat against this star-studded lineup. The fact that Enrique "Kike" Hernandez was batting ninth in WS Games 1-4 is all the evidence you need to realize that it's more than America that's got talent, it's a ball club in LA.
  • I wish I could hate Clayton Kershaw. I don't, primarily because of our shared love for Will Clark #22. It would be so much easier if I never knew why Kershaw, also a leftie, wore the double deuce, but in reading about one of the greatest pitchers of this era, I had to face the facts—or rather the number. He needs to prove himself in the post-season. Game 5 wasn't enough. Will there be a chance in Game 7? He hopes so...
  • Chase Utley: I swear his heart rate is 12 when he enters the batter's box. I need his beta blocker.
  • Yasiel Puig: the Cuban baller I have delighted in loathing the most. The showboat, the trash talker, the one who must have gone up to a graffiti artist and said "tag this" to his hair. I actually like that he got that mad at himself for not making the catch against Bergman.
  • There are other Dodgers: Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Corey Seager...I need to stop right there.
    How annoying is it thta Puig always struts after he goes Yard...and yet that needs to happen in the WS
Though Giants fans make fun of Dodger fans for showing up late and leaving early, these post-season games have revealed a face of Chavez Ravine, worth envying. Tucked south of the San Gabrial Mountains, with the beauty of Southern California landscape surrounding the stadium, the field starts at ground level. The seats are perched just above, creating an atmosphere of fan involvement. I am sure fans could feel the heat coming off of Yasiel Puig has he tried to track down Alex Bregman's ground rule double to right field, in the eighth inning (Game 4). They were entreated to two very warm nights, t-shirt weather and great baseball. Sounds like paradise. I should say, "but it's LA." I can't. #jealous.

This October the Dodgers and the Astros have each contributed outstanding lyrics to this musical score that is playoff baseball. Every logical argument points to the fact I should cheer for Houston. The Astros have never won a World Series. This team has made a significant turn and worked hard to be where they are today. The world knows what the city they represent has been through. But, fandom never works like that. It can surprise you, catch you off guard. I wouldn't say my love for this game has turned my brown eyes Dodger Blue, but Pantone 294, those classic uniforms, and an exciting team have me quietly not cheering for them but, appreciating America's past time that much more. 
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