Okay, so it's not that I love the Dodgers, because I don't consider myself a Dodgers fan. It's not that I will be heartbroken without them in the World Series, because unless the Red Sox are there, there's no ESPN story line to watch in addition to the games. It's not because 1988 was twenty years ago (!!!), and we're starting to forget how much that stung (and we certainly are never reminded by highlights of that homerun, nope, never!).
I don't really know why I've have been rooting for the Dodgers. I'd blame home team bias, considering their ten mile proximity to my house, but the Angels play a mere thirty miles from me and we all know how I feel about them. Maybe it's the allure of Manny being Manny. Maybe it's the old-school baseball stadium that holds enough seats for a good number of Dodger faithful. Maybe it's simply because they aren't the Angels, and it's nice to have one home team--just one--in a city that I love, but don't feel connected to any of its major sporting franchises.
Whatever it is, I have a soft spot for the 2008 Dodgers. So much so, in fact, that I will be at the game tonight, as a birthday gift from someone who knew how much I wanted to be there. If I could have it my way, the series would be tied 2-2, and this game would be important, but had I control of how any one series would go, I'm glad it was the Rays lighting up the Red Sox in a fun-filled ALCS that is making all but the Boston faithful believe a little more in baseball.
After a demoralizing loss on Monday night, the Dodgers would certainly be well within rights to accept that this isn't their year, and just go through the motions tonight, especially with the unhittable Cole Hamels on the mound facing off against NLCS batting-practice Billingsley. This could very well be the last Dodgers' game I am excited about until the A's roll into town next year.
But I hope not. For the good of baseball everywhere; and to make up for an ALCS that continues to be much more fun as a blowout than a seven-game nail-biter; I hope the Dodgers win tonight and Friday and take this thing all the way to the wire.
More baseball games are good for baseball. And lest you all think that I have my priorities out of whack, Go Rays Go! I'll root the Dodgers all the way into the Series, if possible, but I will join all of America minus Red Sox Nation, when I stay firmly on the bandwagon of the 2008 Cinderella story.