I once again find myself suffering through yet another of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ides of October – so distraught I’ve reverted back to capping my lines. Eliot was mistaken. April is not the cruelest month.
I felt our impending doom as the season went on with their record kept getting better, all of the pundits and sports writers and baseball Twitter and the headlines declaring their World Series as a given, what with a stellar line up with a payroll of $263 million in a season that would end with one hundred eleven wins. Oh, no, I would think. No, no, no. This is Dodgers’ baseball. And in Dodgers’ baseball one should never take anything for granted.
Make no mistake, I love this team and I always will. Witness, however, the fact that in my life time we’ve choked in twelve out of the twenty division series we’ve played and were straight up robbed by the Astros in 2017 with our most recent championship won at the end of a shortened season, 2020 – sixty games. Oh, I still wept with joy and disbelief, wrapping their win around me like the balm that it was for 2020, the beginning of the end.
The misfortunes befalling my beloved boys in blue do not remain confined to just my lifetime. Consulting the historical record we see that we have been here before, at all levels of play. I mean, renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is all up in Ken Burns’ Baseball and wrote a whole book about the soul crushing losses she experienced as a young girl in Brooklyn. Leading me to wonder whether or not there might be a curse in play here. Perhaps Ebbets Field was built upon ancient burial grounds.
The Kirk Gibson moment, epic as it was and still is, was an accident. He wasn’t even playing, he was injured and came in to hit on a hail mary in a game where if you’re only hitting the ball into play a third of the time? You’re a legend. Which is what makes October so cruel and so beautiful. You can manage the players as stats all you want – left versus right, who hits sinkers and who hits curves, pulling the field in and whatever the fuck else. There still has to be chemistry, a perfect mix of chance and psychology, the perfect motion taken at the millisecond it must. It had nothing to do with the goose, though the bird does remain a most apropos metaphor.
they chanted beat l.a., yet still booed altuve in the wild card game
the underdogs with the ?? million dollar payroll
October is the cruelest month, casting bird out of night sky, mixing management and rest, stirring southern bats with the fall rain.
Desire keeps us warm, covering misery in forgetful hope, feeding it with defeated Astronauts.*After T.S. Eliot – The Wasteland
*My heartfelt thanks to the many fans who booed the Astros and their former players from 2017 all season. May blessings be upon you.