Red October II: Euphoria and Anguish

Its not over yet, and they still have Alyssa Milano

Its not over yet, and they still have Alyssa Milano

We all love October.  College Football and the NFL are in full swing, the NHL and NBA both open their seasons, and baseball has their playoffs and World Series. The steady constant of winning and losing during the regular season is exponentially amplified, now ranging from total euphoria to devestating heartbreak. This, as sports fans, is what we live for.  October, for sure, is the best time of year.

But it can also be the worst.  Below is an excerpt from one of our contributors, who all too well captures the anguish and disdain as her team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have now been brought to the brink.   Regardless of if you are a Dodger fan or not, you can’t deny the passion.

I am a chick who loves sports.  My husband and I argue about which sport to watch on which TV.  More than anything, I love my baseball and the Dodgers.  I went to 20 games this year including one in Texas (Ranger fans were disappointingly unfriendly).  I’ve been to every home postseason game.  The other 162 regular home games I watched on TV, listened to on the radio or on XM.  I listen to the MLB Baseball channel on XM when I’m stuck at a desk.  I knew the starting lineup on opening day, which I have been present for the last 14 years.

Every opening day, you think this could be the year.  The first year since 1988 that we win the World Series, be the World Champions.  This year I believed our offense could carry us far but I had doubts about our pitching.  Our offense was great; the kids I’ve been watching grow up grew up this year.  The pitching, despite the fact we never had a number 5 starter or number 4 starter for that matter, was better than expected.

Now, it’s déjà vu all over again.  We sweep the first playoff series only to go down 4-1 in the next.  I hope I’m wrong.  I hope they prove me wrong.  I hope the Dodgers win Wednesday so I can go see them win Friday and Saturday and go on to the World Series.  But if we don’t Sherrill and Broxton both broke my heart.

In game 1 against Philadelphia, Sherrill gave up a 3-run home run.  We may have won that game 6-5.  In game 4, Broxton gives up a 2-run walk off hit.  I can’t even describe how angry I was at that moment.  Broxton has been such a disappointment.  Some of you may say he’s a great closer but I have higher expectations.  I have watched Gagne and Saito in the last 5 years be almost perfect.  Broxton was always set up because he was young, developing.  Didn’t he have time to perfect a second pitch?!  If you are going to be a closer, you’ve got to be fierce and I don’t think he has it in him.

As much as I love Joe Torre, I think he managed the end of game 1 and game 4 incorrectly.  After we got Sherrill, Torre used Broxton a few times in the 8th inning if the heart of the lineup came up and Sherrill to close out the 9th inning.  It worked perfectly.  I don’t know why he didn’t do it again.  I guess it’s another one of those questions that gets answered in Heaven.

And yes, I am aware in both games the Dodgers offense left men on base but this is the playoffs.  Runs are not supposed to come easy.   Let’s hope that the same intensity, the play until the bitter end is still in them and we have a chance to come back.  I saw Red Sox do it down 3-0 against the Yankees so I know it’s not an impossibility just an improbability.  I have seen a lot of improbable this year.  Let’s hope that year is not done.

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