“History has no effect on anything,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “This is a New Year and he has shown what he can do in the post season. So I don’t think anyone in the club cares about this novel.”
This was 2016 – Roberts’ first year with the Dodgers – after a great playoff start for Clayton Kershaw. Ace had gone through seven rounds of lockdowns to a 1–0 win over the Cubs in the NLCS, and Roberts, although certainly not realizing it at the time, has entered a new line in the record: He made one of the first quotes to explicitly connect the notion of “narration” To Kershaw in October.
Long live the narrative. In his next debut, Kershaw gave up five runs in five rounds, and the Dodgers lost their chance to advance to the World Series. “Narrative” was frequently used in summary From that One. Well, you probably know where we are now.
Kershaw’s performance against Braves in NLCS Game 4 on Thursday hit all the familiar notes. He landed brilliantly during the first several roles. Then he began to falter. A logical opportunity passed for the manager to pull it off. So did another. And then, by the time that actually happened, it was too late. The broadcast kept offering free footage of him looking miserable in bunker.
And the speech followed its usual way: it was Kershaw. No, it was a back problem that bothered him earlier in the week. No, it was Roberts, because he neglected to pull it off sooner. No, it was a crime, for not giving him more prominence. No, it was the cruel hand of fate, twisted in the delight of such a display of human helplessness. And so on. But it all hinges on one joint: the Kershaw Playoff story.
The term is used so frequently to describe what is going on here that it is starting to feel like a proper noun. Words alone –The story of the Kershaw playoff gameIt might sound like a reference strange joke: There are people who make fun of the idea of narration, and people who make fun of the possibility that anyone makes fun of the idea of narration, and now the term itself seems to come with little eye movement. And all of this is only possible because the phrases are so constant. Kershaw’s performance in October is not generally referred to as a date, his record, or as an experiment, however it is not a story. Or imagination. It is a story.
It is a very special language. It lives in a gray area – the narrative is neither fact nor reality. It suggests a greater coherent account than any of the facts composing it.
And the facts here are something like this: Kershaw is among the greatest shooters in living memory. But its capacity is not a fixed quantity; He needed adaptation, with mixed results, as he got older. He did some excellent performances, and some of the shows were clearly less outstanding. Those in the latter category, including Thursday, are often made worse by managerial decisions and by blows – but that doesn’t make them less than him. I was left with certainty that Playoff Kershaw is not and cannot be the regular season Kershaw, except, you know, when it really is.
It is not a very satisfying set of facts. It lends itself to serious analysis – specifically, that went right or wrong in every single case – rather than those miserable shots of the shooter alone in bunker. Hence there is not much discussion about the record here. Instead there is talk of narration.
Narration can be edited. It might carry some kind of relationship with the truth, but it doesn’t have to be close, and it shouldn’t be fixed. Often Personal. Look at the language used to describe it – something physical, to exit or enter, to impose something else. I desperately wish to be exempt from this novel, which I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009. (Kershaw’s first playoff loss: October 15, 2009). We live fully, especially if we are writers, by imposing a narrative streak on contrasting images, through “ideas” with which we are taught to freeze the changing illusions that are our actual experience. (The “narrative” summons here at first often came from writers – serving literally telling a story – but now they seem to come from everyone who serves everything.) I lost the flow of narration. (Can you find it again?)
And it all says: Narration is flexible. It is not static, nor does it have to be correct. But this does not mean that it is not real.