Ever since the O'Malley's sold the team and Tommy Lasorda's retirement my feelings for the Dodgers have changed. I used to love them. Now I don't.
The 1981 World Series is when I became a Dodgers fan. My family in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania was pretty much evenly divided between the Dodgers and Yankees. We have roots in NYC which explains how the Dodgers can get into the minds and hearts of a family in Central Pennsylvania. I vividly remember that series. I loved the Dodgers. Steve Sax, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, and Bill Russel made up the infield with Steve Yeager at catcher, Pedro Guerrero, Dusty Baker, and one other dude I can't remember in the outfield. Fernando mania was still alive. It was a great time to be a Dodger fan. I remember the losses in NLCS's against the Cardinals and Mets. My dad still fumes about Ozzie Smith's home run off Tom Niedenfuder.
Next came the 1988 team. Orel Hershiser set the record for consecutive scoreless innings. Kirk Gibson brought a passion to the game that was new to the Dodgers. He played baseball like a mad man. Mike Scioscia was the steady catcher. The Dodgers beat the Oakland A's in pretty unexpected upset. And who can forget Kirk Gibson's home run in game one? "I don't believe that I just saw!"
Ever since then it's just been disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. Who can remember all the managers that have been with the Dodgers since Tommy retired? I know I can't without looking it up. We had exciting new players like Mike Piazza and Raul Mondesi, but they never were able to put it altogether. This is the time when I started to care less and less about the Dodgers.
The Dodgers don't really develop their ball players the way they used to in the old days. The team just shells out money to players who ultimately disappoint. Strawberry, Brown, and now Crawford, Gonzales, and Beckett. Those three players were tossed aside by the Red Sox. Boston was glad to lose them. This winter the Bums signed Greinke to a big contract and he admits it was just for the money.
I find myself following the Pirates more closely these days. I have changed my favorite baseball team. It feels weird. I wish the Dodgers would give me a reason to care. But I just can't anymore.