dodgers postseason

How My Family Watches Postseason Baseball

Postseason baseball is in full swing (pun intended), and in my family that means there is a lot of pacing, a lot of swearing, and a lot of yelling that makes our dog hide under the table.

And since I can’t invite you over to watch baseball with us because playoff sports are a borderline intimate experience that not everyone can (or should) experience together, I thought I’d give an inside look (and listen) at the goings on inside our house when our favorite team is in pursuit of a championship.


  • At the start of the game we all choose a seat, and though it’s unspoken, it’s a well-known rule that these are our seats for the rest of the game—no matter how long it may last.
  • Rally caps are a must when we need to score runs. Generally this means turning our Dodger hats backwards, but depending on the need or the overall intensity of the game, creativity with and interpretation of “rally cap” may reach unexplored territory.
  • “Nervous pee” is a thing, as is “lucky pee” and “unlucky pee” and it is up to the owner of the bladder in question to determine what decision can most benefit the team.


Trash talk

  • This is a full family effort, and often builds into full fledged bullying, which I only condone because it takes place inside the walls of our house, never to be repeated…until the next game, upon which we only build off our ruthless ~creativity~ and whittle you down to your very bones.


Friendly fire

  • When our boys are performing poorly, it is not uncommon for us to begin trash talking them in our best not mad but disappointed, or at times not disappointed but furious tones of voice, because it is important for us groaning couch blobs to let the elite athletes competing at the highest level know they could try harder. And honestly I think they would agree.


Unexpected affection

  • This is mostly my mom and I. While brutally loyal to our team, if you put an underdog, a comeback story, or just a kind humble man in front of us, a small part of our heart will melt and we will mumble good luck to them—not in this moment or this game, but in the future, far away from us and our championship, where we hope they will thrive and be happy.


Endless jabbering, clapping and apologizing to the dog

  • At a certain point encouraging anecdotes like “let’s go” or “you got this” become as easy and mindless as breathing. If given a nickel for every time one of us mumbled a cheer to ourselves, the room, or to a player by their first name, we might be able to buy season tickets for life.   
  • Our dog, Meeka, is not a fan of yelling or even minor bursts of enthusiasm that aren’t directed towards her, so there is a good portion of time dedicated to calling her over to apologize for all the screaming—only to scream again a few minutes later. As a result, she usually spends games under the table or outside barking at passing dogs, probably saying things like, “my family is crazy!” or “please take me with you on your walk, baseball is on again!” or maybe “Go Dodgers! All other teams are inferior!!”

No matter what, every game is an emotional nightmare journey, one which I’m sure will turn us all grey before our time—but I love every minute of it. 

Thank You, Dodgers. Thank You, Baseball.

When I was little my grandparents had season tickets to Dodger Stadium. There were four tickets, two for my grandma and grandpa, and then two for the lucky duo they brought with them. Oftentimes I went with my cousin, Spenser, or my sister, Natalee. Other times the tickets were given to my parents and my whole family would go.

We’d always get there early to watch batting practice, and then we’d grab a Dodger Dog right before game time so it could digest before we got chocolate malts in the 6th inning. I loved sitting next to my grandma and keeping score inside the program, and always tried to catch the beach balls bouncing around the crowd so I could hand them off to our favorite usher, Irene, to make her job a little easier. The sounds of the stadium, of Vinny, of Nancy Bea on the organ, all became lyrics to a song I could sing in my sleep.

As I grew up, my grandparents eventually gave up the season tickets, but this did little to lessen my passion for the game or the team I grew up watching. If anything, it deepened. With a better sense of baseball and all it entailed, I started to really get to know the boys in blue, no matter what variety a season would present them in. I began keeping track of stats, giving commentary on recommended lineups, and most importantly, dreaming of the World Series.

In my 27 years as a Dodger fan, there have been many seasons when I’ve had that feeling. The one that keeps quiet in public, but at home whispers, maybe. Maybe this is the year. Maybe this is the team. But year after year, at some point that maybe would turn into a no. It always hurt, but come April, the hurt was always replaced by possibility, by a new maybe.

This year, I got that feeling. Even at the first night game I attended in April, I felt like there was something special about this team. That night I scanned my ticket and grabbed a Dodger Dog and a beer and took my seat, anxious for another April, hopeful for another October. Six months later, I was scanning another ticket, taking another seat, and ordering another Dodger Dog, but this time it was Game 6 of the World Series.


For weeks I had rushed home from work and drove over to my parents’ house to watch the Dodgers climb their way to the Fall Classic, and suddenly I was there, in the flesh. My sister and I walked up the stairs in a sea of blue. Friends and family hugged and strangers high fived and everyone smiled in anxious anticipation.

When we won the game 4 hours later, the stadium erupted. Friends and family and neighbors and strangers hugged and high-fived and cheered and teared up. The crowd moved in waves of blue and white, singing and chanting and smiling. I thought of my grandma and grandpa and the first game I could remember attending and I felt that same feeling of pure magic.

The next day, as I sat on my parents’ couch, watching the last few outs of Game 7 tick off the scoreboard, and submitting my Dodgers to a season just shy of the ultimate finish line, I tried my best to remain solely heartbroken. The loss hurt, but there was something else stirring inside me that I couldn’t quite shake.

As I watched the sea of blue and white (and orange) file up the rows and out to the parking lot, I saw families and friends like mine feeling the same heartbreak we felt in our living room. And suddenly I realized how many other living rooms and bars and hotel lobbies and restaurants held other families and friends either mourning or celebrating. This game, these teams, my team, had brought us all together. And with all the bad going on in the world, we were able to find something to root for.

When my sister and I stepped inside the gates for Game 6, I felt the weight of where we were, but in many ways felt the same way I always do when I walk up the stairs to Blue Heaven: at home. I heard the same sounds, smelled the same smells and looked down at the same view.


After Game 7, when the confetti started flying and it wasn’t the color I was hoping for, my stomach sank. After the most exciting season of my life, this year’s maybe had officially turned into a no.

When I got home that night, I got a text from a friend, “see you next season.” And even though the wound was still fresh, I couldn’t help but smile. “Always,” I thought, “there’s always next season.” And I know come April I’ll be there, with a ticket, a Dodger Dog, and a maybe.

Always October

We have reached one of most magical times of the year, people.

Yes, I know summer is over and school is back in full swing. Sucks, sorry.

Yes, I know that Southern California is clutching on to the temperatures of hell regardless of the calendar’s announcement of the start of fall, and that we are probably all going to die in a fiery heat wave of death. Keep recycling.

Yes, department stores have started shoving Halloween and Christmas decorations in your face and you can feel a wave of anxiety building in the bottom of your stomach. Keep breathing.

Finding the negatives in life takes little skill and gives you nothing in return, which is why I must remind you what makes this seemingly suckish time of year so special.

IT’S OCTOBER. A.k.a. the time of year when baseball reaches its post season, football reaches its midseason and hockey reaches its preseason. It’s sports haven my friends.

This past weekend I was lucky to attend not 1 but 2 of the Dodgers’ NLDS (National League Division Series) games. As a lifelong, diehard Dodger fan, this was essentially a dream come true.

If you’ve never been to a baseball playoff game, heck, if you’ve never been to a baseball game (which is a crime in 12 states) (not really) (but it should be) (maybe) (just go see a baseball game) I’m going to give you an idea what you might find, at least at Dodger Stadium.

The stadium is located off the 5 freeway. Meaning that seemingly every human in Los Angeles will escort you to the stadium on their way home from work, honking and flipping you off all the while.

Once inside the lot, you will park roughly 400 miles from the stadium. You will tell every member of your group the landmarks around your car (i.e. the shapes of the trees, the storage units, the car you parked next to, and how many spots you are to the left of the light pole) which, when you exit the stadium after the game, will be as useful as a match in a rainstorm.

In your walk to the stadium, you will admire the tall blue walls surrounding it, learning the faces and names of the team’s top players and legends, printed in vibrant color near the field level entrance.

Off to the right of that entrance, you will see the stairs leading up to the higher levels and you will either laugh at the sorry suckers having to climb them and enter field level entrance, or groan at the stairs ahead of you, both telling yourself that you’re earning your Dodger Dog and mentally punching those you saw entering at field level.

Once in your seats, whether yellow (field level), orange (lodge level), blue (reserve or top deck), or the outfield pavilions, you will immediately give into the temptation of the smells infecting the air and get in line at the nearest concession stand.

Looking that the menu you will contemplate the different between a Dodger Dog and a Super Dog, picturing one as a normal hotdog with Matt Kemp’s face on it and the other as a Matt Kemp hotdog wearing a cape. You will then consider getting one of each with a side of French fries, some helmet nachos, a pretzel, peanuts, a water, and a beer, but you will decide against it 1) because you’ve somehow already begun to feel bloated, but more importantly 2) you only have 2 hands.

Retaking your seat, the pregame festivities will start. Music will pump through the speakers and you will find yourself singing and sit-dancing (so much neck and torso wiggling) to a song you thought you hated and will spill mustard on your shirt. (Keep rubbing it with the damp napkin. Even though the dime stain has now become quarter size, if you keep rubbing, it will magically disappear.) (This is a lie)

Then suddenly,


What is that?!


What. Is. happening?!


No need to panic, it’s just the burly man on the loud speaker telling you which 9 Dodgers are playing today.

You will finish your dinner—immediately wanting to move on to dessert—and for the few moments you have between the lineup announcement and the throwing of the first pitch, you will people watch and this is what you’ll find:

-Faces, arms, legs, chests, and hopefully nothing else, painted blue and white.

-Blue wigs, blur hair extensions and blue facial hair.

-Foam Fingers (none of which are being violated by Miley Cyrus)

-Dodger jerseys, shirts, and jackets.

-Knockoff Dodger jerseys, shirts, and jackets.

-Homemade Dodger jerseys, shirts and jackets.

-Some unnecessary cleavage from the girls who only came to drink and check out baseball butts.

-A group of guys already being warned by security on their alcohol induced rowdiness.

-A fan of the opposing team quietly walking to their seat amongst the boos from home fans.

-A fan of the opposing team sauntering to their seat, waving, bowing and blowing kisses amongst the boos from home fans.

-A guy having a pensive, selfie marathon in front of the field, accessorized with beard strokes and crooked peace signs.

-Teenage girls organizing a group Instagram post.

-An older man with headphones and a radio, ready to watch the game live while listening to Vin Scully’s commentary.

-Adorable little nuggets dancing in their tiny Dodger jerseys and tiny Dodger shoes that will make you momentarily contemplate kidnapping.

And, if you’re at playoff game, lots and lots of rally towels.


Ideally, the first 6 ½ inning of the game will go like this:

Number of Dodger hits: >10

Number of Dodger runs: >5

Number of opposing team hits: 0


While you simultaneously experience this:

Number of claps: 5,002

Number of times you’ve said “CHARGE!”:  51

Number of times you’ve said “Let’s go dodgers!”:  67

Number of hot dogs you’ve eaten: 1-2

Number of hot dogs you’ve considered eating: >3

Number of times you’ve complained about the prices of snacks being sold: <10

Number of times you’ve given into the inflation: 2

In the middle of the 7th inning, you will rise to participate in the 7th inning stretch and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It’s sung twice. The first time you might feel embarrassed. If you don’t know the words you’ll find yourself looking up at the screen, reading the lyrics, praying with everything inside of you that they don’t put you on camera. The second time ‘round, you’re warmed up. You’ll sway a little, even smile, until the crowd has completely overtaken you and you find yourself screaming the last


You will then sit down, re-energized, and ready to reach an even 6,000 clap total for the game.

Usually after the 7th inning stretch—but sometimes before, depending on the crowd—you will start to see movement in the outfield. A guy, usually wearing a Dodger cape of some sort, will start from the foul pole side of the right field pavilion and start sprinting through the middle aisle towards center field. The crowd he passes will stand, arms up, in response, starting a well-known tradition in the baseball community known as, “the wave.”  Exciting and uniting, the wave is a guaranteed source of fun for 3 rounds and a sure fire annoyance for all rounds after that.

Come 9th inning, if all has gone as planned, the Dodger’s closer will take the mound to miscellaneous instrumentals heavy with drums and guitar that has been decided will intimidate the opposing team before their last at bat. A close up of the closer’s poker face will be plastered up on Diamond Vision and he will immediately start popping the glove of the catcher with his pitches made for victory.

Then, with 2 outs, with all the fans on their feet screaming their last 20 “Let’s go Dodgers,” a final pitch will bring the Dodgers a win and Randy Newman will start blasting through the speakers singing “I Love LA.”

We won’t talk about the walk back to the car, when you go out a different exit than you went in and you find yourself walking aimlessly around the parking lot, arguing that the car is “just a few rows back” when you know that it’s completely across the lot. We also won’t talk about the task it is to get out of the parking lot, or the aggression it takes to squeeze your way into the lane corresponding to the freeway you need to take home.

No, we won’t talk about those because once you find yourself on the freeway, cruising at a totally non-ticket worthy speed—even though you slammed on your brakes when you saw that cop, which actually turned out to be a tree—you can only find yourself smiling at the night (or hell fiery day) that you just had.

In my case, I went home Saturday night beaming, knowing that my team is one step closer to the ultimate goal in October. But we don’t talk about it, because aside from clapping and hot dogs, superstition is one of the biggest parts of baseball.