I tried not to hate. Really, I did.
I made it through five games of the NLDS against the Nationals and managed not to hate them. I think part of that had to do with the fact that I still think of the Nationals as the Expos, and no one ever hated the Expos. (Except the citizens of Montreal, apparently.) It’s easy to not hate a team that never wins anything.
Up to this point, I’ve been rather forgiving about the Dodgers. I haven’t forgotten that they swept the Cubs in the first round of the playoffs in 2008, but any animosity I had over that disappeared when the Cubs defeated them in the NLCS last year.
It’s easy to not hate the vanquished.
But in the first two games of this year’s NLCS, I’ve discovered a multitude of reasons to hate the Dodgers.
Justin Turner. Even before he won game 2 with a towering homerun to centerfield in the bottom of the ninth inning, he had secured a place on my shit list.
Never mind the fact that he miraculously became good when he came to L.A. after five abysmal seasons with the Mets and Orioles. I’ll also overlook his winning the last roster spot in this year’s all-star game over Kris Bryant.
But I can’t get past the beard. Good lord someone show that guy how to use a razor or some scissors, or something. I know it’s not popular to judge people on their appearance, but I’m doing this for his own good. I guarantee he frightens young children with that thing. I’m an adult and I’m not certain that some carnivorous monster won’t emerge from that hirsute abomination if someone gets too close.
And mark my words, sometime in the not-too-distant future, we’ll look back at beards like his the same way we look back at Billy Ray Cyrus’s haircut circa 1992.
Yasiel Puig. If he was half as good as he thinks he is, he’d have five MVP awards by now. Nothing brought me more joy the first two games than watching him act like he hit the ball a country mile on two different occasions, only to have one ball barely clear the fence, and the other hit the bottom of the wall.
He’s no superstar, that’s for sure. His personality and ego may say superstar, but his stats this year say Leon Durham, 1984, only not quite as good.
Calm down, Yasiel. You make yourself look like a fool. And quit licking the bat. Pine tar kills. (I might have made that up, or it might be true. Or both.)
Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. Your names sound like you’re washed-up child stars from some horrendous Disney sitcom I watched with my kids five years ago. If I have to hear one more thing about the Dodgers having back-to-back rookies of the year I’m going to scream.
Clayton Kershaw. He’s too good. This is only irritating because he’s not on the Cubs. After this series I’ll probably go back to not hating him. But for now, he’s persona non grata.
Same with Kenley Jansen.
Dave Roberts. Look, I understand we pretend like certain baseball managers are geniuses, and have some special ability to always make correct decisions, but let’s be honest, there’s so much damn data in baseball right now that a team could hire a kid to manage and still have a reasonable chance to win, given a talented roster.
But anyone who thinks removing Kershaw from a playoff game in the fifth inning is a good idea is a damn fool. I don’t care how the game turns out. If Kershaw only pitches five innings in his next start, I like the Cubs’ chances. With the way Dave Roberts manages, all the Dodgers’ relievers’ arms will be falling off by then.
Dodger Dogs. When the Cubs moved on to play the Dodgers, I thought it might be fun to order some Dodger Dogs to enjoy with my kids during game one. I was happy to see them for sale on Amazon…and then I saw the price. $46.95 for six hot dogs. Are you kidding me? Do they know what hot dogs are made from?
So it turns out there’s plenty to dislike about the Dodgers. Their only hope for redemption is defeat.
Luckily, I suspect that’s forthcoming.
Cubs in seven.
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