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The complete Chris Taylor: A 2021 #SaveEli postmortem

Or “Festivus Time” or “The Paper Chaser?”

Chris Taylor up to bat in Miami. July 5, 2021.
Michael Elizondo

As #JuniorCircuit has a signature GIF, whenever I return to the past of #SaveEli, I shall draw upon the meme I’ve adopted for my own. I feel that it’s important to lean into your eccentricities. Plus, the GIF really does sum up that first trip.

Festivus Time

I remember Christopher Armand Taylor Jr. Yes, that’s his actual name. God, even his name is cool. I figuratively love this man and want to punch him all at the same time based on his 2021.

Not to injure, I’d whack him on the arm, muttering “come on, man...”

As of publication, Festivus is not for another nine or ten months, but I have got some grievances to air.

I wish I saw some of Chris Taylor’s cool, money-making heroics in 2021. Going down the list, it’s easier to point out what I didn’t see, which was pretty much everything good.

Here’s Chris Taylor on deck as Matt Beaty grounds out in Phoenix on June 19, 2021.
Michael Elizondo

Let’s see:

  • I wasn’t at the Wild Card Game…
  • I wasn’t at the 14-pitch at-bat game either.

Instead, heck, I can’t even say I got to watch “every day” Chris Taylor, because clearly, the stats don’t indicate that. In my 2021 adventures, I got to see “off-day/clearly has a cold or needs a nap” Taylor. Don’t sleep on naps (pun intended). But the point remains.

Chris Taylor up to bat in Pittsburgh. June 10, 2021.
Michael Elizondo

It is irresponsible to expect players to be demigods every time they take the field (unless your name is Mookie Betts or Will Smith, then it’s your world, I just happen to visit it.) Most, if not all, of these grievances, are aired with good humor.

Taylor played in 27 (!) of the 30 regular season #SaveEli games and he played in NLDS Game 2, where he went 2 for 4 (.500). I know, SSS. (Taylor didn’t play in three last games in Los Angeles that I went to because of his sore neck). Otherwise, Taylor would have had perfect attendance.

And in those other 27 games… Well…after three different checks - final answer...:

Chris Taylor in 2021 #SaveEli Games

Games (out of 30) 27
Games (out of 30) 27
AB 94
H 17
BA 0.181
HR 3
R 13
2B 3
3B 0
BB 7
K 28
SB 1
SH 1
OBP 0.245
SLG 0.309
Oof. Michael Elizondo

It’s not Cody Bellinger-bad, but it’s not great. To be fair, not many things are 2021-regular-season-Cody Bellinger-bad. After all, I’m sure some people enjoy IRS audits or colonoscopies, which is not to disparage either, because otherwise, that’s how you don’t catch Al Capone or colon cancer, respectively.

And for the record, I am genuinely thrilled that Taylor is coming back to Los Angeles.

Heck, prior to the NLDS, the last time I saw Taylor get a hit (of any kind) in person for the entirety of the regular season was July 28th in San Francisco (which was the 20th game of the year where I saw over the Dodgers bullpen with my law school buddy).

Louie and me. San Francisco. July 28, 2021.
Michael Elizondo (used with permission)

So this line of thinking got me wondering: what did I see Taylor do this year?

Honestly, in my head, especially at the end, it felt like Taylor was always up to bat at the end of Dodger losses when I was around. I got curious, so I double-checked.

What I found definitely surprised me.

#SaveEli Losses, Who Was Left Holding the Bag?

Date Opponent Who Was Up?
Date Opponent Who Was Up?
4/26 vs. CIN Luke Raley
4/27 vs. CIN Max Muncy
4/29 @ MIL Mookie Betts
5/1 @ MIL No One - Walk Off Loss (Thank you very much, Alex Vesia and Mitch White)
5/4 (1) @ CHI Justin Turner
5/4 (2) @ CHI No One - Walk Off Loss (Thank you very much, Garrett Cleavinger)
5/5 @ CHI No One - Walk Off Loss (Thank you very much, Garrett Cleavinger...again!)
5/7 @ ANA Justin Turner
6/5 @ ATL Justin Turner
6/6 @ ATL Will Smith
7/5 @ MIA Max Muncy
7/29 @ SF Cody Bellinger
9/8 @ STL Chris Taylor
9/9 @ STL Chris Taylor
9/17 @ CIN Albert Pujols

There are times I wonder how I made #SaveEli a bit. Then I look at this chart. Walk-off losses on the road stink. Back-to-back walk-off losses really stink. Three walk-off losses in a week? Yeah...I get it.

To be fair, I am trying to get interviews with Alex Vesia, Mitch White, and Garrett Cleavinger. The way I see it - yes, it would be cathartic, but mostly in my mind, they are still almost-regular people at this point, so I wouldn’t be struck dumb in not having anything to talk about.

I realize now that the only reason I have the memory of Chris Taylor being the one left holding the bag was that I recall that he ended two consecutive games by chasing with an opportunity to do something against hittable pitching.

But as a palette cleanser to end this portion of the Post-Mortem. Let’s bask in the only offensive highlight of Taylor’s I was able to find...where the Dodgers still lost a very winnable Miami...while I was dodging a tropical storm...while trying to move. Again - it wasn’t my finest hour. Instead of dwelling, let’s watch this double.

And for a quiet moment, here’s Taylor and Seager during the pre-game patriotism in St. Louis.

Here’s Taylor during the National Anthem prior to the Wainwright-White game in St. Louis on September 8, 2021.
Michael Elizondo

Apparently, (hold on, let me cover my mouth), I am Chris Taylor’s reckoning!

He plays like a younger man, nothing held back. But hopefully, victory will not defeat him going forward.

Did I actually record myself sounding like Bane from the Dark Knight Rises on the bridges of Pittsburgh? You bet I did! Did people stare? You bet they did! Because I am Gotham’s reckoning! Am I going to post that video here? You bet I’m not! At worst, you, fair reader, will get to hear me sing and/or forget the lyrics to “I Love LA” by Randy Newman.

I mean, Blake said it best - the dude won the off-season. Getting engaged in Hawaii before Omicron got ugly? - check. Get paid? - check and check. Find a golden ticket? Probably. No one watches Chris Taylor every single moment. Unlike the actor who played Charlie Bucket, I don’t see Chris Taylor retiring to become a veterinarian, which is a nice segway to my last point...

The “Paper Chaser?”

Before we wrap this Post-Mortem up...Chris Taylor is NOT a paper chaser - I don’t care what Bellinger has to say about it.

As a lawyer, I can say the following: “The Paper Chase” is our movie. So, yeah, the line is going to be drawn here - this far and no further.

For the record, just about everyone has a moment like that during the first year of law school. It’s akin to watching yourself fall down a flight of stairs that you cannot control or stop in any way. It’s basically a rite of passage. This aside has absolutely nothing to do with Chris Taylor, but you likely clicked on the video and I feel that I owe you some context.

Generally, most movies about law are awful and are just terrible representations of what I actually do. Not to say I would want to have people stare at me for attention (as he types noting the irony of that sentence in this series where I’m basically talking about myself).

I’ll concede that “My Cousin Vinny” is really good too, but we’re not talking about doing an effective cross-examination. Although, I would pay money to see any current or past Dodger re-enact the following bit.

Fun fact, most law schools use My Cousin Vinny in their Trial Advocacy courses to show an example of what to do. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the two “yutes” in open court, but if Ralph Macchio were there...I’d probably ask him when Cobra Kai is wrapping up.

I get that the kids are saying that trying to get paid makes you a paper chaser. They are wrong because clearly, they have never heard of direct deposit. The point remains valid until there’s a movie called “Paper Chasin’” showing the hustle of, I guess. I refuse to concede the point that Chris Taylor is a paper chaser. Look at me, just pitching movie ideas and making other people money. Heck, Taylor can even have a cameo and make a few extra bucks.

That said, Chris Taylor can go to law school, then we’ll talk about “paper chaser.” Or if Chris Taylor wants to accept my “challenge” and re-enact a scene from “My Cousin Vinny” (his choice), I’ll concede the point on the astronomically low chance he ever sees this essay about him.

If Taylor does pick the law school route, he should just pick an accredited law school - friends don’t let friends take the California Baby Bar if they don’t have to. But here’s hoping I get to see every day Taylor in the coming year.