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SchLAdenfreude

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If the Dodgers were a team of orphaned harbor seal pups clinging to the world's last ice floe in a rapidly warming Arctic Sea, it would still taste delicious to eliminate them from playoff contention.

But when the Dodgers are a badly-jelled amalgam of hanleynaires owned by a scrum of new guys who huff nitrous oxide before reaching for a checkbook, it really really really feels good to eliminate them. The Koreans have a phrase for it: Schadenfreude Gangnam Style.

(So many people noted that the Dodgers didn't jell as a unit, I half-expected Don Mattingly to blame the team hair stylist. NSFW.)

There's another reason we should be happy the Dodgers won't be in the playoffs. They could have played the Giants again. Between now and the NLCS, LA might have bought a tub of jell (gel? Jell-O?), or started hitting again, or brought in a manager who wouldn't decide that HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA OMG MATTINGLY. Not to say that Washington, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Atlanta are afterthoughts, but we know sooner or later that LA lineup is going to be good. Paired up in a short playoff series with Clayton Kershaw, a nasty bullpen, and with Don Mattingly locked in the broom closet, for sure the Dodgers would have had a fighting chance.

Operative words: Would have had. I'm tempted to write something like, "Now the Carl Crawford era begins. So much to look forward to in the Southland!" But if I've learned anything from this year, it's to hold that snarky tongue, young man. Last night's game was not just revenge for Game 161 of 2004, but perhaps the result of too many Dodger fans looking at the Giants this spring and texting "LOL Zito" to each other. (Many of them misspelled LOL.) Big difference from Giant fans this spring: We know how to spell LOL.

The point is, just when you think you'll never hear again from a guy like Barry Zito, shazam! Just when you think you know Melky Cabrera, you don't. And then you don't again. At some point this year, some jerk probably made a joke about sticking a fork in the A's. A year from now, we might be reading headlines about Carl Crawford's pennant-winning grand slam. I don't want to eat crow and read at the same time. Bad for the digestion. So I'll stick to the gloating at hand. See you in April, Dodgers.
 

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