Roller Coaster (of Love)  

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals
Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, June 22,2016 at Dodger Stadium. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

“Oh, yeah, it’s rollercoaster time
Lovin’ you is really wild
Oh, it?s just a love rollercoaster
Step right up and get your tickets!”

~Red Hot Chili Peppers

Sometimes, I suppose, it’s easy for us to forget how lucky we are. We get bogged down in the day to day minutia and only focus on the bad things happening to us. This happens with sports fandom also. It’s so easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong with your team, that you don’t see all the amazing things that are happening in front of you.

I know that all fans don’t feel this way, and most people don’t need a reminder. But I’ve seen quite a few posts/tweets etc. that still pick apart the Dodgers even though they are currently on a six-game winning streak. But this is a reminder how lucky, we as Dodger fans, truly are.

What is it, that makes one feel this way? Any pessimist at heart can’t see anything but the bad? Or is it preemptive stealing your heart, in case they let you down? I can understand that. I don’t think my heart has recovered yet from the 2013 and 2014 playoffs. Whatever it is, we need to enjoy the things that are in front of us now.

Vin Scully — Many things have been said about the man behind that microphone, and I couldn’t even begin to do him justice. Our days with the greatest broadcaster ever are numbered, and I know that thousands of people in the LA area don’t get to listen to him. But for those of us who can, we would be well served to just shut up and listen, learn and enjoy everything he has to say.

Kershaw — We are witnessing history. If Clayton Kershaw finishes this year with a sub 3.00 ERA (which he will), it’ll be the eighth year in a row that he has done so. That hasn’t been accomplished in 100 years. He’s on pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s on pace for the most ridiculous strikeout-to-walk ratio the world has ever seen. And in addition to his stellar pitching, he’s always the first the dugout to be excited for his teammates when they do well. He is our generation’s Sandy Koufax, and man are we lucky to have him.

PuigYasiel Puig just wants to make baseball fun again. He slides (flies!) into home plate like Superman. He turns a single into a little league home run and rounds the bases in 15.2 seconds. He throws out runners from deep right field. He may not make it through the season as a Dodger if some trade rumors come true. Love his joie de vivre while we have him.

Utley — What closely, and you just might be able to catch Chase Utley crack a smile.

The Young GunsCorey Seager, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson have long, wonderful careers ahead of them and we get to witness it from the beginning! The front office was right not to trade them (or to trade for them, in Thompson) and we are set up for years to come with those three.

Urías — The Teenager just keeps getting better and better. Here’s a fun little stat courtesy of Joshua Gurnick:

Just like the Young Guns, we get to watch him grow. I get giddy thinking about the combo of Julio Urias and Kershaw pitching back-to-back a year or two down the road.

So, you may laugh at me. You may mock me. And kudos if you’ve made it this far without rolling your eyes or wanting to hurl. I know this is all very PollyAnna of me. The Dodgers may very well miss the playoffs, lose badly in them, or, they may give Vin Scully the best send off ever with a World Series Championship.

The best you can do is enjoy the roller coaster while you’re on it because as Vin has said many times, “Baseball is a great game, the greatest game there is.”

And boy are we lucky to be fans of the Dodgers.

 

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