See you on Monday in Los Angeles: twitter.com/Dodgers/status…
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 12, 2013
7 articles Articles posted in baseball
In general, I think it’s stupid when pitchers throw at opposing hitters to “send a message” about something that happened earlier in the game or in a previous game. If a guy shows you up by admiring his home run, you should be more embarrassed by the fact that you served up the pitch than you should be by the way the guy watches it leave the park. (I think it’s worse when umpires and announcers make a big deal about it. If no one says anything, then it’s just a bit of private communication between ballplayers. Why make a big deal, cause a brawl, and force MLB to issue fines and suspensions?)
But this in exception.
Ted Lily is pitching for the Dodgers tonight in a meaningless game against the Diamondbacks, the division champs who are playing for playoff seeding. And tonight, I hope Lily sends a message to Ryan Roberts.
Last night, Roberts hit a walk-off grand slam to cap a disastrous (for the Dodgers) bottom-of-the-tenth. With two outs, pitcher Blake Hawksworth forgot to cover the bag on a routine ground ball that should have ended the game. That led to the homer, which was painful but was hardly the worst thing that’s happened in a season that’s been over for weeks now.
Here’s the problem: Roberts didn’t just trot around the bases, and he didn’t even joyously skip around them. He did Gibby’s trot.
I don’t care if Gibson is his manager, or that the man himself approved. That trot is holy, and that moment belongs to the Dodgers. With an owner who’s doing everything he can to flush decades of tradition down the toilet, we cannot abide some uppity, overly-tattooed middle infielder claiming such a sacred moment for his own after winning a mostly meaningless game on a lucky swing against an overworked rookie only closing games because everyone else is injured.
I should also note: In contrast to some of our other NL West competition, I don’t particularly hate the DBacks. Their fans are too fair-weather to be obnoxious, they beat up on the Giants this year, and this year they’re actually a group of scrappy, likeable players managed by a baseball hero. So I don’t begrudge Ryan the right to celebrate, and I wouldn’t care if he’d simply “shown up” the Dodgers… they certainly deserved a bit of shaming after that. But this was over the line. This aggression will not stand.
Stand up for your team, Ted Lily. Teach Ryan Roberts a lesson he won’t forget.
Arash Markazi sums up how a lot of us feel:
I know the terrible thing that happened to Brian Stow on opening day, I know what’s happening on the field, I know what’s not happening in the stands. And I know what’s happening in the courtroom. I know all this but I still go to the games because reality has always found a way of suspending itself when I’m at the stadium. I still have the same feeling entering the parking lot off Sunset Boulevard I did when I was a child with my father…
…Feelings such as that are deep-rooted. I’ve loved the Dodgers for as long as I can remember. It’s a fandom that was passed on to me by my father, and I’m not about to throw it away now over a time period I hope to tell my kids about when I take them to Dodger Stadium some day. That’s why I can’t allow McCourt to change my feelings about the Dodgers and why I refuse to let him chase me away from a place that has given me so much joy over the years.
There is nothing complicated or conflicted about my feelings for McCourt. I don’t like him, what he’s done. It doesn’t take me very long to come to this conclusion and move on with my life. The truth is I don’t even think about him when I’m at Dodger Stadium. Even when I’m sitting in an almost-empty section of the stadium. He is the furthest thing from my mind as I watch the game with a Dodger Dog in my hands and Vin Scully in my ears. Maybe I’m clinging to memories that will never be recaptured and setting myself up for more heartbreak but I can’t help it.
The Dodgers and Dodger Stadium still represent something special to me, something more important than court cases, divorce settlements and losing streaks. Judging from the empty seats around me, this puts me in the minority. But I can live with that. I’ve lived with this team all my life.
With no outs in the top of the 6th inning of Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, Duke Snider — who’d hit four home runs in the previous six games — laid down a sac bunt to move PeeWee Reese to second. After Snider reached on an error, the next batter, Roy Campanella, laid down another bunt to move Reese to third.
So the record books say that Gil Hodges had both the Dodgers’ RBI in that game. But maybe they should also note that the Dodgers’ second run came as a result of the MVP (Campy) and the runner-up in MVP voting (the Duke) bunting over a runner who Hodges drove in with a sac fly. Can you imagine such a thing in today’s game?
Let me put a fine point on it. For his career, Duke Snider had 11 HR, 26 RBI, and 21 runs in 36 World Series games. (He’s the fourth best in WS history.) This was the final game of a season in which he had 42 HR, 136 RBI, 126 runs, and an OPS of 1.046. And this is the guy you want bunting with no outs in the sixth?
Darn straight. RIP, Duke.
(By the way: There are seven members of that team in the Hall of Fame. Or eight if you’re like me and you count the radio announcer.)