Dodgers: Could 2020 be the last dance for this team?
Could the 2020 season represent the last dance for this version of the Los Angeles Dodgers?
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won seven consecutive division titles, two National League pennants, and since 2013, no team has won more regular season games. Which is to say, the Dodgers have done everything except win a World Series championship during this incredible run.
But could the 2020 season, if it is played, represent this team’s last dance?
I started thinking about this while watching the ESPN/Netflix documentary The Last Dance about Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls season that turned out to be the end of their dynasty.
Don’t get me wrong, the Dodgers have a roster that is packed with both veteran and youthful talent. As players like Justin Turner cycle out due to age, new stars, such as Gavin Lux, enter the scene.
However, if we focus on the current Dodgers core since their division title run began, and particularly, since Dave Roberts took over as manager in 2016, this could be the end of the rope in terms of competing together for a world championship.
Of the mainstays in the lineup under Roberts, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, and Pedro Baez are all set to become free agents after this season. Stretching back to their time playing under Don Mattingly, when the division title streak began, that represents nearly 2,000 games played.
Dave Roberts was brought back for this season, and he is signed to an extension through 2022, but who knows how long his tenure lasts if this season turns into a disappointing outcome.
And if you look just one year ahead, three lifetime Dodgers enter their final seasons before becoming free agents: starter Clayton Kershaw, closer Kenley Jansen, and shortstop Corey Seager.
Nothing lasts forever, but if the familiar names on the back of Dodger t-shirts and jerseys being worn across Southern California over the last several years are going to be a part of the next championship team, they better make it happen soon.
With instant help arriving in Mookie Betts, but his long-term future unclear, and the Dodgers roster stacked with talent to help the veteran names reach their ultimate goal, the 2020 season, however it is played, might represent the last chance for this group to win a championship together.