I don’t know what to call you, but most faiths find it appropriate to refer to you as just “God” with a capital “G,” so I hope you can deal with that. I find that as I have grown older, I continue to acknowledge your existence, but I kinda think just about every form of worship known to man is just that—a way for people to feel better about themselves, regardless of what You might think.
So I’m just gonna keep it real with you here. I’m not gonna cuss or anything like that, though; I’m pretty sure you would find that disrespectful.
I was always taught as a child that You don’t listen to trivial matters, but I read somewhere in one of the books that claims to be divine, the Bible, that I should throw all my burdens upon you, and you will support me, won’t let me fall.
Well God, I’ve got a whopper for you. And I speak for a lot of people who have the exact same problem: we’re Los Angeles Dodger fans, trying to keep it together for the stretch run of the baseball season.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Oh yeah, of course you do. You’re God. You know everything. Sorry to doubt you for a second.
But look, the Dodgers have a great team, right? There’s no ace in the rotation like Lincecum or Cain or Halladay or Santana. But we’ve got six quality major league starters and one of the deepest bullpens in the game.
When they’re not breaking down, that is.
So obviously, God, I’m praying for just one win over the weekend. I don’t even care whether or not we sweep the Rox, and I’m not greedy enough to even ask you for that. I just want to clinch the division. Home field advantage?
If the team is good enough, it really won’t matter enough for me to pray for it.
I will pray, though, for Hong-Chih Kuo to have enough pitches left in his creaky left arm to make it through the World Series. Enough for 19 games, Lord—five in the Division Series and seven each in the League Championship Series and the World Series.
Somebody told me to always be specific!
And God, I know Joe Torre likes to take an 11-man pitching staff into the postseason. Right now, it looks like Hiroki Kuroda will not be among that number.
So whomever else Joe picks from among the starters (Wolf, Kershaw, Billingsley, Garland, and Padilla), and whichever of the relievers he takes, PLEASE let him make the right decisions. We really need some strong pitching to win a World Series.
I don’t know which ones to pick, Lord; all I know for sure is that I’m lobbying for Wolf, Sherrill and Broxton. Beyond that, I’m leaving it all in your hands.
I pray to you that Kershaw’s shoulder is 100% and that Billingsley pitches more like he did in May and June than he has since the All-Star break.
So that’s four starters and seven relievers, God, with some lefty-righty balance, and all 11 of them need to be on top of their games. Is that doable?
Lord, would it be too much to ask for Jim Thome’s foot to be okay, too? Just through these next 19 games at the most. It can fall off his ankle after that for all we really care, but that bat could loom large at some point this postseason.
And I’m praying for Ronnie Belliard’s groin to be healthy and for him to keep hitting like he has since he became a Dodger. He can return to hitting .275 with a homer every 50 or so at bats next year; we need the guy who is hitting .342 with a tater every 16 times up.
Please, dear Almighty, let Rafael Furcal’s balky back hold up long enough for him to do some real damage this postseason. If he can get on and then steal a few bases, he will be the table-setter that the Dodgers need.
And God, I’m really, really concerned about Casey Blake’s tender hamstring, and his timing at the plate. Please grant him a remarkable recovery, because the offense has been out of sorts lately and he’s been a key contributor—when healthy.
Would it be too much to ask, oh great Deity, for Manny Ramirez to hit the way he did BEFORE his early-season suspension? Or perhaps the way he did last year after his trade to La-La Land? That would solve some of the offensive woes, too.
As for young studs Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and James Loney, God, please help them rake this postseason! We don’t need them to dink-and-dunk; we need them powering balls all over the field, over the walls, and driving in runs.
Juan Pierre, Lord; we will need him at some point. Please let him be aggressive, in high spirits, and able to contribute with his bat and his legs. For some reason, I think we will need him to swipe a bag or two and score a couple of runs. Can you see to that for me?
God, both of the catchers, Russell Martin and Brad Ausmus, are among the league’s elite defenders behind the dish. But this season, they haven’t hit a lick. Can we get a couple of clutch hits out of them? Maybe some big RBI? Not asking for much there, just a little.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Joe Torre sometimes makes crazy calls at inopportune times. He pulls a hot pitcher too soon but then rides a slipping pitcher too long. He will sometimes ignore platoon advantages. So please let him have a solid postseason with his bench decisions. Rick Honeycutt, too.
To sum it up, God, I’m not even asking for a World Series title. I don’t want you to put the fix in, that would be unethical, unfair. I mean, I know you pulled a little something out for Jordan in 1998, so the refs wouldn't call him for that push off.
So it wouldn't be a big deal to pray for a title by any means necessary, would it? It’s tempting to ask you for that, since we haven’t been blessed with a World Title since 1988, but I’m not going there.
I just want the Dodgers to play as well as possible this postseason. They’re just banged up right now. If you grant me the requests I have made in this prayer, I’m willing to accept whatever happens, because I really like the look of this team when they’re playing to their potential.
Leroy Watson, Jr.
Los Angeles Dodgers Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report