We Love L.A.: An open thank-you letter to the Dodgers
Dear L.A. Dodgers players, management and staff:
This letter is admittedly a little overdue, and for that, we apologize.
First off, let us belatedly express our heartfelt gratitude for taking Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett — as well as that troublesome $260 million in salary — off our hands last August. We really would have liked to keep Adrian Gonzalez around, but we understand we had to give a little to get a lot of room on that ledger. We’re optimistic about what Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster can do for this team whether they’re starting or relieving for us in the future, and thanks for nurturing them so well down on the farm.
We should have sent this sooner, but we were a little stressed last September what with the whole Bobby-Valentine-clubhouse-in-total-and-utter-collapse situation. It might have been a little selfish, but we needed to take some “Us Time”. Refocus. Breathe. Get the old Duck Boats in a row, as it were.
And things have worked out. For the both of us, it seems.
While you stumbled out of the blocks in 2013 — you were 12 games below .500 and in last place in the National League West on June 21 and manager Don Mattingly’s head was on the chopping block — you’ve since posted the best record in baseball at 37-7 and are now leading the NL West, 7.5 games ahead of your old pal Kirk Gibson and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gonzalez looks locked in, Clayton Kershaw is completely deserving of the comparisons to Koufax and Yasiel Puig has electrified the fans out there in a way that hasn’t been seen since Fernando-mania or Mannywood.
Thanks again for that swap as well. Manny happy returns, as they say.
On our side of the country, we’ve led the American League East for most of the season, but have been trying to fend off those irksome Tampa Bay Rays of late. On July 26, they took a brief, half-game lead in the East, but we managed to shove them back to two games out before you hosted them this past weekend for that series in Dodgertown.
On our end, we completely dropped the ball in Kansas City, losing three of four to another streaking team in the AL Central. But once again, you had our backs, sweeping Tampa Bay 20-8 over the weekend to keep them three games out of top spot in the East. If you hadn’t completely dominated Joe Maddon’s crew, they’d be breathing a little harder down our necks right now. Great job.
We look forward to renewing acquaintances with Gonzalez, Crawford, Nick Punto, Hanley Ramirez and the whole gang when we head out to Chavez Ravine for three games Aug. 23-25. It should prove to be a great matchup — we’re 9-3 while you’re 11-6 in interleague play this season, so something’s gotta give.
All that being said, if things go well and the baseball gods see fit to keep smiling on our two august organizations and we end up locking horns in the Fall Classic this October, all bets are off. No goodwill. No mercy. No letters of thanks.
What a series that would be, though, am I right?
Regards from the Best Coast to the West Coast,
Red Sox Nation
P.S. Sorry that Josh Beckett thing hasn’t worked out, but caveat emptor and all that.