The Dodgers won the 2020 World Series last night. The World Series that, back in July, I was pretty sure we would never get to.
And, now we have. And, now it’s over. And, now we rest.
I didn’t believe Major League Baseball could pull it off.
As with many things, I was wrong.
(Or, maybe I was right … since Justin Turner of the Dodgers was pulled in the 8th inning last night after testing positive for covid … and then returned to the field for the celebration. What kind of quarantine is that, MLB?)
I haven’t written much on here … this pandemic has squeezed the words right out of me. But, I refuse to let October close without saying something.
Baseball was a sorely needed distraction this season. Maybe not for you. But, it was for me.
It never rose above that, though. It was always just a distraction.
It was like watching a small-town parade … it passed by and it was nice, sure … each game was the high school marching band or the float pulled on a flat-bed trailer by the local bank or the team of 10-year-olds twirling batons and marching down Main Street.
That’s all it was … each game a tissue-paper float in a small-town parade.
But, baseball has always been more than that for me.
More than just a parade.
A parade disappears. No one remembers a parade after the last town car, carrying the Parade Princess and her Court, turns the corner and slips out of sight.
This season baseball was just a forgettable distraction. Nice, sure. To be able to turn away for just a few minutes from the news, the covid, the politics, the protests, was a relief. Not to ignore the bad things, but simply to take a breath and think of something else – anything else – for a couple of minutes.
Maybe the beloved movie Animal House can explain this better than me.
I am Flounder. John Belushi’s Bluto is baseball.
“My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”
(I could continue the Animal House analogy – the state of the world today is Flounder’s brother’s car. And, we shouldn’t have trusted our car with … well, anyway … back to distractions.)
I’m not sure I was truly engaged in any game I watched. Not even the Baltimore Orioles … who started off pretty well, slid to mediocre, and then just dog-paddled about at the shallow end of the pool … slipping out of contention sometime in the middle of this mini-season, ending poorly, but not as poorly as some other teams.
I watched. Half-watched. Half-interested. Half-entertained. Often half-asleep.
It didn’t feel right. Well, honestly, nothing feels right anymore, so why should baseball be any different?
I half-watched my way through the playoffs. And, I half-watched my way through the World Series.
And, I half-rooted for the Dodgers for three reasons.
First, my dad wasn’t a huge baseball fan, but when he was, he was a Dodgers fan.
Second, Utility Outfield-Infield-I-Can-Play-Anywhere Guy Chris Taylor played at the University of Virginia. Wahoo Forever.
And, third, I will always root for Mookie Betts.
My cat Mookie Wilson-Betts would have it no other way.
It’s been a few hours without baseball. What will distract me now?