One and two here comes the pitch, Machado a swing and a miss. The Boston Red Sox are World Champions! Disappointment, frustration, and utter embarrassment.
For the second time in as many years the hope of bringing a world series title back to Los Angeles would end at Chavez Ravine. Lets face it, the Red Sox were the best team in baseball, after all it did take a Max Muncy walk off solo shot for LA to win their lone game… in the 18th inning. Where does LA go from here and where do the fans point the blame?
Enter the MLB offseason. Huge names hitting the Free Agent market including Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, and Dallas Kuechel but none bigger than the Las Vegas boy and MLB All-Star Bryce Harper. Looking for the biggest contract in MLB history the Dodgers seemed poised to pursue and sign him. After freeing up some cap space by releasing catcher Grandal, 2nd baseman Forsythe, veteran outfielder Matt Kemp and fan favorite Yasiel Puig, it looked like LA was ready to make their move.
January 24th – breaking news! The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed outfielder AJ Pollock. Pollock is a solid player batting .257, an OBP of .316, slugging .484, and an OPS of .800. A good player with a decent stat line, he’s no Harper, but then again who is?
No Bryce? That’s fine. It doesn’t matter because the Dodgers will most likely be back in the World Series. Big bats in the one through 8 slots, a great defensive team and a healthy Corey Seager returning to the lineup are all solid reasons the Dodgers can return. Behind the mound, with the emergence of rookie Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have a legitimate one two punch with him and Kershaw. Urias looked good in the postseason, Hyun Jin Ryu looked as sharp as ever to close the year, and if Rich Hill can stay healthy the Dodgers pitching staff will literally be in good hands.
Offseason reinforcements will also help. Undoubtedly, the biggest addition to the lineup is reliever Joe Kelly. He had a 4.39 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched in 2018 and a postseason that was unmatched. He allowed a total of O XBH, 0 walks, and struck out 10 batters resulting in a 0.00 ERA. He pitched in all 5 games and had a total of 6 IP. The now ex-Red Sox will offer a steady cushion in between the starting pitcher and the closer, Jansen, for skipper Dave Roberts. Throw in veteran locker room leader and catcher Russell Martin and the Dodgers are poised to show heavy improvement to help them reach the playoffs.
LA is a city of champions. 16 NBA championships, 1 Super Bowl title, 2 NHL championships, 5 MLS titles, and 6 World Series championships. This city bleeds Dodger Blue, and ownership knows nothing but a title is acceptable.
Six-time repeat division champions and back to back NLCS titles are great, but if in October Joe Buck isn’t announcing the Dodgers are World Champions then the season will be another huge disappointment for LA sports fans.
How will this season play out for the boys in blue? Will it end in euphoria and glory, or tragedy and anguish? Will one of the greatest pitchers to ever throw a baseball finally get that elusive ring? With the season days away the city is buzzing. The Dodger gear is out. Bryce who? It’s going to be a fun year in baseball, and an interesting race in the National League with big names moving cities. 162 games, 30 teams, one goal, to be the last team standing in October. It’s time for Dodger baseball!
Featured Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA Today Sports
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