- Tuesday, July 19, 2011 6:32 AM
- Written By: Dodgers Diaries
I had a dream last night that baseball’s regular season had already come to an end. The Giants had made the playoffs and had Tim Lincecum on the mound in Game 1 of the NLDS. I don’t recall who his opponent was, but the Dodgers, mercifully, had long since put out of their misery.
I woke up with a start, not because I was so upset about the Dodgers' failure to reach postseason -- I came to grips with that in spring training when I saw Juan Uribe’s swing. My distress was provoked by the thought of another summer flying by without delivering on its eternal promise of endless barbecues, watermelon on the back porch, sunny days at the beach and lazy afternoons at Dodger Stadium.
When I woke, of course, it was still July, with plenty of warm summer days still to look forward to on the calendar. Today promises to be one of the finest, pleasant enough to do just about anything in shorts and flipflops. Compared to last year, when May Gray and June Gloom stretched on right through September and October, summer 2011 is already an improvement.
If only the Dodgers would cooperate even just a tiny bit. I dutifully watch the games, but only until they fall behind by two runs. At that point, it’s simply too infuriating to watch this team squander runners in scoring position. Even MVP candidate Matt Kemp seems to be plagued by the Dodgers’ malaise. After outrunning a fly ball off the bat of Andres Torres, he came up with runners on first and third and one out, hit the ball hard, but still managed to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers are slated to play an afternoon game against the Giants on Wednesday, with Lincecum taking on Clayton Kershaw. The forecast is for another ho-hum gorgeous day here in Southern California. In more promising years, I’d be tempted to play hooky and go to the game in person. But I was almost relieved to remember that the game is in San Francisco.
If I play hooky, it won’t be to watch the game on TV, but because the summer of 2010 taught me not to take beautiful summer days for granted. No matter what I end up doing, I’ll bring a radio along, just for the joy of listening to Vin’s ebullience at the premier pitching matchup and baseball in sunshine at the best park in the country. And I’ll hope that in retrospect, the 2011 Dodgers will one day help me appreciate something as ordinary as a .500 season.
-- JOHN ROSENTHAL