The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t been to the World Series since Marvel movies looked like this ...
... and I’m afraid that’s the last time I’ll ever get to use that joke construction. The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to the World Series with one more win. This is horrible and inevitable, so we should probably prepare for it.
One of the best ways to prepare for it is to become huge fans of whichever American League team wins the pennant. I have always been a big fan of the Houston Astros and [reads card] Enos Cabell. They are my favorite American League squadron and always have been, at least for the past couple days. It would be easy to root for the team and the city, too. If you need help in that department, you can read this wonderful feature about the Astros, which is a delight to read, as you can just feel how handsome the writer is when the words drip off the screen and into your consciousness, where they will live forever.
Except it’s not going to be the Astros. They’re currently tied, 2-2, in the ALCS, and they have two potential home games remaining to the Yankees’ one. Not to mention, they’re probably the better team, at least on a 162-game basis, so it would seem to be premature to suggest that the Yankees are going to win the pennant. Except you know they will. You can feel it in your bones.
You’re going to have to become the biggest Yankees fan on the planet.
You’ll have to pump your fist when Aaron Judge hits a homer. You’ll have to root really, really hard for Gary Sanchez to get a hit. You’ll have to pretend like it’s a good thing when someone one-hands a ball that almost bounces, and it rides that weird-ass jetstream right out of the park.
You’ll have to be okay with a team winning a World Series constantly. You’ll have to be okay with a team that hasn’t had a championship drought longer than 18 seasons. You’ll have to be okay with a fan base that gets twitchy after a two-year drought.
And you’ll do it all because you want Tommy Lasorda to be incredibly sad. Among other things.
It would be easy to root for Jose Altuve, simply because he might be one of the easiest baseball players to root for in history. It would be easy to root for Carlos Correa, one of the purest baseball talents alive, who is caught between both Houston and Puerto Rico. It would be easy to root for Josh Reddick, if only because he’s not on one of those teams anymore.
Heck, you could root for Norichika Aoki to get a ring, even if it would come with mixed feelings for him.
You won’t get that chance, though. You used the baseball gods’ credit card, and this is the interest you’ll have to pay every year for the indefinite future. It’s going to be the Yankees and the Dodgers for the 58th time, and you’ll have to pretend to like the Yankees.
I can do it. I won’t have any problems doing it.
But are you ready?
My original plan was to write about the Baseball America Draft Report Card for the Giants, which highlighted the high-upside, surprisingly young draft class from this year. Except I realized that it was kind of sad to write something that was like, “Hey, hey, check out these Rookie League prospects!” as if we were going to see them in the next four years. The alternative plan was even sadder. I decided to write down what you were already expecting.
The worst part is the Dodgers haven’t even ran Clayton Kershaw into the ground this postseason. That’s usually the best part of October, and it was stolen from us. So not only are the Dodgers going to win the pennant, but they’ll be perfectly positioned to mess up either of the AL teams. Specifically, the Yankees, because you know they’re going to win.
Meanwhile, I’ll just go ahead and prep 50 different Jarrod Dyson articles. He really could be the difference, you know.
The Dodgers are going to win the pennant, and they’ll force you to root for the Yankees. This is the Diamondbacks’ fault. This is the Cubs’ fault. And I guess when you get down to it, it sure would have been cooler if the Giants could have won the division this year, too. It doesn’t matter why, though. You’ll have to focus on the what. As in, what are you going to do? What are you going to feel?
Start preparing now, I guess. Start preparing now, and it won’t feel so miserable later.