17 July 2009

Game 89 Unfair Loss Shares

The game happens in the outside world, but the story of the game is told from the inner world. The story I hear is told by me, instinctively, from my own perception and bias. When Andre Ethier grounds into a double play and the last real chance at the game disappears, it is his failure, and my reaction is lament. I do not receive it as the triumph of the pitcher. It is framed in my mind as a moment of Ethier, a moment when he alone strove and failed.

To be a fan is to invest oneself in victory for the chosen side, but there is more. The fan restricts his vision to his own team. The other teams, the opponents, are not invested with the same reality. In my mind the Dodger players are the agents of choice, the movers, determining the destiny of each game. Often the other team is barely acknowledged.

They were too good, we sometimes say, after defeat for our chosen ones. Is this a grudging admission, a lifting of the veil to briefly reveal the truth that both teams are equal strivers, identical in will and influence, if not identical in talent and ability? It might be, or it might be a something else, the lie of the wall. Each team is a wall, to be scaled, or not. Some walls are higher than others. Some are challenging obstacles, and against some defeat is nearly inconceivable. But they are what they are, fixed, and it is only our team that strives, that moves. Sometimes, when we say that the other team was too good, we are just saying that the wall was too high. But what if the Dodgers are the wall, and the other team are the strivers?

If that was so, then what kind of wall are the Dodgers? What striving did the Astros have to do to climb over them? The Dodgers must be a tall and treacherous wall. Even in defeat the Dodgers produced 11 baserunners, to 10 for the Astros. It was not an easy victory for the Astros. Maybe, after that game, this is my consolation, to think of the Dodgers as not the strivers, but as the unmoving object, as a difficult and treacherous wall to climb. Oh yes, the Astros made it over them once, but they still loom, still daunt, for the next three days. What a challenge they present! No one has ever scaled them three days in a row.

Unfair Win Shares ( Astros )

Quintero -- 1
Arias -- 1
Rodriguez -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Ethier -- 1
Wolf -- 1
Kemp -- 1


Griffster said...

A very enjoyable post.

Joshua Worley said...

Huh, I thought it was kind of poor -- okay idea, but iffy execution. But I did enjoy contemplating how tough a wall the Dodgers are to climb. You can lose sight of that when you think of the Dodgers as the movers and the other teams as the obstacles to be overcome.

Dusto Magnifico said...

Maybe you can link the players up to all their "shares" to the games where they got them? Why do Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have 12 and 11 Unfair loss shares?