What a difference a week makes.
Last Monday, some fans of the Dodgers were worried about when the offense was finally going to start going regularly, and the Dodgers, while having a good record, were in third place in the NL West.
Now, the offense seemingly can’t be stopped, and the Boys in Blue are alone in first place in the division, as well as owners of the best record in the National League. The Dodgers now sit at 16-7 with a +60 run differential and are the only team in the majors that have not yet lost a series.
Monday, the Dodgers will take their five-game winning streak into a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners, two at Chavez Ravine and two in SafeCo Field in Seattle.
Looking around the roster, there really isn’t a weakness with this team. Even with some injuries and certain players slumping, the rest of the team is so good that they can carry the load until the slumps and injuries are worked through.
This team was built with all of it in mind. Not with a pandemic shortened season in mind per se, but it obviously still works in this year’s craziness. Despite the ‘slow’ start, this team is still a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
And within this team for me, the most fun player to watch has been Mookie Betts. I tweeted earlier this weekend that while peripherally I was cognizant of how good a player he is, it has been eye opening watching him play day in and day out.
There have already been so many instances where Mookie shows his inherent baseball instincts on the bath paths. Then there are throws that make the Play of the Week. And then there is this stat that just absolutely blew me away –
Betts now leads the team in almost every offensive category: a .314 batting average, eight home runs, 19 RBI, 17 runs, .663 slugging, 1.035 OPS and 27 hits, and he’s tied for first in doubles and stolen bases. Talk about getting your money’s worth.
There’s an article by Dylan Hernandez in the LA Times today highlighting all that Betts has done while only being a Dodger for just a short period of time. This is something that Dodgers fans may have never saw coming.
So many things had to go right, or wrong, depending on your perspective, for the trade of Betts and David Price to the Dodgers to even happen in the first place.
As Dodger fans are well aware, Andrew Friedman and his front office tried many times to either trade for or sign a marquee player. They traded for Yu Darvish at the deadline in 2017, only for him to be cheated out of a World Series ring and basically run out of town by angry fans that didn’t understand all that had happened. 2018 saw the trade of Manny Machado at the deadline, and there didn’t seem to be too much interest on either side of connecting long term.
In the 2019-20 offseason, the Dodgers were said to be interested and courting both Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. Cole chose the New York Yankees over the Dodgers, and Rendon opted for the non-Hollywood lifestyle of Anaheim.
There have been other players that either fans or the front office wanted to become a Dodger, but for one reason or another things just didn’t work out.
Eight division titles and no World Series wins also have lead to the front office still being in the market for a special player. Friedman has stated numerous times that Betts had been a player he was long pursuing. If the Dodgers had rightly won the 2017 World Series, Betts might not be a Dodger. I would take the championship—however, Mookie Betts in Dodger Blue is not a bad consolation prize, one which has a pretty good chance at bringing the long awaited World Series Trophy back to Los Angeles.