But none of that is enough. It's not that I know it's all going to work out.
It's that I don't know, and more to the point, it's that everyone else is so sure that it won't.
That's what makes the season special. Contempt for the club for the whole Moneyball thing, and for DePodesta in particular (from other writers, pundits and fans) is perfect-storming over LA. The Dodger experiment is laid out, naked on the table, with everyone gathered 'round, offering opinions, taking odds, and taking shots.
Couldn't be any better. I relish the vulnerability of it all, the high-stakes, town-square, flapping-in-the-wind feel of rooting for this club right now.
On Opening Day, when Jose Valentin made a throwing error and cost the club the game, I got a call from an old Giants friend. "Settle in," he said. "It's going to be like this all year. You're doomed to relive moments like this."
I want that call. It's my edge. The bilious smackdowns and constant mocking are second only to the sweet song of Vin Scully when it comes to making me fully faithful and true Blue.
If things come together and they win the division I'm going to dance the most righteous, giddy, Blue-breasted dance I ever danced on the heads of their rivals and doubters.
If they blow up or fall short, I'm going to take a brutal, Blue beating from all comers and all corners.
Either way, I'm good.
I felt this way in the fall of '88, when everyone figured the Mets to roll over Orel and company. I felt this way the night of Game 1 of that year's World Series, when Bob Costas said Gibby wasn't going to play and the Dodgers were dead.
Maybe I've got no reason to think this year's going to end the way that one did.
But I've got every reason to say, Bring it on.
So I'm going to say it.
Not like Travis Bickle but like Tripper Harrison.
Bring it on!
NOTES FROM ERIC'S SCORECARD
According to the schedule, the season began on April 3 with a game between the Red Sox and Yankees. But around our house the official start came a week later, when 3-year-old T looked up at a broadcast of the A's-Rays game and said, "Look Daddy, Eric Chavez is back!"
I don't deserve her.
A player I wish I had on my fantasy team, for some reason other than the numbers ...
Scott Kazmir, SP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
The name is nice, with echoes of heavy Zeppelin chords rattling around in it, but the real appeal for me comes in thinking about Mets fans dialing up Mike and the Mad Dog every time he throws a strike.
"Steve from Queens, you're on with Mike and the Mad Dog."
"We could have had this kid, we should have had this kid, this kid's a Famer, anyone can see that! Victor Zambrano? For Victor Zambrano!"
"All right, thanks for your call, now let's go to Tony from Brooklyn."
"I swear to god, I want to Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep every time I see him pitch."
Zambrano could put up better numbers in the long run and I don't think it would matter. Kazmir's an emblem, the patron saint of getting hosed.