Using the words “Dodgers” and “on paper” in the same sentence can provoke many followers of Los Angeles baseball into a spiel about how their favorite club could be the most talented team in baseball, yet, at the same time, one of the most underachieving. The Dodgers, far and away, had the most talent and potential in the National League West, but it still took the squad 163 games to secure a spot in the 2018 playoffs. Sure, there were plenty of ups and downs regarding injuries and player personnel, but theoretically, the Dodgers should have ran away with the pennant rather than making it appear to be a bit of a struggle. They made the NLDS against the Braves a lot closer than what it should have been. Additionally, they were probably even more talented than the Brewers, even though Milwaukee finished the regular season with the NL’s best record.
When I initially sat down to take a few notes for the statistical end of today’s column, my intention was to create a theme centered on the advantages the Astros have over the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series—at least on paper, anyway. The problem I had, however, was no matter how far I would stretch certain theories and statistics, I simply could not come up with more than just a few factors which favored the Astros, all bias aside. Even the Houston offense, as prolific as it was this year, doesn’t have a significant edge over the Los Angeles crew.
It’s difficult to even know where to begin when writing an article on the Dodgers these days. Last Monday, I was flippant. Friday, I was morose and somewhat at a loss for what to say, and now….really, what does one say?
For those of you fortunate enough to catch the daily broadcasts of the Dodgers on your television, radio or computer these days, you’ve heard many times recently the comparisons of today’s club to the 1953 Brooklyn squad, mainly because the 2017 team has a shot at breaking the single-season win record which stood for 64 years.
Fans of the Dodgers shouldn’t want to see it any other way—their beloved No. 22 slotting into the rotation to squeeze in two more turns before the 2017 All-Star break. And even though he’s yet to start an All-Star contest for the National League during his already illustrious career, Clayton Kershaw realizes that a regular season victory or two certainly outweighs the importance of a single game which basically, in many senses, has become meaningless.
Dave Roberts and Logan Forsythe stand on the side of the Dodgers‘ practice field in Glendale chatting. “You know what makes this a championship club?” Logan asked his new manager. “I do,” Roberts said while nodded vigorously. He turned from watching the players to look his new second baseman in the eye. “This, it’s the veteran guys that talk about winning. And, other teams that I’ve been on, it’s been a handful,” Forsythe continued. “Last year, we were tough, man. Our team is tough,” Roberts said. “And it’s like…” “You got the right guys to be that way,” Forsythe continued for him. “We do, we do, man,” said Roberts.