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2021 Dodgers: Taking the Bad with the Good

A personal perspective on appreciating baseball after almost losing it completely



I write for Dodgers Nation for many reasons: I love the Dodgers, and as a lifelong fan, baseball is truly what sets my soul on fire. I didn’t discover that passion until a little later on in my adult life, so now that I’ve found my rightful place among the Dodger faithful, getting to talk about the game, the players, the drama, and all of the people who have come into my life because of this one shared connection, well that’s what I call good fortune. And to get to do this purely for fun as a happy, light distraction from the sometimes heavy responsibilities of adulting? That’s about as perfect as a Clayton Kershaw 15K no-hitter.

Though you may see my name on this site from time to time after having written words about being a fan of the Dodgers, I do not consider myself a writer. I have no training or background in anything related to the written word other than a love of reading that has extended well beyond my youth. And on my good days, I like to devour information and appreciate the many different writing styles and perspectives out there in the world.

Having found my way into this little family at Dodgers Nation, with an editor who hasn’t rejected any of my work (yet), I have the privilege of contributing my thoughts when I want to, when the need arises, and from time to time when I’m asked if I have any perspective to share. During the 2020 NLCS, there were many late nights spent digging deep to articulate a feeling of hope, while deep down pushing away that familiar October dread I was feeling, in the hopes that a positive perspective would help even just a few worried minds cope during that rollercoaster of a week.

Along the way I’ve shared personal stories about loss and grief, living with depression, and the sheer joy and hope being a Dodgers fan has brought to my life. As with anyone putting themselves out there, I don’t expect to be everyone’s cup of tea, particularly those who are here to talk baseball and only baseball, and I respect that, but I also like to think I have made a few of you smile or think about your own experiences as fans while reading my work over the years.

I’ve also been asked from time to time for a perspective on the hotter off-season topics that have come up, like the Astros cheating scandal and its fallout, as well as the very divisive Trevor Bauer signing. The thoughtful pieces have typically been formulating in my brain for weeks on end, as I try to come out with the best way to convey my thoughts, while the not-so-pleasant topics like the Astros and Bauer spilled out of me on lunch breaks from work, unfiltered, unplanned.

Tonight, after the Dodgers lost their 10th game in 13 tries in cringeworthy fashion In Milwaukee, is one of those unplanned times. My very first thought as soon as I turned off the TV was to just go to bed and try to forget, then I sat back and started to scroll through social media to commiserate with other fans and digest the loss a bit before trying to sleep.

I quickly realized tonight called for one of those quick, no filter, no draft pieces…this time on perspective. It occurred to me that not only is it just May 1, but that this time last year, and for a long 2 months after that, none of us had any idea when we would ever see another baseball game. Yet, here we were, groveling and complaining about the outcome of an early May game, with at least 134 more to go if things continue to stabilize and return to some semblance of normal. As I tweeted to my DN colleague Doug McKain, I realized that just being able to experience this kind of baseball drama, for better or for worse, is absolute Heaven to me after what we went through most of last year, being robbed of 102 games, and almost losing the game completely.

Dodgers baseball: it’s fun, exhilarating, frustrating, unpredictable, awe-inspiring, cringeworthy, terrible, thrilling (and sometimes all in the same game)…but it’s always entertaining. Up until last year I always said I couldn’t imagine my life without Dodgers baseball, and then all of a sudden I no longer had to imagine…and it was bleak. When the one thing that has saved your life countless times over the years is taken away, there are very few words for what is left.

So as I sit back and share these thoughts with you tonight, I remind myself that being a fan means taking the lows with the highs and that I will always take the pain of losing a tough game over the pain of losing the game completely.

To paraphrase someone wise, being a Dodgers fan is not for the faint of heart, but I still plan on enjoying every minute of this wild ride, easily taking the kind of entertainment that baseball brings us over the bleak alternative. 

Won’t you join me?

Written by Gail Johnson

Biggest Dodgers fan north of the border, living about 3,500 miles from my beloved Boys In Blue, in Moncton, NB, Canada. I think Dodger Stadium is the happiest place on Earth. I'll catch up on my sleep in the off-season.

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  1. I for one love your writing Gail, keep it up it is very rewarding to see your perspective on the game.

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