In case you couldn't tell, I was on vacation this weekend. The vacation started much later than I was expecting because of Melky Cabrera. Why is no one talking about the real victims of PEDs? Poor, poor baseball writers.
It wasn't just any vacation. It was right in the middle of San Francisco and Los Angeles. As close to a midpoint as possible, really. Here are directions to Los Angeles and here are directions from San Francisco. It was the midpoint.
I'm not going to suggest I could feel the warring magnetic fields tugging at me, like some crappy plot point from Lost that I've mercifully forgotten. But it was different. There were a lot of Dodgers hats. An equal number of Giants hats, sure, but it's hard to stop the "What the hell?" when you see a Dodgers hat, even if you travel south. There are three decades of "What the hell?" built into that reaction.
There was a bar and grill with a Dodgers sign in one window and a Raiders sign in the other one. I'll never know how the food tastes there. Probably like something excavated from Mt. Vesuvius, marinated in empirically horrible. There was a sports memorabilia shop with a Dodgers flag hanging at the entrance. It almost touched me. I would have had to roll around in a lock of Buster Posey's hair to exorcise that stink, and you can't just hop on eBay and find one of those. I mean, I brought an extra on my trip just in case, but you, specifically, can't just hop on eBay and find one of those.
It was the perfect place to stare at the Pacific Ocean and meditate on the upcoming Giants/Dodgers series -- to remember why baseball is meaningless, superfluous, and the most important thing on earth. It was also a good way not to watch the Padres.
The last time the Giants and Dodgers met, the Giants were three games up on the Dodgers. The mood of the series preview at the time was "nervous and scared." The Giants should have had the upper hand -- they were at home, and being on the right end of a three-game sweep would have meant the Dodgers were in serious trouble. But I had a bad feeling about that series. Couldn't put my finger on it.
That series did not end well. Mistakes were made.
Maybe it's the vacation and ocean air talking, but that's not the mood of this series preview. There are certain feelings and emotions that the English language doesn't have good words for. So I'll have to wing it. The mood of this series preview is "Hey, screw you, Dodgers."
It's possible that I should be nervous, like fans are before any big game or series. Running over the pitching match-ups, going over the lineup permutations, worrying about baseball getting drunk and taking swings again. Instead, I'm just in a "Hey, screw you, Dodgers" kind of mood. I mean, that Dodgers flag almost touched me, and I think a guy in a Dodgers hat at that bakery sneered at me.
More than that, though, I'm ornery because I got to play the part of poor, persecuted lil' Giants fan again thanks to Melky Cabrera. I missed that role so much. Melky gets popped for PEDs, and suddenly everyone gets to poke at the Giants for being the center of the PED world. Suddenly Guillermo Mota isn't insignificant anymore -- he's a part of a trend, a pattern. And then there are the preachy articles to read. Just the worst.
And my response is "Hey, screw you, Dodgers."
That could change after an inning of watching Kershaw-related flailing, but right now I'm annoyed with the baseball world. I also miss baseball after a weekend off. The best way to come back from that is a Giants/Dodgers series that's, yet again, the most important one since the Steve Finley series. Maybe I should start calling it the Cody Ransom series to switch it up. Whatever you want to call it, every series the Giants and Dodgers play until the end of the season is probably the most important one since 2004.
Baseball is silly, and rivalries are silly. There but for the grace of geography go I. But rivalries are also fun. And getting your quasi-serious hate going is one of the best ways to enjoy baseball. I missed baseball on my vacation, and now I get to come back to a Giants/Dodgers series. The last series made me nervous. This one just gets me fired up.
Because hey, screw you, Dodgers. That's why.