As a boy, the Dodgers were my team. The Brooklyn Dodgers, that is. I just picked up the vibe, the Dodgers were cool. I’m not exactly a fan these days, but I am still positively disposed to the Dodgers.
Pretty good first inning in this third game against the Phil’s. Four pitches, already one run scored. Furcal slides home and I swear he threw a kick at the Phillies catcher.
Martin gets hit, bases loaded. This seems to be meaningful. History, I suppose. Someone threw at Manny Ramirez, or Manny thought so anyway. Nomar on strikes, one out. Casey Blake, not to be confused with Blake DeWitt, who plays about thirty feet away, hits a dying quail into short right field for a second run
Jeff Kemp, three and oh, bases loaded . . . where did all this foliage in the bullpens come from? Was it always there? Another strike out. Than the DeWitt Blake hits a bases loaded triple, looking for all the world like one of the DiMaggio brothers. Five runs, a pretty good first inning. The Dodgers came out tonight like they were really, really intending to kick ass and take names.
Hiroshi Kuroda is pitching for the Dodgers. He’s a big dude, no need in qualifying, like “for an Asian,” this guy is one big hominid, period. Remember Don Drysdale? The King of the Brushback? He was so big, he just threw at guys and said, you don’t like it? Here I am, you'd better bring the bat, you'll need it. Big as a house, strong as a brick house. Kuroda is too, plus the karate of course. He throws in the mid-nineties, I wouldn’t want to get hit by one of those, no way. Mr. Kuroda, please excuse me if I just stand a little bit further back, oh no, it’s ok, I like the ass end of the batters’ box just fine. The top of the second goes ok, nobody gets hurt. The Phil’s get a run. I don’t care, I hate to see teams get embarrassed.
Bottom of the second, Furcal again. Hits another first pitch, second pitch to him in this game, second run scored by him, a homer this time. The Phil’s bullpen is up again. Goodbye Mr. Moyer, say hi! to Mrs. Moyer, drink your Metamucil, and go to bed, time to stop the bleeding. Condrate or something, a right hander, to pitch to Manny “I Take What I Want, I’m a Bad Go-Getter, Yeah” Ramirez. He walks him. Ooooooooooh! High and tight again to Martin. Why throw at him? I guess he does stand a little close to the plate. The plot thickens.
Kuroda, back on the mound, huge and resolute. Gently guarding the plate, pitching inside but not like an actual invasion. The first guy in the top of the third hits a grounder and is out at first by twelve feet; that’s better than putting him on first by hitting him, isn’t it? A man with the great family name “Victorino” objects to a pitch that goes over his head with no chance of hitting him, he seems to be explaining that he’d rather get hit in the chest than have one go sailing harmlessly over his head. Words are exchanged and Kuroda receives a pro-forma warning from the ump. Victorino grounds out to first and Kuroda comes over to put his two cents in, probably something like, if I wanted to hit you in the head you’d be on your way to the hospital by now, or, you tell your friends that if they keep throwing at my team you or somebody else will be seeing double for the rest of your life, or, if English is a problem, maybe more like, next time, Gaijiin, you die! Everyone got slightly upset and both benches came out, but it was all coffee-klatch, just coffee talk plus three guys holding back Manny Ramirez, who evidently plays this game like he means it.
This is a great game. Nomar Garciapara just picked up a vicious short hop at first and made it look like ballet. This guy DeWitt, who except for the five o’clock shadow looks about twelve years old, is a terrific second baseman. The Dodgers look good. Let’s hope that they don’t get what I call “the Dodgers’ Sudden Dangerous Insight,” which is when they realize that all of this post season stuff is hard work, and their wallets are fat already, and it’s so nice to go back to the ranch/mansion in Calabasas, with the giant TV, the pool and hot-tub, all the great restaurants, and two or three nice cars to drive to the beach.