Boring Isn’t Always Bad

It seems silly to describe the 2017 Dodgers as a boring team, I suppose.  But I was watching a sports talk show on TV the other day, and they were interviewing Cody Bellinger. They asked him how such a dominant team could be so boring.

“You guys play in Los Angeles,” they noted. “You’re a bunch of young players.”

Cody gave a stock answer, that veterans like Adrian Gonzalez and Logan Forsythe are very family-oriented, and that it carries through to the clubhouse. They all just put their head down and do their work. The hosts were slightly bummed out by his answers, as they were looking for a much juicier story — young, good looking rookies out on the town, partying. Disagreements amongst the players, maybe. They got none of that from Bellinger.

For those of us who watch closely, this team is anything but boring. The most walk-off wins in the majors. The most wins in the majors, period. By a long shot. Taking every series win since the first weekend in June. Electric grabs by Yasiel Puig. Long, majestic homers off the bat of Bellinger. The fun hop Rich Hill takes off the mound after a pitch. The way your heart gets pumping when you hear the opening bars of “California Love.”

But, all that winning can be boring. In a good way. There’s not much stress when watching these games. Even if the Dodgers get behind, you’re still 95% sure they’re going to pull it off and win the game. And if they don’t, eh. They’re still 20 games ahead of Colorado. You can’t win them all.

(Although, in some parts of dark Twitter, people get very mad when the Dodgers lose. They find all sorts of things to fault manager Dave Roberts with, how could this player bat in that position, whatever little thing they feel is worth nitpicking at just to find some fault with the team. Hint: there isn’t much).

On a team this good, in a town that will be scrutinized to no end, there’s nothing to find. It’s a solid, well put together team that doesn’t make headlines, even considering how good they are. Sure, the national media comments on their wins, puts the stats on a graphic on TV, but mostly they ignore the Dodgers. They pay much more attention to Aaron Judge rather than Bellinger. The NL Central over the NL West. Of course, I understand that. The NL Central still has three teams in contention for first place. The NL West is a forgone conclusion, and Arizona and Colorado will only be fighting it out for a wild card spot. The Giants have made themselves incredibly irrelevant, having already been eliminated from playoff contention on August 20.

But as I stated before, it’s simply a bunch of focused professionals going about their jobs. Sure, Puig and Enrique Hernandez have a ton of personality. Even Clayton Kershaw does, on non-pitching days. But for the most part, they’re pretty vanilla. There’s no stories of the guys out on the town. Guys go on the DL because they know its for the betterment of the team, to get a little rest.

Yu Darvish said he could get out there and pitch.  Kersh said to him, “Hey, we need you in six weeks.  Don’t worry about right now.” And so he went without an issue.

When guys are demoted or sent to the bullpen to work on their stuff, there’s no rumblings of discontent. Or if there is, like in the cases of Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Wood, you pretty much just see that they do their work, and return to the starting rotation the better for it. Heck, you rarely even see Chase Utley smile, regardless of the outcome.

The front office has done an excellent job of putting together a solid team that knows what it’s collective job is — to go and finally get that long awaited for World Series Championship. We can leave all the partying for the offseason, because they will have earned it by then. I have no doubt.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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Thanks to a Total Team Effort, Dodgers Have Found Success in 2017

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It’s nice to know that when you take a vacation, and don’t have much service, that if you are a Dodgers fan, you can come back to find them exactly in the same position that you left them in — well in command of the NL West, the NL, and all of the majors, for that matter.

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Dodgers Lineups: Cody Bellinger Could Benefit from a Little More Protection

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(Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

During the middle contest of a three-game series against the Padres last weekend, we noted a statistic on Twitter about how the No. 5 hole in the Dodgers lineup has been the least productive of all the spots in the batting order this season, excluding the No. 9 slot.

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Dodgers Roster: How Exactly Does Adrián González Fit In?

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(Mandatory Credit: David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

A lot has happened since veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez played his last big league game for the Dodgers on June 11.

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The 2017 Dodgers Are Setting a New Standard for the National League West

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For as long as I can remember, the Dodgers and the Giants have been fighting for first place in the National League West. I’ve grown up with the certainty that as good as the Dodgers are, the Giants will always be close behind, but that is simply no longer true. The 2017 Dodgers have proven that they are the team to beat not only in the West but all of baseball.

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Finally, the Dodgers Are Built to Win a World Series

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(Mandatory Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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.

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The Injuries that Propelled the Dodgers to History, Potentially

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When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” – LL Cool J

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Should Dodgers Give Alex Verdugo a Big League Opportunity Right Now?

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

After all the dust settled on the active roster before the series opener against the Twins on Monday evening, the Dodgers had a whopping 10 arms available in the bullpen, yet only three available replacements off the bench. Thank goodness for more heroics from the mighty Cody Bellinger, because if the game would have somehow wiggled into extra innings, Los Angeles may have sent some relief pitchers to the dish to hit.

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Let’s Take a Moment to Praise Cody Bellinger

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Admittedly, being that we generally stay away from posts involving game recaps, I was still a bit torn as to whether to write a story regarding Cody Bellinger‘s monumental evening on Saturday against the Marlins. Furthermore, I thought there would be a small chance that Bellinger would capture his third NL Player of the Week award on Monday, so I figured I’d put something together then, oblivious to the series that Washington’s Anthony Rendon had against the Reds over the weekend. Regardless, I figured it’s about time to give the latest rookie sensation of the Dodgers some well-deserved ink. And considering it’s been awhile since we’ve cited some witty song lyrics, I was even gonna drop a few lines from the 1999 Fatboy Slim hit song, but I decided to save those for a point later in the year when the more prestigious awards began to roll in.

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With the 2017 All-Star Festivities Wrapped Up, Dodgers Look Towards Marlins

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(Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

While many baseball fans around the globe tuned into the 2017 MLB All-Star Game expecting an offensively dominant showcase of fireworks, the almost complete opposite occurred — a display of superior pitching with a few timely hits sprinkled in along the way.

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