I am declaring this season the year of the Dodger. Oh sure there’s the year of the rat, and the year of the dragon. There’s the year of the monkey, and the season of the witch. This season however is the season of the Dodgers. And it just feels so darn good. It’s a darn good time to be a Dodger fan right now. The Dodgers are in the midst of one of the most prolific runs in Major League Baseball history. The Dodgers have gone 42-8 over their last 50 games, becoming the only other team besides the 1942 Cardinals to do so.
The numbers are staggering, but they make you blush. Do the Dodgers ever lose? People ask that are outside the Dodger family. And the answer would be no, not really. The Dodgers are on pace to have one of their greatest seasons ever. Period. Exclamation point.
And what makes this even sweeter is how bad the season started. The Dodgers were 30-42 on June 21. They were last place in the NL West and 9.5 games back of Arizona. The team was injured, depressed, depleted, and had hit rock bottom so to speak. Even the June 3 call-up of Yasiel Puig didn’t turn things around immediately overnight. But the tides began to turn, especially when shortstop Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup on June 4.
I heard this Kershaw fellow is having a pretty good year-Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
There were tons of stories that popped up all over the internet about the Dodgers free spending ways, and last place standing. At the time that’s all we heard about. The injuries, the losses, and the underperformances. There were rumors that manager Don Mattingly was about to be fired. It became a foregone conclusion almost. By early June, I had about had it with the losing. I screamed and wanted the entire team fired. Fired everyone! I roared. Fire them! Ride them out of town in chariots of unemployment or prius’s. I just couldn’t take the losing anymore. Injuries, losses, and underperformances, that’s what the first half was like. Oh and horrible horrible disappointments.
Things slowly started to turn around though. Our opponents were just licking it all up of course. So the Dodgers and their fans had to defend themselves at every turn. It seemed like someone was throwing at or attacking a Dodger every other day. The first half was mired by two horrific brawls. The first was in San Diego leading to the cowardly and unprovoked attack that led to the broken collar bone of Zack Greinke. That really screwed the pooch early on.
Losing Hanley Ramirez to a busted thumb in the World Baseball Classic, then of course he comes back for three games and tears his hamstring sliding into third base in San Francisco. Awful. The Dodgers led the league in disabled list trips, and blown games. Things seemed at their worse.
On June 22 the Dodgers came from behind to beat the Padres, and then beat them again the next day to earn a series split. That started it all. That series started the streak and the Dodgers never looked back. Since then they have a 42-8 record. The club won 15 consecutive road games, the longest streak in franchise history. The Dodgers are 25-3 since the all-star break, and are now 8.5 games up in first place. The Dodgers have not lost consecutive games since June 20 and 21. The Dodgers do not lose series, They do not lose at home, they do not lose on the road, nor do they lose at all ever.
Uribe and A.J. a great combination-Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers are now 72-50, have won ten games in a row, and are now 22 games above .500. The Dodgers have the best road hitting team in the majors and have won 19 of their last 20 games away from Dodger Stadium. During these trips the Dodgers storm through opposing parks leaving a wake of tattered pitching staffs and a trail of tears. The pitching staff has been excellent, the rotation solid, the bullpen dominant. The offense has continued to bludgeon the baseball, even with extended absences from Matt Kemp, and Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers have won 12 consecutive one-run games, and have just one lone loss in the month of August. There are 40 games left and the Dodgers are making the playoffs. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Dodgers in the playoffs. Four years ago the Dodgers were given an early exit from the NLCS thanks to the Phillies. Now the Phillies are old and crappy. See how quickly things can change for a ball club from one year to the next?
But what would happen if this continued to be the year of the Dodger? What if all of our wildest dreams come true? What if everything happens all at once. Hey you never know, just a year and a half ago this team was in bankruptcy. Just a year ago the Giants were winning their second World Series. (shudders) But let’s indulge my deepest fantasies, and our guilty pleasures. Nothing is too taboo here in my Blue kingdom. Nothing is too far out of reach. What if?……
You know you have a man-crush on Hanley too-Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
What If our best scenarios were to come true, the Dodgers would finish 33-7 over their last 40 games, giving them a final record of 105-57. They become only the second Los Angeles Dodger team ever to win 100 games, (1974) The Dodgers clinch the NL West division on September 21, as Clayton Kershaw pitches a two-hit complete game shutout in San Francisco over the last place Giants. In this wet dream the Dodgers celebrate their division title in front of 40,000 ticked off depressed Giant fans. The Dodgers wildly celebrate and even splash Champaign in the faces of the shocked and dejected Giant fans. Remember when they eliminated us last season on our home turf? Well revenge is a dish best served cold. They should probably clinch at home in this, but wouldn’t it be sweeter at Phone Book Park in front of the Giants? Think about it. Make them watch and suffer. The Giants lose 100 games.
All of the Dodgers enemies don’t make the playoffs, and suck. The Angels finish 64-98. The Padres lose 92 games and finish fourth. Carlos Quentin comes down with a horrible case of hemorrhoids. The Snakes miss the playoffs, and so do the Yankees. Pinch me I’m dreamin’!
The Dodgers not only finish with the best record in Baseball, but clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Dodgers then sweep the Cardinals in the division series, and then go onto polish off the Braves in the NLCS in five games to advance to the World Series.
In the World Series against the Tigers, the Dodgers win it in six games, as Clayton Kershaw, finishes it off by tossing a three-hit complete-game shutout and winning World Series MVP honors for his two shutouts. Yasiel Puig hits three home runs in game six, six overall in the series, and Hanley Ramirez knocks four hits in game six. After the Dodgers win their seventh world championship, the fun doesn’t stop there. All of Los Angeles explodes into an emotional celebration throughout southern California. For several days all stars on the Hollywood walk of fame are dedicated to the Dodgers. Don Mattingly is presented with the key to the city. Magic Johnson stops tweeting about basketball. The city of Los Angeles makes October 27, (the day the Dodgers clinched) the annual holiday known as “Dodger’s Day”. The local schools will observe.
Once the Dodgers win the World Series peace will break out in the middle East and all nations will disarm their nuclear weapons. Global warming will end, and hunger will be eradicated. Doctors will find the cure for Cancer, and then all people of every race will join hands in a circle of peace. Not only that but woman’s breasts will grow three times their size and all of your wildest fantasies will come true. Balance will be restored to the universe.
The reverberations continue throughout the offseason and into the next year. The Dodger logo and brand will grow exponentially to epic proportions. Mike Petriello writes a post apologizing to GM Ned Colletti and hailing him as the best GM in Baseball. The defunct Dodgers Blues site takes down their infamous clock, and names himself the you know what of the moment. Lasorda’s Lair wins the best Dodger blog of the year award. (Hey it’s a dream ok!?)
This is what Donnie does when he’s not winning ball games. hobknobs with celebrities-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers sweep the off-season awards as every Dodger wins. Clayton Kershaw wins the Cy Young award naturally. In a close race with the Pirates Andrew McCutchen, and the Cards Yadier Molina, Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez steals the NL MVP award. Yasiel Puig wins rookie of the year, and Hyun-jin Ryu finishes second. Puig, Andre Ethier, and A.J. Ellis all earn gold gloves. Hanley Ramirez wins a silver slugger, along with Puig, Gonzalez, and Kershaw. Juan Uribe wins NL comeback player of the year award, and his homemade empanada recipe goes multi-national, selling in stores nation-wide. Kenley Jansen receives the roll-aids relief man of the year award, leading all relieves in ERA, whiffs, and BAA. Don Mattingly wins NL manager of the year award in a unanimous vote. The Dodgers award Kershaw with one of the richest contracts in Baseball history. The Dodgers also extend Mattingly’s contract as well.
All of Los Angeles celebrates in downtown LA as the championship parade showcases the world series trophy as it arrives at Dodger Stadium. Not only that, but since the Dodgers won the National League pennant, manager Don Mattingly gets to manage the National League squad in the 2014 all-star game. That means all the Dodgers get in. Let all the Dodgers in! Mattingly is able to effectively pull a Bruce Bochy, selecting nine Dodgers to make the all-star roster in addition to the four that are voted in by the fans. The Giants are only able to send the league minimum of representatives to the all-star game which is one. (Buster Posey). That’s really one Giant too many and all other Giants are denied. (Deny all the Giants!)
Speaking of fans, the Dodgers have the best, and lead all of MLB in attendance as the team breaks the four million mark.
Perhaps more important than all of that above, and maybe more important than anything. Vin Scully announces his return, to bless us all with his beautiful voice for another season. If this is Vin’s last season, then the Dodgers have to, and I mean have to win it all this year.
We’ve been waiting a long time for the Dodgers to be this good again. Last season was so painful having to watch the Giants win it all. Getting eliminated on the second to last day of the season by those same Giants was a kick in the nuts. It was bad. Bad, bad, bad. But all that gets erased if we win it all this year. That’s Stacie and my dream. I remember waiting forever during the boring Fox years for the Dodgers to make the playoffs. I thought at one point after eight years without that the team would never make it again, until that cool 2004 season came around. But oh the waiting was awful.
All the Dodgers do is win-Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Stacie has never been to the playoffs, and our dream has always been to see the Dodgers in the playoffs together. I’ve seen the Dodgers in the playoffs thrice before (96,2008, 2009,) but Stacie never has. (You’re going to love it Stacie) We hope that you will join us along the way as Stac and I make our journey into the postseason this year.
The Dodgers are so much more than just our favorite Baseball team. They’re a deep connection to our family and a connection to our home. I don’t know if the Dodgers will get to the World Series this year, but if they do, my grandfather will be in my thoughts throughout the series.
The crazy thing about all of this, is its all coming true. It’s all happening right now. The Dodgers really are 42-8 over their last 50 games. The Dodgers really are 22 games above .500. The Dodgers really are in first place by 8.5 games, and have won ten in a row. If this is a dream, then I don’t ever want to wake up. But you know what they say, sometimes your wildest dreams do come true. Dream big guys.