Soon the clock will spring forward and snowboards will climb back into the garage to collect a summer’s worth of dust. California will start to show her true colors again. Cold mornings, burning hot middays and cool evenings with purple skies. Sea foam from a day at the beach and sand between your toes, work feeling less serious because of all the times and places you could have lived, you got California in the lottery.
I hope this summer we’ll still be glowing from a well-deserved Lakers World Championship, but I can’t predict much. But summer is about no new television, it’s about being outside. It’s about baseball. The boys of summer are in Arizona right now getting ready to represent our fair city in battle and we are going to stick it to the world this year.
For four months I wondered if this season was going to be worth it, the same way I felt when Kobe was wigging out. I wondered because if Manny wasn’t in blue this year, it wouldn’t be the same. Sometimes you are ready to leave, I wasn’t. I wondered if at all it meant anything to him, playing here and feeling the energy that went on in that stadium. In the stadium you could hear things like, “it hasn’t been like this since Fernando” or “I’ve never seen someone hit like this.” No one has.
We’re witnessing the best hitter of our time. He is here in Lost Angeles.
Everyone says it is gross that he gets paid so much or that he held out and far be it for me to say that is a wrong sentiment to have. All I can tell you is that it is hard to put a price tag on greatness. When you see a little kid stomping around with Manny’s fake dreads on you feel it. You felt it when he tried to pick a fight during the NLDS. Here’s a psycho in a city full of lunatics and whether it is for show or now, we will never know. All we care about is that he is performing.
And oh how Manny performs.
He is only the second man in history to hit 50 rbis in both the AL and NL in one season. The hard part isn’t hitting 50 before the trade deadline, or even getting traded in a season where you did. The hard part is hitting so well for six weeks that your stats even out. Manny was a freak. He made no sense. The Dodgers finally were not a team to be fucked with.
People are quick to knock the pitching staff, saying it won’t matter we have Manny. We don’t have the arms. To play devil’s advocate is easy. Manny changes the offense so dramatically it changes the defense. Pitching is easier when you believe you will score runs, when you give up a homer and know you just need to lock it down so Manny can bring it back.
The rest of the lineup gets more patient. They want to be on base when Manny comes up. Not just because they want to score a run, but because they want the best view in the house when the dreadlocked predator takes it all out on the ball.
I will talk more later, I just am glad I am excited to this degree. I want to fight a total stranger I am so excited.
So are the Dodgers. Check out how quickly Manny is the face of the team again: