I’m becoming an expert at losers.
Aside from having lost at many things myself — I am terrible at card games and, moreover, have met with more failure than success in not only dating but also my career — I now talk to people who have lost as my profession.
I’m not talking about obvious kind of losers — people who spread lies, or who bully you, or who drive to the pink wall in WeHo for the perfect Instagram picture. I’m not a shrink. (Although if you’re going through a crisis I’m happy to become an armchair one).
I’m talking about literal losers. The losers of the game. Teams who have lost games.
They don’t let baby journalists talk to the winners. When you start out you do the grunt work — and in sports that means interviewing the losing team. So as you can imagine, I spend a lot of time around losers.
If you’re working in professional sports, it means you’ve spent most of your life doing more winning than losing. Even the worst pro ball player was probably the best player on his minor league teams. So I don’t really feel bad for athletes when they lose, and instead I find it fascinating.
It’s fascinating because — in order to be a winner, you have to learn from losing. This applies to every aspect of our lives, but athletes have it mastered. Good athletes are good losers. And every time an athlete loses there’s something you can glean from them in they way they handle their losses and move on.
Now in this recent St. Louis vs Dodgers series that took place at Dodgers Stadium, the Cards fell to the boys in blue 2-1 over the series. They won one game. But I was not at that game. I was at both the games the Cards lost.
That means I got to interview these losers twice. Which actually worked out great because Mike Matheny might be the best looking manager in all of baseball. Is that unprofessional to say? That might be unprofessional.
The first game they lost was a tight one. It was pitching duel: Kershaw vs. Lynn. Until the top of the ninth there was only one run scored. It looked like the Dodgers were probably going to win.
But then the Cardinals got a run on a wild pitch by Kershaw and the game ended up being 13 innings long.
I honestly began to worry the game wouldn’t end. I really thought about it for a second — me in the press box for eternity. It reminded me of a song I learned when I was kid about a guy who got stuck on the underground train in Boston and road “forever ‘neath the streets of Boston.” I thought I could possibly be the subject of a reprise: the girl who got stuck in the Dodgers press box.
(I caution you to click that link below with care because it’s a song that could only be popular in the 50’s and it will probably be stuck in your head).
The long and short of this is: I thought there was a good chance I could become the girl who never returned.
Then — and I think I wrote about this in my last blog — Logan Forsythe, of all people, got a hit to earn a walk-off win for the Dodgers.
“You knew we had an end to this,” said Matheny after the game. Did I? I’m not sure I did.
“I figured it was going to be a well pitched game, both sides,” he said, before adding, “It was just going to see who was going to get that big hit. It was them.”
And that was an interesting thing I learned from Mike Matheny that I filed away in the #LoserFiles: this too shall pass.
“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying,” as Dr. Seuss put it.
Eventually, someone is going to score a run: it might be you, it might be them. Runs are out there for the scoring — and someone’s going to get it.
Losing or winning is one of my favorite things about sports. It’s very definitive — few gray areas. At the end of the night, even if it takes 13 innings, someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. There’s no way you can think you’re winning but actually be losing — as is the case with so many other things in life.
Who is going to get that big hit? Try to make it you.