Monday, July 27, 2009

The Curse

The other day, I went to my first Dodger game of the season. I had a really great time, but when I got the tickets, I forgot about one important thing: The Curse.

In case you don't follow baseball, the Dodgers are having one of their best years ever so far. They have the best record in baseball and they show no signs of slowing down. Even with (arguably) their best player, Manny Ramirez, suspended for 50 games for steroid use, they continued to play strong and with him back, they look poised to make a run at the World Series. Going into Friday's game, they were even riding a 5 game winning streak. So basically what I'm saying is that I should have know better than to go to the game. You see, statistically, the Dodgers lose 90% of games that I attend.

My girlfriend and I were late getting to the game, so we strolled in around the 4th inning (I should note at this point that usually when I am late to a game, the Dodgers are down by multiple runs and the starting pitcher is fuming on the bench next to a cooler of Gatorade he has smashed with either his fist or the nearest bat). I cringed a little as we found our seats and looked at the score: Dodgers:1, Marlins: 0. Whaaaaaat? Maybe this really is their year. However, shortly after we took our seats, the Marlins made a charge and went up 3-1. To my shock, the Dodgers came right back, and tied the game at 3. Around the 7th inning, something happened that I have learned to accept through the years. Though I can't know for sure exactly what transpires each time, I imagine it to go a little something like this:

Joe Torre (the Dodgers manager) signals to home umpire that he wants to come out to talk to the pitcher and heads to the mound, looking into the outfield as he walks out. The pitcher is looking at him, confused.

Torre: Look, I know that you're pitching well, but did you see who's in section 313 tonight?

Pitcher (looks out at the bleachers. A look of disbelief comes over his face): Seriously? Doesn't he know we're trying to make the playoffs here?

Torre (shaking his head): I guess not.

Pitcher and manger sit in silence for a few seconds

Pitcher (looking up): Listen, I know the drill, but do you think maybe, just once, we could do things a little differently? I mean, my ERA is down below 2 for the first time in my career.

Torre: I'm sorry, there's just a way things are done when this guy shows up.

Pitcher looks at his feet and kicks some dirt, looking dejected.

Torre: Tell you what, Washington is coming into town in a few weeks. I'll play you a minimum of 2 innings a game when they're in town. Your ERA will be back down in no time. I'll even take you out for a Shirley Temple after the game. Deal?

Pitcher (smiling): Deal

Torre: Good. This guy likes high fastballs.

(Torre hands the pitcher the ball)

Torre (starting to walk back to the dugout): Serve it up!

Pitcher: Wait...what if he comes to the games against Washington?

Torre (stopping in his tracks and turning slowly): Then God help us.

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