Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Voodoo Logic

I've got no particular affection for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but after they wiped the floor with the Mets back in August, I more or less pegged them as this year's team of Destiny. They romped, as I expected, to the NL West title, where they met the Atlanta Braves, a team I never liked, even before they decided they were the arbiters of morality in the Major Leagues. Twice in the last month of the season, they basically took it upon themselves to be Miss Manners and police the behavior of their opponents, pretty much removing any of the joy a ballplayer might derive from playing the game. True, in some instances it may have been justified, but the Braves can just as easily be accused of crossing the line between eye-for-an-eye and acting like a bunch of crybabies.

So, when the Dodgers knocked the Braves out of the Playoffs and really whooped it up afterwards, I have to say I enjoyed it. The Braves have proven themselves a joyless, curmudgeonly bunch that seems to be content to petulantly pick fights to somehow prove that they're the real men in the league, but I could tell all year that they were little more than a Paper Tiger. Against the Dodgefathers, as I've started to refer to them based on their ability to a) win in every way imaginable and b) somehow manage to make their opponent capitulate to them at every crucial moment, the Braves proved unable to keep pace. The Dodgers beat the wildly overrated Kris Medlen in Game 1, and although the Braves won Game 2, the Dodgers blew the Braves' doors off in Game 3 as the series moved to Dodger Stadium and its celebrities and excessively loud music.

Game 4 on Monday Night was more of a nailbiter, but even when the Braves took the lead in the 7th inning, I was pretty sure the Dodgers would come back, and I was almost certain that they would do it against God's Gift to Closing, Craig Kimbrel. That's just how the Dodgers Voodoo works, but there was a little more to it than that. See, nobody ever wants to talk about it, but every time Kimbrel has been put in an important game, he's shit the bed. He did it in the last game of the year in 2011, he did it in the Wildcard game last year, and he did it in the World Baseball Classic. This would have been Kimbrel's chance to get blown up on a big stage, and I hoped it would be spectacular. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to blow the game because his Manager never gave him the chance. Rather than making him man up for a 6-out save, Fredi Manuel Gonzalez brought in David Carpenter and Carpenter surrendered Juan Uribe's truly massive Game Winning Home Run while Kimbrel was left to stand in the bullpen holding his jock.

But whether it was Carpenter or Kimbrel who was victimized, it didn't matter. The Dodgefathers were going to will themselves to win that game last night, it didn't matter how. That's just how this mojo seems to work. We saw the Dodgers do this to the Mets on three consecutive nights in August and it seems like they're up to the same old tricks. Whether it's the Pirates or the Cardinals who show up to face them in the NLCS, they'll probably fall victim to the same hex. It's going to carry the Dodgers all the way to the World Series, and probably to a Championship.

2 comments:

Tom Diriwachter said...

The Dodgers are the new Yankees...

Tom Diriwachter said...

The Dodgers are the new Yankees...