I Can't Wait

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I can’t stand it anymore! I’m nervous with anticipation. My hands are clinched in a mighty fist. My eyes glare with steely determination. Hopeful exuberance is my demeanor. Passion is in my soul.

Tommy Lasorda would say that, “the great Dodger in the sky will show us the way.”

I look up towards the sun admiring the shade of Blue. There are patches of torn cotton balls floating all around like Maury Wills running the bases. They just glide.

The wind blows slightly. It reminds me of my youth watching Fernando or “Bulldog” blowing away the afternoons’ opponent. Whiff!

I reach down to the ground and place my palms on the soil laden with pebbles and covered with the morning dew. I can feel the thumps and steps of the gardeners as they work diligently on this beautiful day. I close my eyes and imagine the echo of Koufax, Drysdale, Garvey, Cey, Dusty, Hatcher, Yeager and Gibson.

It's morning, the day before game 1, and I just can't stand it anymore. I turn on the TV in hopes that it's actually Wednesday. Unfortunately, my eagerness is not rewarded yet.

The first round has started and October Baseball is back, but we must be patient. It's the day before the series starts for the Dodgers and I can't wait.

Can these men in Blue enter the shrine of eternal Dodger memories? Some would argue they already have.

Rafael is one of the most exciting leadoff men in Baseball. He finished off with a .300 batting average after a horrid injury filled start to the season.

Lofton surprised everybody with his surprising hitting and youthful play. Who could have guessed that he would hit .301 in 129 games?

J.D. Drew was solid and dependable. He finished with 100 RBI's for the first time in his career. He also finished strong by batting .317 with 6 homeruns in September.

Kent appeared to be done when the season started, but he came through in the end. He finished with a .292 average. In September he hit an astounding .348.

Nomar has been a yearlong inspiration. The first half was unbelievable. His second half was not so great. Nevertheless, he had a great ability to perform the dramatic. Who can ever forget the walk-off homeruns at the end of the season?

Rookies Ethier, Martin, Kemp, Billingsley, Kuo and Loney have been heavenly surprises. Olmedo, Ramon Martinez, Marlon, Mueller, Lugo and Ledee have provided veteran leadership when given the opportunity to play.

Our starting pitching has been rocky, but they've been able to hold the ship together. The Old Professor, Greg Maddux, was a timely acquisition. Lowe and Penny finished with 16 wins apiece. Beimel, Tomko, Sele, Dessens and Carrera have contributed nicely.

Then there is Grady. The old man with a funny drawl has been the perfect manager. Quiet and confident he has steered this team to a playoff berth.

There are so many more other players I have failed to mention, but they will never be forgotten.

I heard a constant phrase that explains it all during the Dodger celebration this past Saturday. I'll do my best to recall exactly how it went, but I think we all understand the gist of the message.

They play with a 25-man roster, but rarely does it take only 25 guys to win.

Game 1 between the Dodgers and the New York Mets starts at 1:05 PM on ESPN.

I look forward to watching that first pitch. My hands will open up as my palm changes colors from the grip of my fist. I will clap and I will cheer. And I will say to myself, when the first Dodger rally comes around, "I can't stand it anymore!"

AP Photo Marcio Jose Sanchez