061117_Reds_Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers edged out the Cincinnati Reds 9-7 at their June 11 home game at Dodger Stadium. For Dodger fans, this has been a banner year.

Juan Ocampo

The last game, the Dodgers won 10-0. Or was it the game before last or 10 games ago? Dodger fans have grown fat with success.

There's nothing better than when your team is “going good.” When they are on a roll. When they win so much that, if a fan of an opposing team is gracious enough to compliment you on how well they are playing, you say, “Yes, but they dropped a game to the Angels three weeks ago.”

Dropped a game to the Angels? You mean after winning eight of nine? Nineteen of 21? Thirty-five of the last 40? What do you want? All the king's gold, the castle and his Bentley, too?

Yes, Dodger fans have grown fat with success.

A baseball season is like meditation. When it's going good, a peaceful one. A meditation that produces waves of well-being.

I love basketball and its creative chaos, but fast and furious may not bring peace. Satisfaction, yes. Peace, no.

A baseball season takes on the qualities of the seasons it passes through: In spring, teams are full of hope. Everybody has a chance to win the championship. Players are healthy. Home run title, MVP, Cy Young Award? Anything is possible.

In summer, baseball become languorous. June and July are thick with games. Lose one, there is another one tomorrow. Another game tomorrow and the day after.

Fall brings urgency. There is business to be decided. Playoff business. Who’s-going and who’s-going-home business.

Six months is a long meditation but when your team is going good, it’s like having money in your pocket, gas in your car and the open road stretching before you.

A team on a roll is unusual. Most of us follow dogs. Not show dogs, dogs. We’re five-and-dimers that have pledged our allegiance to teams that win or lose and it’s hard to know why.

Most of the time, you have as good a chance of picking the top dog in a greyhound race as you do the winner or loser of a baseball game.

Those are the midrange clubs. If your team is plain bad, in a rebuilding phase, rather than riding the train down it makes more sense to catch up on your reading, lay a brick patio or start season three or four of “House of Cards."

However, a good team is like a peacock in full display. It’s hard to know where to look. Every night, a new star blooms.

A Dodger day is a good day. It starts with reading about the game in the morning paper. A game that you saw the night before, but why not relive the highlights? Then, you can put the team in your pocket to be fished out when the tide ebbs as a surefire picker-upper.

Families come together when your team is going good.

I trade messages with Thomas and Sam during the games. They might as well be seated in the room rather than four houses and 4,000 miles away. We’re alone but no one is lonely.

I’m not in the habit of wearing baseball caps, but Dodger blue is fashionable right now and I could swear this one is more comfortable than the other six hats I have.

A good year is better when you like the players. Like the players who seem to like each other. Like the players who enjoy playing with one another and who are apt, after a victory, to compliment one another rather than extol their own contributions.

In the morning, I see Frank at the pool. Frank is a fan. More than once, he has said, “What do you think of those Dodgers?”

He knows what I think and I him. We think the same thing. The team is going good. This is special.

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