Chances Are

“Guess you feel you’ll always be the one and only one for me
And if you think you could
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good”

~Johnny Mathis

0781

Somehow, we have made it to the last series of the regular season. This season has simultaneously flown by and dragged by. Wanting to make it to the playoffs, but never wanting the regular season to end, because then our time with Vin will be over.

If you had told me in the middle of June that this is how the regular season would end, that the last series with the Giants wouldn’t matter, I would’ve thought it was because the Giants never relinquished their huge lead in the NL West. I could have only dreamed it was because the Dodgers had such a large lead over the Giants that they clinched the division the week before.

But this is baseball. The wonderful sport where the crazy and unexpected happens every day. Where the hottest team in baseball can go on an epic slide, allowing a team that set the record for most players on the DL in one season  to overtake them for the division lead. Where the team eight games down loses its star pitcher – and not just their star pitcher, the best pitcher in the National League and arguably the Major Leagues to a back injury for three months. And then that team starts playing some of their best baseball, and slowly and methodically working their way into first place.

Baseball is a game that needs contributions from all types of guys. The guy that’s called up to fill in for an injured player and fills the role beautifully. The relief pitchers that are called on to take on more of a load than they ever have, since the starters aren’t making it past the fifth inning very often. Then that bullpen goes on to be one of the best in the whole major leagues. Or the pitcher that come from another country, whose signing was met with speculation because of injury concerns. In the year of the most injuries ever, that is the pitcher that proves to be most durable and logs the most innings.

The guy that isn’t the everyday starter, that has been up and down from Triple-A all season, only to hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth to clinch the division. It’s also a game of things working out perfectly ‘on schedule’, that that division clinching home run, in the bottom of the 10th inning, happens on the last home game of the year, the last home game called by the most iconic broadcaster. If you wrote that for a movie, people would scoff. “That’s too perfect,” they’d say. “Real life doesn’t happen like that.”

But yet in baseball, it does. So maybe, just maybe, the baseball season has more in store for us Dodgers fans. Many writers and outlets are already crowning the Chicago Cubs World Series champs. And if not the Cubs, the Boston Red Sox. As much as a Cubs World Series win is a long time coming, the best team during the regular season has not won the World Series in a long time. Perhaps all the injuries and adversity of this season have just served to forge the making of a great playoff team.

And so all of what has transpired this season has just set the Dodgers up for a good chance to make it to the World Series. We are well aware of the blown chances in the last three postseasons.  But I dare say this postseason feels different. It is true that after making it past the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers would potentially have to go through two juggernaut teams in the Cubs and Red Sox. But this is baseball, where anything can happen. Where the best regular season team doesn’t always win.  Where once you get into the playoffs, every team has a chance.  What more does Vin Scully deserve in his final season than to see the team he’s called games for for 67 years win the World Series?  Baseball is the place where these kind of Hollywood endings happen, and what better place for it to happen than in LA.

 

 

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