Fresh off their first World Series triumph 32 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are understandably being slammed with colossal expectations ahead of their title defense.
This sort of pressure has a tendency to overwhelm certain teams, but the Dodgers simply have zero reason to be short on confidence.
Not only have they held the NL West crown for the last eight (!) seasons, but they’ve also finished with the best record in the league in three of the last four campaigns.
Those are no small feats, and what has the Dodgers on such an upward trajectory is the fact that they finally got over the championship hump.
With that monster mental obstacle out of the way, there’s no telling what this team, which is the most talented in the MLB by every measure, can accomplish this season.
Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who ironically just interviewed manager Dave Roberts and asked him about the team’s chances of repeating as champs, agrees, but also took it a step further.
He thinks they could permanently engrave themselves in MLB’s record books.
Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke has outrageous expectations for the Dodgers this season.
How confident is Plaschke with this prediction? Well, let’s just say he’s welcoming every shred of potential criticism with open arms, going as far as to encourage his readers to print and clip the receipts of his colossal expectations for this year’s version of the Dodgers.
"“Last season they were one of the best teams in Dodgers history,” Plaschke wrote. “This season they’re going to be the best team in baseball history. Clip this claim. Print it out. Tape it up. You read it here first. You’ll read it here last.”"
If that snippet doesn’t prove that Plaschke wants all the smoke if this prediction doesn’t pan out, then nothing does. This column was filled to the brim with quotes that will have Dodgers fans ready to run through a brick wall, but these two points stood out the most in terms of supporting his argument.
"“They have hotshot kids and Hall of Fame veterans. They have summer grinders and October heroes. They are shaped by the best mind in the game and commanded by the most resilient manager.”“Returning all but two important pieces from last year’s roster — and having countered those platoon pieces with two former Cy Young Award winners — there’s really nothing they can’t do.”"
As you would expect, it didn’t take long for Plaschke’s column to make the rounds on social media, as the 62-year-old came across some stern criticism.
Some of his colleagues, however, like senior writer Andy McCullough of The Athletic, resorted to lighthearted jokes that Dodgers fans will feel compelled to chuckle at…regardless of their emotional attachment to Plaschke’s take.
We’re obviously not in lockstep with Plaschke’s opinion, as there’s a distinct difference between being the best team in MLB or the greatest team in Dodgers history and being the best team in league history. However, fans would be hard-pressed to disagree with his pointers.
As far as rosters go, this is the most stacked one we can remember. While there are concerns about the bullpen, the starting rotation and lineup are easily the most talented in the league. The club also has players who would start on 80% of teams reserved to bench roles. It also has generational prospects that will begin the year in the minors because there’s no room for them on the roster.
Again, we refuse to say that Plaschke is barking up the right tree, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers went scorched earth on everybody and came dangerously close to assembling one of the greatest singular campaigns in MLB history.
You heard it here second!