The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


In the midst of all the League Championship fever, Jay Jaffe has taken time out to write a great piece on the Dodgers' season, their brief-but-sparkling playoff run and how they managed to win him back:
Eric Gagne's 84 consecutive saves, Alex Cora's 18-pitch at-bat, Lima Time, night after night of pinch-grand slams, 53 come-from-behind victories including 26 in their final at-bat, their first postseason victory in 16 years as Lima shut down the league's most feared offense and got L.A. fans to stay right to the end -- the Dodgers showed their hearts every single day and won mine all over again. If I'm a bit misty-eyed, whatever tears I've shed over the end of their season have been tears of gratitude and joy. Thank you, Dodgers, for bringing me home.
He also bids farewell to Robin Ventura, who announced his retirement from the game after the Dodgers' defeat. Ventura has always been one of my favourite players, and I'll be sad to see him go. The stats tell part of the story (6 Gold Gloves, 294 HR, 1,182 RBI, a .267 batting average and 18 career grand slams, good for third on the all-time list) but I'll leave the last word to Dodger skipper Jim Tracy:
"I've been fortunate in the four years I've managed in the big leagues to be around some very professional people. Robin Ventura transcends about every possible thing you can think of when it comes to professionalism."
He not only played the game, but he played it right.