I think I have gotten angrier with each passing day about the fact that the Astros (and Red Sox) cheated.
The last time the Dodgers won the World Series I was 21 years old. If someone had told me then that the next time the Dodgers played for the title I would be 50, I would not have believed it. But if you watch enough sports, over time you will realize that decades can pass between championships. Heck, six major league teams have never won a title: Tampa Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. And until last year, the Washington Nationals were among them.
It’s. Hard. To. Win.
Of course, it’s much, much harder when a team cheats!
I doubt that this scandal will be remembered like the baseball scandal of 1921, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox intentionally lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money. Shoeless Joe Jackson, a star on the White Sox and one of the best players, if not the best at that time, was banned for life while still in his prime.
A 2017 Yahoo Sports headline read: The Los Angeles Dodgers Had the Highest Payroll in Baseball, but They Still Lost in the World Series.
Here’s what people said at the time:
“They spent all that money, but when they needed to win the last game of the year that money meant NOTHING! The Dodgers tried to buy a World Series and couldn’t.”
“The Dodgers lost because the Astros had more heart!”
“The Astros won and deserved it. Move on.”
That was then, this is now:
“I’d like my career numbers against Altuve, Springer, and Correa erased from the record books. Seriously though, it’s bad. Can they do that?”
“Clayton Kershaw should really have two World Series rings since the Astros and Red Sox had to cheat to beat the Dodgers.”
And here’s a quote from someone who knows a little bit about breaking cardinal rules.
“If I’m a player and every time I bat I’m getting the signs from the dugout, I’m just as guilty as the guy who is giving me the signs.”
– Pete Rose
(It will be 30 years this August for Rose, whose ban from baseball was due to a heavy and costly gambling addiction.)
If you recall, the series between the Astros and the Dodgers was spectacular. In hindsight it was all a charade.
What bugs me the most is not that I have been waiting so long for the Dodgers to win a championship, it is the memories that I — and so many other people — could have created:
In 2017, a friend of mine flew down to Los Angeles with his son to be on hand for Game 7. And while the memories of being at the World Series with his son are still pretty cool, imagine if the Dodgers would have won! I cannot think of a better experience that I would want to share with my own boy.
So yeah, I guess I am angry. As good as the Dodgers are, there is no guarantee that they will bring home a World Series Championship. If they do, it will undoubtedly wash away some of the heartbreak.
And if the Dodgers are in another World Series and lose, at least I will know that they lost fair and square.