One of the constant refrains I hear this year, whether it’s tied in with the McCourt debacle or the 22 years since the last World Series title or whatever, is that Dodger fans deserve better. And I get that, I totally do.
I just come at things from a different place. I don’t feel like I deserve better with the Dodgers. Big media market, big tradition, big talent base – I don’t care. That doesn’t matter to me.
As someone who was never anything but a Dodger fan, I was born on third base, as they say – but I don’t think I hit a triple. I think I got lucky. I was born into Jackie Robinson’s franchise. I was born with Vin Scully as my broadcaster. The Yankees, the Red Sox – I don’t care. I can’t imagine a better team to root for than Jackie and Vin’s team.
A game like today’s, and I don’t feel cheated. I feel, that makes sense. The McCourts, the bullpen collapses – they’re plot points in a drama that otherwise would be very nice but very sterile. Very tidy. Life isn’t tidy. That’s why it makes sense.
I’m not saying that’s right. I totally get why other people feel differently.
And it doesn’t mean I don’t feel disappointment. God, do I.
I just really don’t feel I’m owed anything. And it could be another 50 years without a World Series title (it really well could be), and I don’t think that will change. Some of you feel you’re owed, and that’s fine. I don’t feel it. I feel we’ve been given gifts, and expecting, demanding more is nonsensical.
I won’t stop being disappointed if there’s nothing under the tree this year, but I don’t blame Santa for passing us by.
And then there’s this.
I’m not going to defend Jonathan Broxton today. From what I saw, he should have pitched better.
But this. People look at what he does and then they say he doesn’t have a killer instinct or a heart or a brain or whatever other option “The Wizard of Oz” offers. They say it about Chad Billingsley, or Matt Kemp. They’ve said it about guys long gone, and they’ll say it about guys yet to come. And maybe they’re right. I don’t think they’re right – this ultimate judgment that boils down to “all winners have heart, all losers lack heart” – but maybe they’re right.
I think part of the reason I get so bothered is that when they say those things, I feel they might as well be saying it about me. Because I am no different than Broxton, Billingsley or Kemp. I have my good points and my bad points. And in particular, in my life, I have been lacking in grace under pressure. Rising to the occasion is not so easy for me.
It’s my hope that my family, friends and colleagues see the good that I do alongside my failings. Because if I’m judged only on my failings, I’m done for.
I think people are spoiled. But I’m spoiled, too. Just in different ways. So who am I to criticize?
In fact, I don’t even like this ending, but I don’t have the heart or the backbone to change it. So there you go.