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The Non-Miracle
2003-04-22 09:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, over at Dodgers.com, Ken Gurnick interviews Tommy Lasorda about one of the most memorable comeback seasons in Dodger history - 1982.

Early readers of this site - Hi Greg, Hi Brax - will recall that I wrote about this season in two of my first entries (August 8 and August 12). The Dodgers wiped out a 10 1/2-game deficit to the Atlanta Braves in under two weeks.

However, Gurnick writes:

"That the Braves ultimately won the division on the last day of the 1982 season, when Joe Morgan's home run off Terry Forster at Candlestick Park eliminated the Dodgers, doesn't change the fact that the Dodgers have come back from way back before."

Maybe not in the literal sense. But the whole point of building a big lead is that it gives you a cushion. It allows you the luxury of a slump. No one enjoyed that the summer of '82 more than I did, but the fall of '82 brought a hard lesson. Even if you have time to come back, even if you can come back, you need to have enough to finish the job. You have to do more than outplay those teams
until you catch them. You have to continue outplaying them. It's a lot of work to dig out of a hole - and stay out of it.

It's not even about taking things one game at a time. You have to take things one pitch at a time. You have to focus on simply doing your job better. Of course a comeback can happen - but you need to do tangible things to make it happen.

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