I hope that no one minds me going raw and unfiltered for one post. For this occasion, I feel it’s important.
The 2018 Dodgers – regardless of what happens on Saturday night in Milwaukee – are my favorite baseball team of all-time. I will get to the ‘why’ of that in a bit. However, before I do; I also want to note that this is my favorite baseball season of all time for a multitude of reasons. One of those biggest reasons is because this will forever be the season that I became part of Dodgers Nation, spending a season on the brink with you all and my family here at this site.
When I joined here, I had one goal: to tell the story of the 2018 Dodgers the best I could for everyone out there. I feel like I have done my best through the high’s and the low’s. Because of that, I’ve gained some amazing perspective about the game I felt I knew everything about. I am here to tell you one thing: the Dodgers are going to win game seven of the NLCS. They’re going to go to the World Series, and I guarantee you that. I am giving you all who read this my word.
Perhaps some of you have followed me on twitter this season. I have had the privilege of becoming friends with so many out there in Los Angeles, and it’s been a blast. If you have followed me, I typically follow you back. Right now, I see an awful lot of people who are planning on it being winter after tomorrow. Well, I’m not yet. It’s not our time yet. There is more of the story left to be told, for now. The final chapter has not yet been written.
If you have followed me on twitter – several times this year I have said the Dodgers would win. I get a feeling; a premonition, something I cannot explain. This supersedes and goes beyond any one stat or numbers I dig up. It’s just a gut feeling, and more often than not in my 30 years following baseball; it’s been on the money. Through good times and bad.
You see, aside from Vin Scully; the reason I love the Dodgers is my 70-something year old father. When I was four years old he took me out in the back yard and handed me a ball. Time after time, he made me hit him in the glove until the sun went down. I owe him for my painful addiction to this game – and baseball has brought me nearly everything I have in my life.
My dad is older now and in poor health – and through time I have come to realize how the game bridges fathers and sons. More than that, it bridges generations; daughters and their parents as well. With each game that passes, I know in my heart that this could very well be the final time that my dad gets to see the Dodgers make a run at a World Series. I can’t believe I was five when he had Kirk Gibson and the 1988 on the television. So this guarantee I give you holds significance for me. It’s probably my last shot with my dad to see the Dodgers win it all. But that doesn’t make the Dodgers winners tomorrow.
The reason this Dodgers team is so special is the fight they have shown time and again throughout this season. They were built for a situation like Saturday’s game seven. Counted out, embattled, embarrassed, wounded; but not yet buried.
In my entire life following this game – I have never seen a team with such hunger, determination, and grit. They have the mark of a champion, and the seeds of that mark were planted on that November 1st, 2017 night when they lost to Houston. This entire season – I have felt in my core that if the Dodgers got into the playoffs- they would return and give themselves a shot to win it all once again.
This team has crawled out of the grave several dozen times in 2018 to overcome. Think about all that has taken place, and they’re still standing. That’s why they will forever have my heart as my favorite team to ever play the game. They’re going to do it one more time on Saturday night in Milwaukee with the entire world against them.
The Brewers can run out Josh Hader, Jhoulys Chacin, or the ghost of Cy Young if they want to. I am here to tell you that it won’t matter. The 2018 Dodgers have a destiny and I know inside me with every fiber of my being that the destiny is to get back to a second straight World Series.
So call this my ‘magnum opus’. I won’t make another guarantee like this again; in the World Series or in the next ten playoffs. Every step of the way this team has gotten off the mat, and answered the bell. This is who they are, and if you have watched them closely enough; you feel what I am feeling. You may just have to look deep within yourself to realize it.
The best way I could explain it to someone is this: it’s just not my first rodeo. I am just one man, no more important than anyone else who watches baseball and the Dodgers every night. However, when someone grows up their entire life around say; the rodeo, they can sense exactly what a horse or a bull will do when they ride it for the 10,000th time.
I am certain on this. You have my promise Los Angeles. The Dodgers will win game seven. There is more of the story to still be told.
[button color=”blue” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://dodgersnation.com/a-dodgers-nlcs-evening-with-michael-duarte-episode-26-blue-heaven-podcast-cp1085/2018/10/19/”]Blue Heaven Podcast Episode 26[/button]