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T.J. SIMERS

With these new Dodgers, it's all about gushing and goose bumps

He is unapologetic in his excitement for A-Gon, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez and the rest of the crew, already figuring out how many days until the start of the World Series.

August 26, 2012|T.J. Simers

I'm working on a Sunday, fighting for years as the NFL likes to tell everyone, to keep football out of Los Angeles so I don't have to work on Sundays.

I'm going to Denver on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, an extra workday thrown in there because I want to be with our revitalized Dodgers.

I found myself before Sunday's game bidding good luck in Colorado to pitcher Josh Beckett, who has a bad-boy rep, while sounding as if I'm almost sincere.

If I hadn't just paid for breakfast, I would tell you I'm just like Tom Lasorda right now.

Dodgers pitchers, writes Jeffrey Pick in an email, "are 49-4 when the team scores five or more runs." With this four-man spike in talent in the middle of the lineup, Dodgers pitchers might never lose again.

I'm wearing blue, and like every other Dodgers fan getting goose bumps watching Vin Scully throw a two-handed kiss to the crowd when it's announced he will be returning next season.

Spending as much time as I have in this cemetery, which some folks call Dodger Stadium, I'm pumped.

Or, as the wife put it after being forced to read Sunday's gushing column, "What a Dodger honk you've become."

Must I apologize for being agog over A-Gon?

A-Gon hits a home run in his first at bat for the Dodgers and James Loney hits into a double play in his first appearance for Boston.

Only 59 days until Game 1 of the World Series in Dodger Stadium, a Wednesday afternoon if you want to mark your calendar.

Clayton Kershaw versus does it really matter who?

The Dodgers have not only landed a MVP-like starting first baseman for the next six years in Gonzalez, a charismatic shortstop for at least the next two contracted seasons in Hanley Ramirez, but a dazzling left fielder in Carl Crawford for the next five seasons.

I'm so sold on these guys, I now think of Ned Colletti more as general manager than I do the Schmoozer.

If team President Stan Kasten thought he might make a change down the road and bring in someone from his glory days in Atlanta, how does he replace the guy who put together this star-studded lineup?

Remember when Scott Van Slyke was the Dodgers' cleanup hitter this season?

I'm so excited again to find the Dodgers relevant but wondering what I have to do to make myself any clearer.

"It is truly amazing to me how you can take such a great time in our team's history, and only think of writing an article about how your fat butt can't get out of the seat as easily as you would like,'' wrote DodgerDan75 in a comment left below my Sunday column online.

Do I really have to spell it out? I was writing about the daughter's fat butt.

DodgerDan75 goes on to write: "You continue to be an embarrassment to the city and I really have no clue as to how you ever got a job as a writer to begin with. I wish I could meet you in person so I could just hurt you in ways you never thought you could feel pain. Hurry up and die already.''

Should anything ever happen to me, after checking the alibis of Frank McCourt and maybe Angry Arte or whoever is coaching UCLA football at the time, I would hope someone would attach a real name to DodgerDan75. At the very least it'd be good to know whether people are as tough as they sound when left anonymous.

But now I'm wondering how I should proceed if any of our new guys let us down. Same old Page 2? Do I dare get tough, knowing how criticism of a stadium seat can be just too much to take for some?

Don't worry, says Manager Don Mattingly, no more need for criticism. "It's a good time to be a Dodger fan," he says.

It's a great time, although the minor league team from Miami is beating our World Series heroes right now, 4-2, in the eighth inning.

Nothing can go wrong, can it?

I checked with Matt Kemp since it's his team. A day earlier Kemp took a picture of the lineup card and tweeted it out with one word attached: "Wow."

"When Gonzalez hit his home run I haven't felt energy like that in Dodger Stadium since Manny hit that pinch-hit grand slam on his bobblehead day,'' Kemp says.

"I'm more excited than I can remember coming to the stadium…. You look at the Yankees' lineup and everybody is doing it. That's how you win championships. It's crazy from where our lineup started to where it is now. Dude, I'm excited. You can't say this is not going to be a good team."

Wouldn't dare, knowing how upset some get around here when expressing anything less than enthusiasm for a chair.

But it would be nice if our heroes beat the Marlins and validated the enthusiasm that comes with such a bump in talent.

Two out in the bottom of the eighth, two men on and Kemp at the plate. What a chance for Scully to cap off the announcement that he will be back.

A three-run homer vaults the Dodgers ahead of the Marlins and the joy ride is just beginning. I'm not allowed to cheer sitting in the press box, 3-and-2 on Kemp and he walks.

Bags loaded, A-Gon to the plate, everyone in the place on their feet and cheering. It's wonderful theater.

A-Gon hits the ball hard, someone saying later Charley Steiner on the radio sounds as if it's leaving the park, but it doesn't even make the warning track.

The lowly Marlins add two more home runs, the Dodgers fall flat, and egad, what a bunch of Angels.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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