Dodgers Swoon As Season Nears Playoff Time

Published 9:25 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

He hasn’t come into the office lately, but I can imagine that my fellow Dodgers fan — I’ve never learned his name — is steaming mad. He has good cause.

We have traded small talk over the years about the Dodgers and swapped memories of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale — the glory days of the Dodgers in the 1960s. He and I are of a certain age.

He comes in to buy a newspaper, and we usually have a few words about our team. We hate the Yankees, of course.

Many times it has seemed like the Dodgers’ resurrection time had come and another World Series was at hand. It has been 28 years — so long that I have often flirted with the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals so I could have a reason to watch baseball in October.

This had seemed like the year … until two weeks ago. Until two weeks ago, the Dodgers were on a clip to challenge the baseball record for most wins in a season, 116. Sports Illustrated featured the team on its cover with the heading, “Best. Team. Ever?”

That question has been answered.

It’s mid-September and the Dodgers have lost 11 in a row — 16 of the past 17 games. The team record is still a very respectable 92-52 — best in the Major Leagues, but there are two weeks left in the season and this team can’t buy a win. The Dodgers are almost assured of a playoff spot, but what good is it for a team that has forgotten how to tie its shoes?

It looks like a very short October for the Dodgers. My friend and I will have plenty to grouse about next time we meet.

• • • • •

It has been a point of pride that my Virginia granddaughters and Patsy Cline attended the same school. Patsy went to first grade at Round Hill Elementary until her no-good daddy abandoned the family. Patsy and her mother had to move to nearby Winchester. Patsy is buried there. We visited her grave once, but the bell tower no longer played “Sweet Dreams.”

The granddaughters this fall switched school districts to a nearby new school, Mountain View Elementary. Even without a country music legend to support it, the school has my admiration.

Teachers there don’t believe in homework. Children don’t have math assignments, science papers or any homework assignments. Teachers do encourage children to read at home. Students are urged to go outside and play.

Parents must love this school.

• • • • •

While Florida was worried about being washed away by Hurricane Irma, I was hatching a plan to save my lawn. Seizing on opportunity, I hastily spread fertilizer, lime and grass seed on Saturday before the remnants of Irma arrived. I spread straw to keep the seed from washing away in case the rain was heavier than predicted.

Every fall I have gone through the same procedure, but many years the skies have refused to rain and the seed wasted away on the ground.

Maybe this time. Light rains arrived on schedule Monday at noon and have continued through the night and most of Tuesday. The grass seed and fertilizer have had nearly two days to soak. There’s a little more rain in the forecast for Thursday, but then it turns dry again.

The lawn has turned brown in the past month. After an excellent spring and wet early summer, the rain spigot had turned off until Irma arrived.

In a couple weeks I will know if Irma saved my lawn.

• • • • •

World War II has started again for me on Twitter. For five years I followed the fascinating day-to-day progress posted by British historian Alwyn Collinson. He has recently started his posts anew. This week he notes that Time magazine was the first to use the term, “World War II.”

— Dwight Sparks