Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Explanation...OKP Cutting Back Substantially

That dreaded essay that everyone grammar school kid must write on the topic "What I want to be when I grow up," is usually something we all remember.  The answers vary. An Astronaut, a doctor, a fireman, or even President of the United States.  Those are the common answers we see from kids.  And for those of us that loved the grand old game, it wasn't uncommon to see "baseball player" amongst the answers of those kids that still hadn't seen their athletic dreams shattered by reality.

As a sixth grader, I knew better.  The love of baseball had already descended into my soul.  I also knew that I didn't have the tools to amount to anything as a player.  Heck, I couldn't even dominate on my Little League diamond, how would I ever excel and become a major leaguer?  That left another option and that would be to be involved in the game, be it as a coach, another unlikely proposition as all of them were players at some point.  Writing or speaking about the game would be an option to pursue though.

I wrote about that, saying I wanted to be a baseball announcer or a sportswriter.  That was my essay.  I'd love to say I have it saved, but it has gone the way of so many of my childhood possessions, into the circular file and eventually deep into the bowels of the Puente Hills landfill.   Vin Scully wouldn't be around forever my 11 year old mind thought at the time.  Here I am though, 42 years later and he's still entrenched in the press box seat.  I had the foresight to mention that I wouldn't mind writing about the game and interviewing players, coaches and baseball administrators.  I wanted to have something to do with the game.

I remember getting an "A" on the paper, and I was proud of that fact.  But our teacher, Miss Page, had enough experience teaching that she went around the room and had us each discuss our topic and then she asked follow up questions.  That is what I remember most about the project.  She questioned us about the realistic expectations stressed "now" was the time to start preparing for that ultimate goal we had expressed.  Within two years we'd all be in high school and it was time to stop messing around with our life's ambition and to go attempt to try and achieve it.  

When she got to me, she questioned the vocational goal.  "There are 24 Major League teams and only 24 jobs announcing games.  So you'll need a broadcast journalism degree and then you'll have to do some time working for almost nothing in the minor leagues.  Those could be some difficult years," she said.  "Sportswriting can be just as tough," as she stressed that being fresh out of college, I wouldn't land a job at the L.A. Times.  "You'll have to write about local high school sports in small towns and work your way up," and then she added, " and the money won't really be that good."

It all made sense what she was saying.  She knew of my love for the Dodgers and she pointed out that I couldn't be a fan and impartiality would be important.  Plus it might even ruin my love of the game because I'd meet people I looked up to and then see their faults and personality traits and that might turn me off from the game.  "Evan, what if your first job in the major leagues was to announce for the San Francisco Giants?  How would that sit with you? she asked.  Well, that got me thinking.  "I wouldn't like that at all," I answered.  She continued: "Is there another job that you'd like to pursue as a career goal?"  My next answer was completely improvised and off the cuff, but it was honest.

"I'd like to learn other languages and travel the world.  What that would be, I don't know."


Flash forward 37 years.

Life took it's twists and turns, and sports journalism had never been a part of it for me.  My vocation choice was law enforcement, but in the international field, with Customs and Border enforcement.  I learned two foreign languages and was blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad, through Latin America.  The baseball journalism pursuit had long been abandoned.

Internet message board postings were about all I engaged in on that front.  But as the world wide web grew and expanded, I became more active in Dodger related boards,  In fact,  I soon realized that a large portion of my leisure time was involved in participating in those forums.  What had been an interesting communication tool with like minded folks was soon becoming an outlet to write abut my passion for the Dodgers and interact with new found friends that thought alike.  As fellow posters starting setting up blogs, I realized it was something I could do too.  Opinion of Kingman's Performance was born, and with it came some accolades, and that felt good.

Also came the struggles.  Self imposed deadlines.  Some criticism, some of it justifiable.  Writer's block hit me hard at times.   There was always the issue with time constraints.  If only I could do this full-time, I knew I could raise the quality of the blog.  But that just couldn't happen.  I was entering the sunset of my career and a crucial time of it at that.  Deeper vocational responsibilities and more time during my off-work hours working on work projects.

That all reached a peak on April 1, 2014.

Accepting my new work assignment in Washington, D.C., I hit the ground running with foreign travel assignments sending me to the Republics of Georgia, Argentina, Hungary and Egypt, all within the first two months.  Though the Dodgers come to D.C. in early May, I won't be near the place at the time as I'll be bouncing around the Armenian/Turkish border about then.

I can't help but think about those words to my 6th grade teacher so many years ago.  "I'd like to learn other languages and travel the world."  That seems to have come to fruition.  But you can't have everything and somethings got to give.  In this instance it is the blog.  My baseball reporting dream is going to have to take a respite.

Facts are facts and the truth is that I can't keep it up.  I can't dedicate the time to make OKP that Dodger news source that so many have used over the past four years as daily Dodger reading material.  I want to, but I'm too engaged in other pursuits.

I'm not closing the blog down, but I'm cutting things back.  Ron Cervenka at ThinkBlueLA.com told me that he doesn't "know how I did it for so long."  Truth is, neither did I.  The hours in the day aren't there.  The distance from Dodger Stadium to me is now so far.  Sure, I can watch the Dodgers from 12 time zones away on MLB.com, and a 7PM start time may be 7AM for me the next day, but it's not like I can sit down and dedicate myself to watching all the nuances of the game from afar.  Lately my views of it are passing glances and checks on updated scores.

Maybe things will change, but more than likely they won't for me.

This isn't goodbye, but it kinda is.  My posts will be few and far between.  They'll be coming from the jungles of Central America and in the deserts of the Middle East if I can find the time.  I'll be representing the Dodgers in a blue cap with the interlocking "LA" on it throughout the world, and if I run across other fans in my pursuits, I'll tell the story.  How often that will happen I can't say.

I will be able to say this though.  There'll be a lot of score watching from this globetrotter, and it will definitely be an adventure.  As difficult as it has been to watch the start of the season from three time zones away, that'll be nothing compared to the other locations I'll be logging in to watch from.

Retirement is a few years away, and at that time my goal is to engage in OKP full-time, but by then, who knows where the blogging world will have advanced.  In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away when I get the opportunity with an occasional post when I can.  How often I can't say.  I imagine there may be weeks that go by without a word and then there could be days in which I provide daily thoughts.  It all depends on my work schedule and the time constraints caused by it.


With the Dodgers completing another series victory against Arizona today, that's a 7-1 record against their division rivals, a team that many of us felt would be in contention this year.  Let's be fair though.  Arizona is smitten with the injury bug big time with the loss of their ace,  Partrick Corbin, to Tommy John surgery.  It was a moral punch to the gut they received as the season began and they haven't recovered.

The result has been a major league worst 5-16 start that probably has put Kirk Gibson's job in jeopardy.  Now, I'm not about to start feeling sorry for the D-Backs.  They are after all, that cry baby organization that whined about us celebrating in their pool and they have an owner that is so paranoid about sending the right message out to the world that he banned Dodger fans from wearing blue right behind the home plate backdrop.  The chronicles of the Diamondback story have been told here and other places many times.

A 5-16 start isn't too much to overcome, but it sure doesn't help.  Remember, the Dodgers are responsible for seven of those losses, so kudos to them.  The rest of the league has beaten the D-Backs another four times.

And those that say the Dodger record is tainted because they are 7-1 against the lowly Diamondbacks need to remember that good teams beat up on the cellar dwellers.  Last place teams are usually there because of that.  The Dodgers are not hitting on all cylinders and have played all but game one without their ace, and they are standing atop the division.  Those are good signs that things will get better.  Imagine where they'll be when they get hot.

1 comment:

  1. Evan, I for one would like to Thank You for all that you have done with this blog but most of all for the service you do for our great country. I feel like I can speak for all of us when I say we are a better and safer world because of what you do. Enjoy what you do and we will always be here when your able to check in.

    God Bless