The three Southern California firefighters had been hoping for Chicago.
The National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Cubs is a rematch, sure. The Cubs beat out the Dodgers in the same series last year and went on to be the World Series champions.
But it's also a chance to see a game at a historic ballpark, said Brandon Hill, a 36-year-old firefighter from Redondo Beach who was attending Game 3 on Tuesday with his two firefighter buddies. All three were dressed in Dodger blue.
A baseball team must secure at least 27 outs to win a game, and so Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts fills the hours before each postseason contest contemplating a countdown.
He consults with the coaching staff and the analysts from the front office. He gauges the readiness of various relievers. The group assembles a plan, one they trust Roberts to implement. Each action functions toward the larger goal of assembling a plan to compile the required number of outs.
“There are things that I have in my mind that gives each player the best chance to have success,” Roberts said. “To deviate from that, that goes away from my process. And I preach nothing but process.”
In this first season of the rest of his life, Vin Scully watched the ball take flight on television Sunday night from the comfort of his home. The center fielder went back, back, back …
No, of course not. Scully never did resort to a signature line, or a sickly sweet phrase he had dreamed up a day or two in advance.
Justin Turner had hit the Dodgers’ most famous home run since Kirk Gibson, and just about every baseball-loving citizen in Southern California had embraced the precious symmetry in the date — except, that is, the man whose call of Gibson’s home run had been replayed all day, all around town.