Is This the Golden Age of the Dodgers?

As February draws to a close and the Los Angeles Dodgers inch closer to meaningful games in 2021, fans of the team are in a beautiful sweet spot.

Neither the team and fans were not able to justifiably celebrate the World Series win in 2020 to0gether at Chavez Ravine, but that only put a slight damper on the celebrations. Fans all over rejoiced with family and friends, either in person or on social media. The relief and joy was still palpable even if it was not celebrated in Dodger Stadium.

The win had been a long time coming after seven divisional wins and all sorts of heartbreaking losses—from the mundane to the whole championship being stolen from them, and everything in between.

But in 2020, the Dodgers finally did it. Clayton Kershaw finally got his ring. It may have been an irregular season, but it was more difficult in the long (or short) run, dealing with no fans, Covid protocols, not seeing family for months on end, and everything else involved in such a crazy year.

Regardless, the Dodgers were the best team in baseball, and they would have been whether the season was 60 or 162 games in the season. And, the best part is, the Dodgers are poised to do it all over again.

Much has been made about the San Diego Padres and their upgrades over the offseason. No doubt the team to the south is ready to give the Dodgers a run for their money.

But the Dodgers were the best team last year, and undoubtedly with the additions they made, they are still the best team.

The starting rotation has seven proven starters. Seven. If and when injuries hit the pitching staff, they have capable guys just waiting in the wings to step up and take their turn. Not just capable, but battle tested. All of those seven guys have pitched in the playoffs, and six of them have pitched in the World Series. There are three former Cy Young winners on the staff.

The bullpen is also stacked. The squad the shut down the Rays last year has now added Corey Knebel, who by all accounts this spring training is looking so good, manager Dave Roberts already has him pegged for high leverage situations. Blake Treinen is back, rejoining Brusdar Graterol and Victor Gonzalez. Brandon Morrow is also back, aiming to regain his 2017 form. And Kenley Jansen, who as of now is slotted to maintain his closer roles, has looked so good so far Roberts has gone as far as calling him “exceptional.” The newly vamped Padres pitching staff isn’t going to come anywhere close to the Dodgers’ depth.

We have even discussed the offense. Two former MVPs. The reigning World Series MVP. Six former All-Stars. And while the Dodgers lost two uber utility men, they have a guy in Zach McKinstry all ready to step up and tackle that role.

Unlike many teams, the Dodgers don’t just have these guys for this season to hope for the best. They’ve had most of the core group for years, and even though some contracts will be up soon, either they plan to re-sign as many as possible, or have talent coming up through the minors to replace them. Or, in the worst case scenario, to trade some talent for what’s needed, or the capital to sign key free agents.

The Dodgers had excellent title runs from 1959 thru 1966, 1977 thru 1981, and 2017 through the present, and 2013 through now in terms of playoff appearances. But this really could be the best the team has ever been. Fans have talked about last year’s team being the best ever, and they went out and improved it.

This is the first offseason in a long time that the weight of not having yet won the World Championship is not hanging over the team like the sword of Damocles. The Dodgers won the last World Series and are odds on favorites to win it again this season. It is indeed a golden time to be a Dodgers fan.

9 thoughts on “Is This the Golden Age of the Dodgers?

  1. They sure have won more than in any time I have been a fan. But I think their golden age will always be the Boys of Summer. Just something more compelling about the same guys going out there every year and either winning or just missing. And 4 of those guys are in the hall. Should be at least one more, Hodges. This team and those before it have had a lot of moving parts, and so far only one sure HOFer, Kershaw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bear my favorite team was the Koufax, Drysdale, Wills teams led by Alston. I listened to Scully on my “transistor radio” as Koufax & Drysdale would dominate and win games 1-0. 2-1, many wins from a Wills bunt, stolen base, and Gilliam driving him over. I agree with you on Hodges. I also think Maury Wills should be in the Hall because he changed the way baseball was played for a while. I still love the drag bunt, stolen base, and sacrifice. Much more strategy in those games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the return of the stolen base started with Aparicio when he was with the Sox. But Maury really gave it a face. Especially in 62 when he stole 104 bags. Then later you had guys like Coleman and Henderson take it even further. Has not been a base stealer in the bigs like those guys for a while. Hamilton could have been that kind of player had he ever hit worth a damn. Maury, like Garvey, Hershiser and Fernando, fall a little short on the Hall list. Wills because he got such a late start to his MLB career, Fernando was a very good pitcher, as was Hershiser, but their overall stats for their careers just not good enough to merit election. Garvey might have made it had he reached some milestones a first baseman was expected to reach. But he fell short of 300 homers, and except for a couple of seasons he was not a perennial MVP candidate. The early LA teams were a mix of vets and kids, they did better than Brooklyn by winning 3 World Series over a 7 year span, 59-65. Came close to winning the pennant in 62, and lost the series in 66. But the talent level, other than Big D and Sandy, was no where near as good as the Boys of Summer. I grew up watching Big D, Sandy, Maury, the Davis boys, Fairly, Osteen, Podres and Perranoski. Fun to watch and sometimes guy wrenching.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The Kasten, Friedman-led organization will keep the Dodgers in an NL and hopefully WS winning position for many years to come. The 2020 Dodgers won at a record-setting pace with Bellinger and Muncy having down years offensively. Lux never performed and Kershaw was in and out with back injuries. If Bellinger & Muncy perform at a higher average, Lux shows why he was such a highly rated prospect and the pitching staff performs as advertised this team should dominate again.
    The Dodgers have Money. They have very experienced Baseball management teamed with an owner that wants to win. They have spent money throughout the Dodger organization to make player development the best in the MLB. Listen to the comments from players coming over from other teams. The differences in coaching, nutrition, physical therapy are night and day over most other clubs. The Dodgers Farm Teams are better because the Dodger organization is able to coach players to reach their potential. Listen to Gray talk about the differences between the Dodgers and the Reds. Look at each position on the Dodger Team and then look at the Farm System. The Dodgers have highly rated guys set to come up and compete. Look at 3rd base. Rios is on the roster and may prove to be amazing. Hoese, Mann, Vargas, and others are right behind him. Lux is at second now. But Busch, Amaya, and others are competing to get to the MLB. How about the catching position? The list goes on. Yes, they will be incredible this year and for the foreseeable future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here here maxster, if a person isn’t excited about this team, this season, then I don’t know what’s wrong with them. This team doesn’t need everyone to play at their best to still be really good, every player can’t have an off year, but if one or two guys play a little sub par, the team should still be in the hunt deep into the playoffs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The one thing that can derail this or any great team is an injury to a important piece. If Betts or someone like that went down, they would have some problems.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree, injury is always the wild card in any year. This team is sparse on Outfielders that have solid offensive skills outside of the starters they have now. There are younger outfielders coming up that are 2-3 years away Pages, Rodriguez, etc. They have Reks, Peters, Raley, etc that appear to be journeyman-type players. If Pollock stays injury-free, he can be a difference-maker. He certainly had a good year in 2020. I agree though if Betts is hurt that would set them back. He is a true catalyst. I think this Dodger team could sustain a key loss and continue to drive to a pennant better than any other team right now in the MLB.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My sentiments exactly. San Diego in no way can afford to lose Machado or Tatis for any length of time. Almost any other NL team is going to have problems if they lose a key piece. Especially pitching. If the Mets lost deGrom, they would be in huge trouble with Syndergaard still being down until at least mid season, and the Padres lose any of their starting pitching, untested McKenzie Gore is next up. He is rated one of the best, but you still have to prove yourself at the MLB level. I have seen a lot of highly touted arms never do well in the bigs.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That the Dodgers have proven quality young pitchers on the roster that are “extras” shows the strength of the Dodgers. May, Gonsolin, & Gray would be starting with more than half the MLB clubs. I believe the Dodgers will wait to see how Lux performs before they make a trade to clear some young pitchers.

    Liked by 1 person

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