Hurts, doesn’t it? Losing in seven games, after a hard fought year, a year with 104 wins, a year with a Rookie of the Year, Reliever of the Year, Team of the Year. It hurts losing, losing to a team from Houston of all places, a team with a bunch of no names (who in the world is Lance McCullers?), a team that made racially offensive gestures, and a team with fans that honestly didn’t seem to care that much. It hurts to say, yeah, we lost to them.
But that hurt doesn’t last long for some of us. For some of us, looking back at this year is exciting. For some of us, this 30th year of waiting finally means something. For some of us, we remember the pain of the past, of the constant crying, year after year, but somehow we’re not crying this year.
The reason for the excitement? The Dodgers we saw this year aren’t anything like we’ve seen in the past. For those of us that remember the pain of Manny Ramirez, the king of steroids himself, Joc Pederson’s 3 home runs in the World Series look pretty attractive. For those of us that remember an aging James Loney who seemed to get a year older every time he took another strikeout, Cody Bellinger looks like an MVP, poor postseason and all. For those of us that spent every October wincing at a depressed Clayton Kershaw, head in his hands, seeing him relaxing in the bullpen after throwing 4 scoreless innings in a crucial Game 7 makes him look a lot more like the face of the franchise. Long gone are the days of nightmares of Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter, now is our time to start giving nightmares.
However painful getting so close to the trophy and then falling flat on our faces feels, long time fans know that pain is short term. As the Chinese proverb states, “eat bitter, taste sweet.” Dodgers fans have eaten a whole lot of bitter in these past 30 years, and we’re about to taste the sweetness. We’ve had to endure a lot of jokes and laughs and insults, but for those of us that have been through Chad Billingsley and Russell Martin and Rafael Furcal (who’s that?), we’re going to be the ones laughing soon. Because this time, “there’s always next year” doesn’t sound so cliche.
Photo by Creative Commons