Here's something that you might not know about the world of baseball writing: when the team that one covers ends their season without making the playoffs, a beat writer for that disappointing team will actually be asked to continue writing about baseball, sometimes even writing about other, more successful teams. Crazy, right? I thought those guys just took six-month-vacations to Antigua.
So all your favorite Mets writers and Mariners bloggers are still filing stories. The good guys will put on their neutral fedoras with a generic press card stuck in the band and shed any biases they might have used during the regular season in order to provide fair coverage to the teams participating in the postseason. The bad guys will just crap all over the playoff teams out of sheer jealousy. Quite the dichotomy.
So let's take the easy road and dial up one of these sadsack writers who'd rather fan the flames of discord instead of writing intriguing human interest stories about Josh Hamilton's redemption song. The simplest target of all is our old pal Steve Dilbeck, Dodgers beat blogger for the Los Angeles Times, who manages to simultaneously insult both the Giants' fanbase, the Dodgers' longtime primary rival, and the enthusiastic fans of the American League champion Rangers:
The Giants are going to the World Series. Some nightmares really can become too real. The Giants and their Halloween-colored uniforms and their wine-sipping fans are going to the World Series.
This provides the answer to the heretofore never imagined question: How do you turn the entire city of Los Angeles into Texas Rangers fans? And until today, I don't think I ever met a Texas Rangers fan.
I've never met a Texas Rangers fan either but (a) I've never been to Texas and (b) I know they exist because I've seen them on television and, unfortunately, in the Oval Office. On the other hand, I've met Houston Astros fans in person but I'm not quite convinced that they weren't actually Russian spies.
I was at a local Division-III football game Saturday night, and when the PA guy announced the Giants had won, it was actually greeted by a spattering of applause. I popped up and told them all to leave immediately.
The Giants have been hiding in the fog since 1958. Haven't won a single World Series since moving to San Francisco from New York. Meanwhile, down in blissfully beautiful L.A., the Dodgers have won five. It's such a great thing.
I guess Dodgers fans hang on to the past as much as Tommy Lasorda hangs on to used up rinds of Parmigiano-Reggiano for that healthy winter minestrone he'll never make. Yes, the boys in blue have won five titles since their big westward move, but haven't even won a pennant since 1988. Meanwhile, this is the Giants' third pennant in that span. Love the fog joke though, Steverino. Now give us that bonus insult of another successful team:
I don't know much about the Rangers, except they have Cliff Lee and the Dodgers don't. They play in Ft. Worth, like to call it Dallas-Fort Worth and call themselves the Texas Rangers. When you have that kind of identity crisis, it's no wonder you can't find you way to the postseason.
No matter, I am now a huge fan of the Rangers, whoever they are.
Naturally, our trusty reporter Dilbeck remembers Cliff Lee who memorably pitched eight innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers in last year's NLCS game three. Those ten strikeouts and zero walks will make a fella very hard to forget. And speaking of forgetting, Dodgers fans should immediately forget the idea that Cliff Lee might sign a contract with L.A. this winter. What big-time free agent would want to join a team with a brand-new, inexperienced manager and a team whose finances are threatened by feuding owners in a divorce proceeding?
But for now, Cliff Lee's in the World Series and we should salute him and his team's fans. Let's smash those sour grapes and make some sour wine to get the Dilbecks of the world drunk on good baseball.