‘Twas actually the Dodgers I hoped would represent the National League in the World Series, as I live in Los Angeles, and as a little fellow used to believe that my listening to their games on my little red transistor radio improved their chances of winning. As I have never met a single member of the team, and recognize that it’s made up entirely of mercenaries who know next to nothing of my city, my allegiance to the Dodgers is of course entirely irrational.
My hoping for the Giants to win might make even less sense. I lived in the Bay Area for lotsa years, and rooted for the Giants even when Kevin Mitchell, a thug, and Will Clark, whose idea of a grand time was going out into nature and shooting something dead, were its principal stars. But I find, without ever having met either, that I enjoy rooting for both Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence.
Formerly the dominant pitcher in the National League, Lincecum has lately been glimpsed in Siberia, or at least in a corner of the Giants bullpen reserved for the pitcher least likely to see action. I, who know what it’s like to have the world on a string one day and then have it not return your calls the next, feel for the guy, whom I always enjoyed watching work, as I’ve never seen anyone who seemed so consistently to throw the ball with all his might. He’s listed as being 5-11, which means (because baseball teams exaggerate their players’ sizes to intimidate their opponents, even though their opponents are doing exactly the same thing) he might be 5-8 — tiny. It’s fun to watch a little guy strike out a great big one. He’s been busted for pot. He dressed eccentrically and had long hair. His surname is wonderfully evocative of linoleum, a word I’ve loved since I first heard it.
When the very rotund Pablo Sandoval waddled over to the mound the other night to offer encouragement or insight to relief pitcher Jean Machi, even rotunder, I though it might be the cutest thing I’d ever seen. The obesity epidemic writ large! I love that the Giants invited the late Steve Jobs to sing the National Anthem before Game 5, and that he, in turn, invited to accompany him on guitar Joan Baez, whom he was known to have dated because he liked the idea of putting his procreative organ somewhere Bob Dylan had earlier put his own. I dare to hope that first baseman Brandon Belt will name his first daughter Garter.
As I prepare to publish this, I now remember that I actually have met a couple of Los Angeles Dodgers, a million years ago, at the Broadway department store in Westchester, though I can recall only second baseman Charlie Neal’s identity. I got his autograph. He was the first black person with whom I’d ever interacted, unless you count gorgeous Sandra Lucas from my class at nearby Loyola Village School, and she self-identified as…Spanish because that’s the sort of thing black people did in those days.