Possibly the T-shirts the Dodgers got on the sector after profitable a long-awaited championship final October ought to have mentioned the next:
“I gained the World Sequence, and all I received was this awful T-shirt.”
The explanations have been comprehensible and unavoidable, however the champs had motive to really feel a bit of cheated. There was no parade down Broadway, no mass celebration on the steps of L.A. Metropolis Corridor, no outpouring of affection from their followers by which they might share.
Would Supervisor Dave Roberts have been tempted to bop on the podium, the best way Tommy Lasorda had executed 32 years beforehand? Would he have assured a repeat, within the spirit of former Lakers coach Pat Riley in 1987? We’ll by no means know.
There’s no White Home go to scheduled, though that also would possibly change. (Value noting: The Dodgers are in Washington on July 4 weekend.) And there was no making the rounds of the late-night speak exhibits to take in the applause as a result of it’s simply not the identical when Jimmy Kimmel has you as a visitor by way of Zoom.
It was for the perfect, given the general public well being implications, however perhaps there was one other profit. Possibly much less partying means much less of a World Sequence hangover.
Possibly, after being pushed to erase all these years of October almosts and eventually doing so, the 2021 Dodgers can be pushed to construct on their success, win all of it once more and really get an opportunity to, you understand, have fun totally this coming October.
“In some methods, we really feel like we type of half-won the factor,” pitcher Walker Buehler mentioned Saturday.
And Roberts famous Monday that it has certainly been a subject of dialog.
“Each participant is motivated by various things,” he mentioned by way of Zoom from spring coaching in Glendale, Ariz. “Each crew’s motivated to win a championship. However I do assume I’ve heard guys discuss the truth that we need to do it proper and type of get pleasure from the entire fruits, nonetheless being conscious of what we needed to undergo final 12 months and what was allowed.
“I do assume there’s a bit of little bit of, ‘I need to do it once more, we need to do it once more so we are able to benefit from the champagne celebration within the clubhouse with our households, teammates, coaches. And likewise that parade.’ Once you’re a younger participant, you consider profitable the World Sequence and that parade is one thing that stands proud in quite a lot of gamers’ minds.”
Not solely was there no parade, however pitcher Clayton Kershaw famous over the weekend that with place gamers not becoming a member of spring coaching till this week “we actually haven’t had an opportunity to, like, have fun it or something collectively … so perhaps get to dwell it up for a bit of bit the subsequent few days after which get able to go for this season.”
However whereas these Dodgers are coming from a special, extra constructive place than they did in spite of everything these seasons when the final field was left unchecked, Kershaw mentioned there’s a sense of not desirous to squander the chance to win it once more.
There’s “not a special mindset,” he mentioned. “With the crew we now have coming in, the expectation is to win a World Sequence. And so we now have to do not forget that it doesn’t matter that we gained final 12 months, however on the similar time do not forget that our crew goes to be – has an opportunity to be – particular once more, and we are able to’t take that as a right.”
The Dodgers from administration on down appear to have a “go away little question” strategy to 2021, although a few of that’s in response to one of many few different groups within the sport keen to increase themselves to win, the division rival San Diego Padres.
For what it’s price, two separate betting companies posted projected over/beneath win totals for the approaching season that put the Dodgers at 103-1/2 victories. Contemplating that in two of the final three full seasons they gained 104 and 106 video games, that’s not far-fetched.
They’ll face 19 battles with the Padres – which third baseman Justin Turner likened to “19 World Sequence video games” – earlier than even attending to October, however additionally they get to beat up on the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks and in addition get 20 video games in opposition to an American League West that, at this level, seems cotton sweet comfortable.
The Dodgers who’ve spoken publicly since camp started not solely don’t appear bothered by the expertise San Diego has amassed this offseason, they appear virtually enthused about it. It’s a problem, actually, however to gamers who as a gaggle maintain a cautious eye on groups’ stage of willingness to compete, going all-in because the Padres have executed doesn’t occur almost usually sufficient.
The underside line for followers normally is whether or not they really feel their favourite crew’s possession cares as a lot about profitable as they do. With the Dodgers that query was answered years in the past, even when the ultimate payoff didn’t come till final October. Guggenheim Baseball has averted the form of boom-and-bust cycles of different groups, and whilst you may not all the time agree with their strategies and have had motive to agonize over the outcomes through the years, you may’t argue that they don’t strive.
“Our main focus is on doing every little thing we are able to to defend our title,” baseball operations boss Andrew Friedman identified Friday.
“We really feel actually good concerning the crew we now have in place. And we all know that there’s some added prices related to it, which isn’t ultimate and it’s a price. However we really feel like with the place we’re and the crew we now have, the reward type of outweighs that.”
That doesn’t sound in any respect like a company intimidated by the aggressive steadiness tax. Moderately, it feels like one which feels it nonetheless owes L.A. a parade.
@Jim_Alexander on Twitter