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Fan Notes: Last night's Dodger game [by David Lehman]

PuigThe outlook wasn't brilliant for the Dodger nine last night. After taking two on the chin in St. Louis, I was getting myself adjusted to being totally wrong. Back on the Sunday that ended the regular season with nine teams still in the running, I had predicted a Boston-Los Angeles World Series, which seemed the least likely scenario until Ortiz lined his grand slam to defeat Detroit at Fenway in late innings Sunday night. But last night Ryu pitched a hell of a game, the Cardinal defense was less than impregnable, and Yasiel Puig (left) got his sweet swing back. 3-0, Los Angeles. Watching Puig hit a triple, even if he thinks it's a home run and watches its progress admiringly from the plate, then belatedly motors  all the way to third base when the ball misses clearing the right field wall -- 'tis a thing of beauty. You can't take your eyes off the guy. My friend Stephen thinks Vin Scully's best days are way behind him and he cringes a little listening to the former Fordham flash. As for me, I'd still rather listen to Vin than the TBS Troika plus the useless fourth guy in the ugly sports jacket who reports sporadically from the stands. (Mind you, I think Ron Darling -- one of the TBS trio -- is one of the best in the business. As color man complementing Columbian Gary Cohen's play by play duties, Yalie Ron is a key component of Mets' coverage, which is a pleasure even when the team is in a transition year, which it usually seems to be.) Possibly the best TBS moment came when head announcer, Ernie Johnson, who usually does basketball, reeled off a statistic of questionable value and then turned to Cal Ripkin and asked which statistics meant the most to him as a player. "None of them," was the immediate reply. I don't think the announcers are biased one way or the other. They just need to fill the air, fabricate fake chemistry, and sprinkle exclamation points on sentences that don't need 'em. If I could get a radio feed, I'd turn off the TV and listen to whoever is doing the broadcast. Radio announcers have the responsibility of telling you what is going on whereas on TV you may miss a two-base hit because the camera is hunting for famous faces in the box seats. It is, however, nice to see Dustin Hoffman, who (my wife says)  does looks more like me all the time. -- DL

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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