Sometimes the experience doesn't have to be televised

On Monday, my wife and I, along with my sister-in-law and three of her children watched the total solar eclipse from a vacation rental we found in the heretofore unknown town of Neskowin, Oregon. Despite some patchy fog, the sun shone brightly. Until it was eclipsed by the moon. And then it didn't shine. Then it shone again.

Overall the experience was something that I don't have the ability to describe. I just watched it and soaked it in. I quickly gave up on trying to take a picture and just decided to have my own memory of the event. And I'm glad I did it.

On Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill flirted with a perfect game. He retired the first 24 Pirates in order. In the bottom of the ninth, third baseman Logan Forsythe made an error to end the perfect game, but Hill still had a no-hitter going. Except the Dodgers hadn't scored either, so the game went on.

And in the bottom of the 10th, Hill surrendered a leadoff homer to Josh Harrison of Pittsburgh and the game was over. Hill pitched 9 innings, struck out 10, walked none, and gave up just one hit. And lost. However, in this Dodgers seemingly magical year, it wasn't as sad or tragic as you would think. It was oddly fun.

Unlike the eclipse, I wasn't watching this. I was, as I described earlier, just following the game on MLB.com's Gameday app. Sometimes I turned on the MLB network on my TV when they checked into the game, but most of the time, I was quite content to just follow the game in my own way.

This was not the case with LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke, who found Hill's stellar and incredibly tragicomic pitching feat just something to feel sad about because he couldn't watch it on TV. I don't really want to dwell on that column. It's just serving up red meat to an upset public. That's his job.

In May, I found the experience of following the Dodgers through a combination of Twitter and Gameday somewhat dispiriting. But, as this season has gone on, I've grown accustomed to it. (Maybe because Chris Hatcher was traded to Oakland, that even the most hardcore complainers have little to complain about the Dodgers this year.)

The Dodgers season, like just about everything else in the universe, is going to keep on going regardless of how I experience it. I don't think the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies at this scale.

Some things in life I get the chance to see, like a total eclipse. Some things I don't see, like a no-hitter that isn't. Life has much to offer. And worrying about a television carriage dispute might not be the best use of one's mental energy.

It's turned out to be the most enjoyable season, in terms of victories, to be a Dodgers fan since 1974. And I probably saw about as many Dodgers games on TV that year as I will this year. The Dodgers aren't going to be in a tight pennant race this year, but I can still watch the Angels, who are somehow in contention for a playoff spot in the AL.

The Freeway World Series is still a possibility. And that would make a year of a total eclipse and a Not-a-No-Hitter by Rich Hill, even weirder.


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