Two piping hot pizzas were in the kitchen, my buddy arrived with beer that was brewed 60 miles from the North Pole (Einstok), more friends were on their way, and our best pitcher was on the mound about to lead us to a win and Game 7 in the NLCS. Life was unfolding as it should, when suddenly - BLAMMO!
All of us in Dodger Nation were hit with a bucket of cold water. We had the rug pulled out from under us. We were all shown in the harshest way possible that the Dodgers were fresh out of miracles and Clayton Kershaw is indeed, human.
Sports isn't supposed to feel that sad, but sometimes it does. It was brutal even for my friend, a transplant from Australia who finally gave in and paid attention to baseball this season. He quickly became a true-blue Dodger fan, and felt yesterday's kick in the guts as much as me, a lifelong fan of Dodger Blue. It wasn't just the losing, which was always a possibility, but it was the way we lost. All of the wheels just fell off at once, and it seemed to get worse each inning. *Sigh*
That's baseball. As Vinny would say, "The 2013 Dodgers and their fans went from the basement to the penthouse, and back down to the basement again." But oh, what a ride it was.
I can't be angry at the boys or start pointing fingers. They gave us everything they had, and they gave us a season for the ages. We went from the absolute bottom of the baseball standings, to chainsawing every team in our path in an historic winning run that we won't see again for another 50 years. The Dodgers brought themselves and all of the Dodger Nation closer to the World Series than we've been in a generation! It was just too bad we couldn't make it all the way this time.
After the game, a shell-shocked Clayton Kershaw said, "If you don't win, what's the point?" I know that was the emotion speaking. But Kid K's sentiment reminded me of a line from one of my favorite movies "Hard Times", starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn.
After Charles Bronson wins a brutal, bare knuckle fight, Coburn, his manager, collects their winnings and remarks to the losing side, "Like mama always said, the only thing that comes close to playing and winning, is playing and losing".
Thanks for the ride boys. No matter what they say, it was one helluva season.