22 January 2010

The Two Year Plan

I look forward to the season. I look forward to the games, so much, because they will drive away the feeling of hopelessness I have about the Dodger franchise right now. It was not a second loss to the Phillies in the playoffs that took away my spirit for the Dodgers. I was the revelation of the deep cracks in the Dodger foundation. There is a crisis in the Dodger ownership. The divorce. Revelations of personal greed that undermined the franchise. Insincere assurances. Arrogant proclamations that everything is fine. Financial decisions that point to looming ruin for the product on the field. The wretchedly dysfunctional Dodger ownership passed up on free draft picks because there was a small chance that it might cost them some money. So yes, I look forward to the season, because while the Dodger name has been tarnished, the Dodger team that takes the field for this season is not yet been ruined.

I look forward to the season because this, right now, is my favorite Dodger team of all time. These Dodgers haven't won the most, but they're the ones I've grown fondest of, the ones I've watched break in and thrive on the big stage. These Dodgers, who have never been anything else. These Dodgers, Kemp and Ethier and Kershaw and Billingsley and Broxton and Loney and Dewitt and McDonald. We've had two years of these Dodgers, and we'll have two more, at least. And two more years at most, probably. For some of them. A team too cheap to make a play for valuable draft picks that might very well save money in the long run is not going to be able to keep Kemp and Ethier and Billingsley around when their service time strikes midnight.

I think of it as a two year plan. All my favorite players will be around two years more. Vinny will be around for another year at least, but maybe also two years. I hope. And then, after two years, when Vinny is probably retired, and the oldest of the young players start leaving --- what? I don't know. It's a two year plan. I don't have the emotional budget for year three right now.

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