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2018 Dodgers Season Exit Interviews: Clint

With the 2018 Dodgers season in our rear view mirror, the Dodgers Nation Staff will be conducting ‘Exit Interviews’. These will highlight our high points and low points, and we will do our best to sum up what was one of the wildest seasons in Los Angeles Dodgers history. 

The 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers will go down as my favorite team ever. Another team will need to go a long ways – probably finish it off and win a title – to surpass them. Sure, the Dodgers were imperfect and flawed and didn’t get the job done. But I said it many times on this site and to others – these Dodgers made you feel right along with them every step of the way.

For every memorable moment, there was a moment that the Dodgers looked death in the face. Right down until the end, they responded accordingly; crawling out of the grave that had been dug for them so properly. It would have been easy for this Dodgers team to quit some three-dozen different times – but they never did. Much credit should be given to the guys on the roster and to Dave Roberts. When you were ready to give up (and maybe me as well), they simply never did.

Teams that lose the World Series often go on to be forgotten. I would argue that this team is one of those rare teams that shouldn’t be. Here are some memories I share in my exit-interview as we close the book on the 2018 Dodgers once and for all. Feel free to share your own with each category in the comments section.

Favorite Moment

For me, I had two. Game 163 – and winning it at home in front of the Los Angeles crowd – it just seemed like the perfect day. The Dodgers would hoist a sixth straight division crown and I would sit on my couch and watch them celebrate. I felt like I was right there with them on that night and I will remember it forever. When Cody Bellinger hit this one into the seats, I knew the Dodgers were on their way. This was one of the best swings of Bellinger’s career, on a day where the opposing starter had really great stuff. It will always feel like a turning point moment to me.

The other would be winning game Seven of the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, on the road. Everything leading up to the game on social media, my own knowing that the Dodgers would find a way to win that game; it’s something I will never forget. The path wasn’t as easy but it was certainly as enjoyable.

Just like in game 163 – I stayed up late into the night watching the Dodgers celebrate another World Series berth. It was satisfying and fulfilling to watch them reach a spot I felt like they would make all season long. I felt vindicated and at peace with their season.

Low Point

Believe it or not – it was not losing the World Series to a heavily tooled Boston Red Sox team. I knew that was possible. The low point for me was May 10 through May 16 when the Dodgers dropped six straight to the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins. Los Angeles was swept in a four-game series by the Cincinnati Reds who began that series 11-27. I wrote this column after the first loss, and I truly felt like the season was over before it even began.

When you think back to those games and those feelings – it’s remarkable to see how far the Dodgers climbed and rounded themselves into a World Series contender after those embarrassing outings.

When I Knew It Was Over

It was a Saturday night – October 27th, 2018 to be exact. I sat in Blue Heaven Podcast studios with FRG and Mr. Gary Lee watching game four of the World Series. The Dodgers held a 4-0 lead after a huge home run by Yasiel Puig and it certainly felt like they were about to set the series on it’s proverbial head and even it at two games a piece.

But alas, it was not meant to be.

The Red Sox stormed back for a 9-6 victory. Rich Hill was pulled, Ryan Madson gave up the big home run to Mitch Moreland; and Kenley Jansen blew a save I still can’t spit out the taste of. Then I knew that the Dodgers were not going to storm back and win three in a row against the Red Sox and a long winter was ahead. I could barely speak as I headed for my car that evening. The darkness never seemed so dark, even being present in a city like Los Angeles.

What Did I Learn About Loving/Covering The Dodgers?

The first thing I will say is that both following and covering the Dodgers on a daily basis is truly a charmed life – even in the worst of times. I already knew this; but I would say I learned it to another degree in 2018. The Dodgers play baseball in the best city in the world. They have a tradition like no other, play in the best stadium in professional sports, and wear the most beautiful uniforms. I saw in thousands of instances – the blood, sweat, and tears that the fan base pours into this team on social media during the best and worst of times. There are 20-something other teams who have people writing about them and following them who would do anything for that team to be the Dodgers. That’s just the reality of it. I never knew that I could get such a natural high off the high-points and hurt so bad from the low points, truly.

I thought a guy like me at 35 years of age had seen everything in this game and felt everything. This was the season that aged me, matured me, and prepared me for the rest of my baseball life one way or another. That’s how I will forever look at it. It was a ‘turning point’ season in my life in many ways.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

7 Comments

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  1. Favorite Moment(s):

    Living in the Portland, OR area, I went to Seattle for a “Dodger Game” on Fri. 8/17. Boy, was it ever! First, half (by all estimates) of the crowd were screaming, cheering, shouting, clapping, chanting, thunderous, Blue & White clad Dodger fans! The row behind me were D-Backs fans chanting “Beat L.A.,” and the row in front of me were Rockies fans. Too bad, they could not drown me out! End result: Dodgers win 11-1 with 5 HRs, including one from my Fan Fav Mad Max Muncy…right before my eyes! One week later, on my 8/24 Birthday the Dodgers repeated a Fri. night 11/1 Win, including another Muncy Bomb!!! To top it off, Muncy hit another HR on his Birthday the following day, 8/25. Sweet!

    Then there was Game 162 against the Giants, where Muncy hit another Muncy Bomb that went SPLASH into the SFO Bay, accompanied by a legendary Muncy Bat Flip! Our rival Giants were drooling for the chance to take us down to close the Season, especially on their soil, but no way, no how…we swept them, as a beautiful bookend to our 2018 Regular Season.

    The next day came Tiebreaker Game 163. Mad Max and Cody Bellinger both hit 2-Run Homers, and Rookie Ace of a Pitcher Walker Buehler allowed only one hit, coming in the 6th inning, with a beautiful 6 2/3 inning finish.

    Speaking of Max & Buehler…they started on Opening Day of the 2018 Season together in the Minors, and both ended up proving themselves to be World Series Heroes in the same year. Who else does that? They both won my heart, as they were fascinating to watch.

    So many more…CT3 Walk-off, Kemp Walk-off….each and every one of the 40-man Roster brought me smiles, screams of joy and agony. But Victory Celebrations 4 times? Come on…don’t ever forget it…FOUR Club House Celebrations in 2018 had by all, is forever memorable!

    (sorry, I’m blogging your blog…lol)

      • Hi Clint, just wanted to say THANK YOU for covering the Dodgers this year with so much heart!! You love them like I do! I always looked forward to your articles?

    • I’m just disappointed w how Dave Roberts usedjoc pederson. He could have given the team more upside.

      • Mitchell, that was one of my many favorite highlights of the Season…Joc Pederson’s Franchise tying, breaking, and breaking again Lead Off Homers. He is in the Hall of Fame already for those stats alone!

  2. Low Point: Almost swept by the Reds and the Mets in September. The eliminated, or nearly eliminated teams would not let us have anything for free. Crawling our way to the top, then dropping 4.5 games so close to the end. Ouch! The whole season was a heartburn season of struggles and adversity. So many times we were left for dead, but rose from the ashes, only to fall again…and rise again. #LADetermined was not just a cliché…it was real!

    Call me crazy, but I was driving today, and the words to a Donna Summer Disco (I hate Disco) song came to me out of nowhere, and I thought, what a way to wrap up the 2018 Dodgers Regular Season. The Regular Season was our “cake” and the Post-Season was the icing on the cake. The cake kept melting, and the recipe for success kept changing, and I sure enough didn’t think I could take it, time and time again, for a very long, agonizing, yet exhilarating 6 months, leaving my Oregon neighbors wondering what the heck this crazy lady was screaming, cheering, agonizing (and such) was all about, as I watched every game on-line! But I knew I was invested 100% and would not give up! Truly, I’m not sure that 2018 recipe could be recreated. Now pardon the disco era, but here you go…my wrap of the 2018 Regular Season, at every stage of “Noooo….I can’t take it after coming this far…it took too long to get here…we have to make it!!!” as sung by Donna Summer…

    “Someone left the cake out in the rain..
    I don’t think that I can take it,
    Cuz it took so long to bake it,
    And I’ll never have that recipe, again….”

  3. Lad loss ws because of lousy decisions fr Robert’s he should be fired an frt office should sign Harper a try to get Mike scoisa as mgr

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