One man, old and grizzled, rocking in a chair on his front porch. His knee starts to hurt in a familiar way. Rain's a comin'. Wait, that's not his knee. It's higher than that. It...it actually feels as if his soul is being tugged on, trying to wrench free from his mortal shell. He looks up at the cloud-covered sky, and shakes his head.
Dodgers a comin'.
Early in the season, the Dodgers were the "it" team, with Baseball Tonight features coming as quick as the wins. The talking heads on Baseball Tonight were agog, saying the Dodgers weren't exactly the 2001 Mariners, but they were for real. And I said to myself, "This is not their beautiful lineup!" And I said to myself, "This is not their beautiful starting rotation!" It couldn't be that easy for a team that looked to have a few flaws heading into the season.
Quick cut to the present, and the Dodgers are struggling. Without the quick start, they'd be, well, the Giants. Still, the Dodgers are to be feared. If the Dodgers were 40-121, fingernails would be gummed down to the bone, if only because losing to the Dodgers hurts more. Losing to a Geoff Jenkins grand slam stings, but watching the Dodgers slink off the field after an Eric Karros homer or Eric Gagne save, well, that's special. That's when your living room wall has to make some lie up for its co-workers and family, telling people it fell down the stairs.
It's almost to a point where it's hard for me to watch Dodger games. I spend hundreds of words downplaying the Giants/A's rivalry, but when the Dodgers take the field against the Giants, I start wetting the metaphorical bed. It's something so ingrained, so automatic, I can't even prevent myself from sneering when I see a child wearing a Dodger cap. It's ridiculous. There but for the grace of geography go I, you know? The reason most of us are Giants fans is because of where we were born, where our parents were born, the careers they might have pursued, the twists and turns of relatives seven or eight generations back, and little more. At times, the rivalry seems completely arbitrary.
Also, the Dodgers are objectively evil and wrong. That also has something to do with this whole rivalry thing.