Happy New Year! It’s Gail again. After I wrote you a rather long-winded love letter this past August, this time I’ll cut right to the chase:
We’re not all “down” on you this off-season. Recently, ESPN examined many fans’ position this off-season, and when my Dodgers Nation colleague Clint Evans asked for fan thoughts on the issue, we received a lot of passionate comments.
Sure, you broke a lot of hearts, including mine, in that NLDS loss to the Nationals, but isn’t that what love (and life) is all about – forgiving the past, learning from our mistakes, and moving on? As I divulged after the playoff exit, it wouldn’t hurt so much if I didn’t care, and I have no plans to stop caring.
You just treated me to one of the most exciting seasons I’ve followed in my 39 years of baseball watching, and I’m certainly not going to let some questionable late game bullpen management wipe away the countless times over the last few years that you’ve been the companionship I needed on a lonely evening, the hope of things to come that helped me get through a long work week, and the routine that kept me grounded while I processed personal loss.
The older I get, the less concerned I’ve become about what other people think, but it’s still hard to accept other fans be so harsh about the Front Office without speaking up myself. I get the frustration after getting so close to the ultimate prize the last few years, especially with the potential this team has shown, but the complaints remind me far too much of a spoiled rich kid who yells and points a disapproving finger at his or her parents about not getting the new iPhone 11 for Xmas, all the while holding the XR model in the other hand. Kids who were happy to get socks and underwear for Christmas wouldn’t possibly be able relate to this mindset, and to be honest, most days it’s hard for me, as a Dodger fan, to feel sorry for those who are constantly dumping on you for only being elite, not absolutely perfect. I’ve even had friends who are fans of teams like the Orioles and the Mets ask me “what exactly spoiled Dodgers fans are complaining about?”. I think if it as being similar to parenthood: children don’t get disowned for their imperfections, but instead as parents watch their offspring grow and support them to ultimately reach their goals, you’ll more often than not see them beaming with pride at the back of the room when the time finally time comes.
I, for one, choose to be grateful for everything this organization has done and excitedly look forward to the thrilling moments in time you will bring us, the memories you will continue to gift us with, and the friendships we will form all because of a shared love of the team. I can’t think of anything that has come close to providing me with the level of excitement and joy you are brought me over the last 7 years, and while I patiently wait for the 2020 journey to begin, I trust that you’ll continue to manufacture some of the most elite product in the league, providing us with the on and off field moments that make up the baseball seasons that we’re so privileged to be able to enjoy.
I know I’m not alone in these sentiments and that there are many others out here who also choose to sit back and enjoy the journey, while I also recognize and respect the fact that there are others are understandably becoming restless with this World Series drought. I’ve become acquainted with all types of Dodgers fans over the last several years, and I’ve learned that we are all going to show our passion in different, sometimes completely individual ways. Similar to the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” analogy, though, the dissatisfied, unhappy fans tend to sound the loudest…but that doesn’t mean that they speak for all of us. Just know that there are many of us out here, including me, who are a little less loud but still confident in our support of the team, who will never stop being proud to call ourselves Dodger fans, and we believe in you.
One day on this journey, when we line up for the World Series parade, fans of all types will be standing together, after each having taken a different journey to get there. You may not hear some of us as clearly as the louder, more passionate ones, but if you look closely, you’ll see us in the back, beaming proudly, with that silent smile that says “I knew you could do it”.
P.S. See you Opening Day!