Last year, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Last year, they proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. They were the best team in baseball, but a lot can change in a year. The Cubs are still strong — there is no doubt about that — but ask any baseball fan and they’ll tell you that this year the best team in the bigs is not the World Champion Cubs, but rather the Boys out West. This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the best team in baseball. This year, they’ve become one of the best teams in the history of the game.
I think we all knew the Cubs would find a way to win it all in 2016. Theo Epstein and every mind in the Cubs’ front office put together a team of guys fated to make history. That sort of thing only happens once in a lifetime. In 2004, Epstein helped break the Curse of the Bambino, and he did it again for the Cubs in 2016. Every team has their time, and the Dodgers have proven over their first 110 games that this season belongs to them.
The Boys in Blue are breaking records left and right, and they keep getting better. With his 30th home run last Wednesday against Atlanta, Cody Bellinger became the third-fastest player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs, doing it in just 87 games. With that historic swing, Bellinger joined the company of former Tigers catcher Rudy York, who hit 30 home runs in 79 games in 1937, and former A’s first basemen Mark McGwire who did it in 84 games in 1987 (via theScore.com).
Bellinger isn’t the only one making history for the Dodgers this season, though. Lefty starter Alex Wood is having the best campaign of his career, with only one loss all year, which came against the Atlanta Braves, his former team. You can’t talk about the Dodgers without talking about Clayton Kershaw, who put up great numbers before hitting the disabled list a couple of weeks ago, but this team has proven time and time again that they can and will win without their ace.
With the postseason quickly approaching, the Dodgers show no signs of slowing down. On pace for 115 wins, Los Angeles continues to prove who they are. They continue to win even when the score is convincing the crowd otherwise. This season doesn’t belong to the dominance of Kershaw, or the screaming long balls of Yasiel Puig. This season belongs to each and every player on the 25-man roster, and that sort of thing is what turns players into champions.
There is one topic that keeps coming up when talking about this run that the Dodgers are on, and that is the fact that they haven’t won, or even made it to a World Series in 29 years. If the Dodgers don’t win the World Series after this historic run they’ve put together, then it doesn’t mean anything. Everyone is saying that this year is World Series or bust for the Dodgers, but is it? Of course they want to win — every team does — and the Dodgers have the best chance to do so.
The Dodgers could very well bring a championship trophy back to L.A., and we all hope they do, but it’s okay if they don’t. It’s not “World Series or bust,” it’s just the World Series. The Dodgers have been able to win so many games this season because they know how to play in the moment. They’re ready to win the World Series. If they end up making it to the Fall Classic, they’ll play those games the same way they’ve played their regular season games. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s been working out just fine.
(Sarah is an 18-year-old soon-to-be college student from Southern California, who currently manages her own blog, “The Ground Rule Double.” She is kindly filling in for Andy, who is presently on vacation in Arizona. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SMarie519)