Winning sure can be exhausting. Last night I was full of joy as the Dodgers captured their second NL West Division crown in a row. This morning I am tired from the release of a season long built up of angst, worry and fear.
No more do I have to hear the rabble rousing screams of the chattering class declaring our teams lack of class, will or chemistry. Instead, I bask in the glory of Dodger Blue as I await the start of Baseball's second season.
You see, the reason we go through this entire exercise, a season filled with 162 maddening games, is to have a chance to compete for the crown. And the only way to get there is to earn an opportunity. This Dodger team has done just that, and this Dodger fan is eternally grateful for their work.
So, on to the part of the season that REALLY matters. On to the pageantry and majesty of a national spotlight on national television. On to having an opportunity to watch the "Boys in Blue" compete with the best in the land. On to taking that next step on the road to the World Series. You've done us proud, and I am certain you will not disappoint.
There are three games remaining in the season and as you know there is nothing left to chase after. We are the National League Western Division Champions and with the Nationals solidly ahead by two games for the leagues best record, I think it's fair to say that we'll be facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs. BTW, the gif above of the last out of last night's game is via the Dodgers on tumblr.
Below are some links to check out:
- Via Michael Lananna at MLB.com, "After grind of season, Dodgers let loose in celebration."
"Let me tell you, this team always has fun -- it's one of those types of teams," said left fielder Carl Crawford, interrupted briefly by Puig throwing ice chips at his face. "You've got to be loose, man. You can't be uptight all the time."
"A lot of guys had individual issues throughout the year, but we got here as a team, and that's what the most important thing is," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Now we're in the tournament, we're all healthy and we're ready to go."
- Chad Moriyama at Dodgers Digest has up an celebration post including gifs, dancing and moonshine. I kid you not.
- Via Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk, "Matt Kemp is playing like a superstar again."
- Via Chris Moran at Beyond the Boxscore, "The Dodgers deep lineup will be tough to beat."
The point is that Dodgers are healthy, and they can beat you in a myriad of ways. They have speed, power, and on-base skills. Also, with Hanley Ramirez rounding into shape and Matt Kemp recovering his old form at the plate, they are healthier than they've been all year.
- Via Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, "Diamondbacks set to offer pitching great Dave Stewart the GM job."
- Mike Petriello at Dodgers Digest also notes that Dodger VP of Player Development DeJon Watson likely appears headed to Arizona also. Boo! He's one of the stars of the Dodger front office.
- Here's a report by Ron Shah of FanGraphs on Dodger prospect James Baldwin.
James Baldwin is one of the most intriguing prospects in the California League. The outfielder checks off all the boxes with his graceful athleticism, tools across the board, and major league bloodlines. But the 23-year-old is currently facing an uphill battle due to his struggles in the batter’s box, which may ultimately deter him from reaching his tools-based ceiling.
- True to the Blue shares his day with Joc Pederson - at his autograph appearance a couple of weeks ago.
- Via Cody Ulm at MLB.com, "(Roberto) Hernandez hopes to beat Rox, earn playoff role."
Hernandez showed enough promise with three quality starts in his first four tries for the Dodgers after the team acquired him from the Phillies in early August. But since then, he's failed to last longer than 4 1/3 innings in his four most recent starts, surrendering 11 runs in 15 innings.
I'd be surprised, but good luck.
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