“We're going to party at my house. We're going to party like rock stars, if you can find my house,” yelled an enormous sweat and champagne-covered man to the frenzied crowd at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.
The “man” was Manny. And indeed he is the man right now in this Dodger-crazed City of Angels. Manny Ramirez is carrying the Los Angeles Dodgers on his wide back to the Promised Land. And he doesn’t seem to mind the load. The Dodgers swept the mighty media-favored Cubs right out of Chavez Ravine last night winning their third in a row and clinching the best-of-five National League Division Series.
Furcal and Manny invite entire crowd to Manny's house for a party. Photo by Mark Groubert.
Dodger pre-game line-up. Photo by Mark Groubert.
Folks, do not let the I-have-never-seen-the-Dodgers-play-because-I-live-on-the-East-Coast sports pundits fool you. The Cubs didn’t play bad baseball and come up short. They were absolutely dismantled by Manny’s Dodgers. The Cubs were thoroughly beaten in every recordable aspect of the game of baseball. In fact, if you listened close enough you could hear the Establishment sports writers thinking a line out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – “Who the hell are these guys?”
Dodger great Don Newcombe mixes with the fans. Photo by Mark Groubert.
For the diehard Dodger fans (and you know who you are) you know the Dodgers are winning when the celebrities start to show up. Sure, Alyssa Milano, to her credit, is usually there. But when you start seeing the likes of Billy Crystal, Jon Lovitz, Sherry Lansing, William Friedkin, Vince Vaughn, Rob Reiner and the freakin’ Mayor, well, we know what that means.
CNN host Larry King heads to the head. Photo by Mark Groubet.
The Dodgers are the Team du Jour of the country.
Strap yourselves in Dodger fans. We are headed to the Promised Land. We all might not get there together but that’s where we’re headed. It’s been twenty long years since Gibby jacked that ball off of a stunned Eck launching the crippled Dodger into sports immortality.
Indeed, many things have happened in the past twenty years. But as the true baseball fan knows, at its core baseball is about the passage of time.
Teach your children well.
[Please Note: Phillies just beat the Brewers so it will be Phillies versus Dodgers in a seven game series for the National League pennant opening Thursday night in Philadelphia on Fox]
Words and Photographs by Mark Groubert