With Andre Ethier departing the lineup for 2018, the Dodgers now will only have one player from the 2008 roster. The next year is sure to usher in a new era of Dodger fans.
Let’s turn back the clock a little bit, to a bittersweet time in Dodgers’ history. The year is 2008, and the dreaded McCourt family still has it’s greedy fingers wrapped around the historical organization. In the later months of the year, the Dodgers finished up the season at 84-78, just two games ahead of Arizona. It was a different time for the National League West, as the Giants would go on to finish 12 games behind Los Angeles.
The Dodgers were thriving, with a plethora of career all-stars all over the roster. In that particular year, the offense was anchored by young right fielder Andre Ethier. He was phenomenal the whole year, turning in a batting average of .305 with twenty home runs. The only offensive category he did not dominate was runs batted in, with James Loney knocking in what would be a career high at 90.
Derek Lowe was their workhorse at 211 innings pitched, and Takashi Saito was closing out games along side big man Jonathan Broxton. Too many Dodger fans, these names see like they were from a different life time. And that’s because for the most part, they are. The Dodgers are not nearly the same team that they were nearly ten years ago, and so much has changed for the better. The only constant thing in the Dodgers organization happened to come along that year, in a young left-handed pitcher out of Dallas, Texas.
Yes, thankfully Clayton Kershaw is still in Dodger blue. He showed up in 2008 and threw in 22 unimpressive games, but has dominated the league since then. And Kershaw happens to be all that remains from the ruins of an abysmal ownership group. Kershaw rose out of the dust of the collapse of the McCourts, and with him came a new era of Dodger baseball. An era of winning division after division, Cy Young Awards and MVP’s, an era of creating new Dodger fans each moment they take the field.
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So much more than just the ownership has changed though. We had to say goodbye to Vin Scully in the booth; a moment fans won’t soon forget. But we also got to welcome in the duo of Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser, who is fantastic. And the Dodgers have gone back to their trademark international signings, with arrivals of stars like Yasiel Puig and Kenta Maeda. We’ve also witnessed a blossoming farm system, which has produced phenoms like Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and Corey Seager.
And then we look forward to the future. With the possibility of Los Angeles landing Giancarlo Stanton or the “Japanese Base Ruth” that is Shohei Otani, there is plenty to be excited about. If you’re looking to become a fan of some baseball team, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. I am sure you will not be disappointed with this prolific and exciting team.