My, how times have changed
That headline could refer to any number of things, but a few of them are top of mind this afternoon. The first is the Viva los Dodgers event going on in the parking lot right now, which started out 10 years ago as an event that drew about 500 people and now brings almost 10,000 out to the stadium. It’s a really enjoyable event, even if you don’t speak Spanish or listen to Spanish music. Just being at a cultural event like that is pretty cool and helps us all understand the melting pot that is our city.
Also, the changes in modern technology continue to amaze all of us, I’m sure, but in reading the L.A. Times Letters to the Editor today, I noticed that often there seems to be a distinct difference in opinion of those who use newspapers as their primary source of information (and write in to them) or those who are primarily Internet users (and post comments and thoughts here or on other forums). While many online blogs like Dodger Thoughts seem to have a lot of people who believe in building this team through the farm system and a longer-term view, there are many who write into the editor or Bill Plaschke (as he mentioned in his last column) who think we should have traded away all the kids for talent that might have made us better this year.
I guess I just wonder whether it’s an age thing (older fans, who might somehow prefer quick fixes, are more likely to be reading the papers, though we’ve got plenty of older fans that post here) or a sabermetrics thing (more of them online than in the papers and they follow the minor leagues more closely) or maybe it’s neither. This is hardly a scientific experiment, but it’s something I seem to have noticed in tracking Dodger coverage over the last few years. One of those things that make you go hmmm…
And while I hate to point out a single letter to the editor, I found the very first one today quite odd – the belief that only Ned "made the trade" for Hendrickson and that he "wants [Grady] to keep him in the rotation." First off, the idea that these two don’t consult one another on everything is absurd, as I watch them interact all the time and share their thoughts with one another. Grady (and his entire coaching staff) was very involved in the Hendrickson trade and Ned is consulted regularly on on-field issues, too.
But going back to my technology point, a letter like that is out-of-date and looks silly when it appears in the paper the day after Eric Stults replaced Hendrickson in the rotation with a stellar start. Or when one of the letters refers to going to see a "fourth-place team" when the team moved into third place last night. These are hardly egregious issues, but with the ability to choose letters (or emails) that are more current, it strikes me as strange when that never happens. After all, every single letter that ran today was completely negative and the team has reeled off three straight wins.
Which I guess, brings me to the final way to look at the headline of today’s blog. Three days ago, there was no hope (at least according to most fans) that we would turn this around. Three days ago, people were writing off the team completely and starting to focus on football (and fantasy football). But today, with three consecutive victories, the team is within 2.5 games of the Wild Card and the playoffs are very much within reach. Remember that age-old cliche, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and just because you trip and fall at Mile 20 doesn’t mean you can’t finish the race in front. It’s just going to take a lot better effort in the final 6.2 miles.
Here are the Dodgers’ marathoners for today: