Reasons to watch

The times of the year in spring and fall when first-run TV and Major League Baseball intersect the most are tough for me. (I do love my shows.) I almost never watch nighttime exhibition baseball as a result, particularly when my DVR is bubbling.

But I checked on the Dodger game after dinner tonight, almost for no other reason other than to acknowledge the team was back in Southern California, and not only was it scoreless in the fifth, which was kind of interesting, but the Dodgers hadn’t allowed a baserunner, which was very interesting.

It whetted my appetite for baseball. My curiosity.

In the seventh inning, I paused to pay attention to a Juan Uribe at-bat, which is like pausing to pay attention to a fallen leaf. Uribe has had … not the worst spring, and I entertained myself with the thought that I would spot something different about him.  I didn’t, but I did get to see him get his second hit in three at-bats tonight, a broken-bat single off Mark Lowe, that pitcher the Dodgers released earlier this week.

Later in the inning, there was a mini-version of one of those just-when-you-think-you’ve-seen-everything moments, something Vin Scully might remark upon if the stakes were higher. Uribe was on second base with two out, and Tim Federowicz hit a soft single into left field. In a 0-0 exhibition game, I figured Uribe would be waved home to try to score and hardly minded, but given that he was rounding third as the left fielder was reaching the ball, I also figured he would be thrown out easily – and that’s without factoring in that the left fielder was superman Mike Trout.

But Uribe was safe. Easily. He was running in mud, but he was safe.  Maybe he was saving himself for the regular season, but Trout just put nothing on his throw. Welcome back, unpredictability.

And then in the next inning, Matt Kemp hit an opposite-field RBI triple. Giddy.

I like having reasons to watch. I like being reminded that I have reasons to watch. I admit, there are moments that I think this game has nothing left to offer me, at least relative to what the rest of the world can. But baseball keeps putting up a fight. It’s relentless.

  • Anonymous

    Ryu looked really good last night. It’s going to be fun watching him pitch.

    • Anonymous

      And that last paragraph made me kind of sad, ha.

  • Anonymous

    As Jon knows, I’m not much of a TV fan, except for baseball, but I have learned to love “Justified.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1172439252 Michael Green

    As the late great Walter Wellesley Smith–better known as Red, and once described by an editor as the greatest sportswriter ever to have three different women’s schools for a name–used to say, baseball becomes dull only to dull minds. My mind has been dulled without DodgerThoughts. Jon, it’s good to see you posting some.

    • Anonymous

      What women’s school goes with Walter?

  • Anonymous

    Good to see you here on a semi-regular basis. If you haven’t checked out Jon Soohoo’s blog, you’ll have to wait until opening day to see all the improvements to the Stadium, primarily on the Reserve level.

    http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com/

    But no troughs! I’ll miss them. I predict longer lines at the men’s room. Not to be indelicate, but if they had to get rid of the troughs, they should have put up those barriers between urinals so men don’t have to compare their packages.

  • Anonymous

    Jon – thanks for your mini flurry of posts.

    For some reason, I feel less excited heading into this season. Perhaps it has to do with a very long spring training – which hasn’t gone exceedingly well for the Dodgers. I realize that spring training means bupkis, but it has still been less than satisfying. I imagine the biggest reason though, is that old tormentor – expectations.

    The Dodgers have put together a good to quite good to possibly great team and fans are justified in having the equivalent hopes for success. I realize that this is, in terms of MLB, a “first world problem”. I wonder though if with greater expectation comes a lesser need to hope the team does well. I understand that lots can still go wrong, but I think that plays into my point. If things do go wrong then it is somehow less ok than if the Dodgers were a young, up-and-coming team. Don’t get me wrong, winning would be (will be?) enjoyable, with out a doubt. But perhaps, winning when we do have doubts is even a bit more fun…

    • Anonymous

      Good point about the extended spring training. It has just dragged with little modifications to what was expected. Let’s get this going!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Usually I check here at least 4-5 times a week as I check other less updated blogs but since I’ve been seeing nothing from any of them, I had not checked in the last 4 days and what do you do Jon but whip out 3 in a row. Good reads all

    • Anonymous

      KT, that bear in your avatar is going to give me nightmares :) (he looks too happy !)

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        That’s Koda from Brother Bear…See the look my son is giving

  • Anonymous

    Jon, it’s great to see a string of posts from you. I’m looking forward to the season, excited about my first visit to the refurbished Dodger Stadium, and just thinking about Puig in the minor league system reminds me of the way I felt when we knew there was a young Clayton Kershaw tearing it up in the minors, generating whispered comparisons to the great Sandy Koufax.

    I remain hopeful, but realistic, about the Dodgers chances this year, in the same what that I remain hopeful, but realistic, about Dodgerthoughts one day returning to daily prominence.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT