Let’s begin with a little couch therapy.
No matter what happens today, the fate of the world isn’t resting on it. The quality of your life isn’t riding on it. Your long-term, future happiness won’t be affected by it. In a few hours, you will be 1) either incredibly relieved and looking ahead to Game 6 in St. Louis on Friday night, or 2) singing “the sun’ll come out … to-mor-row,” from the Broadway musical Annie. OK, maybe you won’t be singing, and even if you are it won’t be anything from a Broadway musical, but however this game turns out, the sun WILL come out tomorrow. Even if you wake up thinking the Dodgers are just NEVER going to win the World Series again in your lifetime.
All of that said, the Dodgers are fighting for their playoff lives today, but if they approach it with that mindset, they are in deep trouble. If they go to the plate trying to squeeze sawdust out of the bat, they have no chance. If they are afraid of making mistakes, forget about it. If they focus on the fact they have to win three games in a row against a possibly superior team in order to reach the World Series, they’re toast. The right way to play today’s game is to be loose and relaxed and have fun, and to try to win one game, TODAY’s game. This is baseball, and the Dodgers might not get a chance to play it again for a few months, right? So they may as well enjoy it. And their fans may as well enjoy it, as well. It’s a beautiful (if somewhat hot) afternoon at one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Dodgers have had a fantastic season and are standing in a place where only four major league teams can stand in any give year.
And the future of this franchise looks blindingly bright. It wasn’t that long ago that we weren’t able to say that, at least not without sounding like we were whistling past the graveyard.
So tee it up and play ball. And let’s see what happens.