The new ESPN documentary, “Yankees-Dodgers: An Uncivil War” does a brilliant job of capturing the wild nature surrounding those tumultuous teams. Perhaps more than anything else, the film stresses these clubs were beloved for (and despite) their exterior complexities and sensational elements.
The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers have not been riddled with controversy. In fact, they’ve flown under the radar while the AL Wild Card teams, Aaron Judge, and the NL East race have hogged the collective spotlight. However, it’s high time the 2022 Dodgers get the true praise they deserve.
The Boys in Blue have officially set a franchise record for the most regular season wins in a single season with 110 (and counting at the time of this piece). They hit the mark three wins ago at 107 and it keeps growing.
The achievement also showcases the club’s dominance over the past few seasons. Only one other MLB team has ever won more than 105 games in three consecutive years.
Statistically, LA is a force to be reckoned with. They rank first in runs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Mookie Betts has been Mookie Betts. Freddie Freeman is on the verge of winning this season’s NL batting title. Pitchers such as Tyler Anderson, Evan Phillips, and Julio Urías have have been among the best in the league, helping the Dodgers render injuries (both nagging and substantial) almost meaningless. To be blunt, this team is remarkable.
The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers deserve more appreciation from baseball fans
People realize this … but there’s still the lingering thought that this was “supposed” to happen simply because of the names on the roster. Some might say that’s an unfair expectation. Consistent excellence is hard to come by, and should be appreciated. This is especially true of the ‘22 Dodgers when one does consider the fact that injuries have affected the pitching staff.
They’ve won 110 games without their ace Walker Buehler. Further, one should also realize how rare it is to have a lineup as deep as LA’s. Under-appreciated pieces such Gavin Lux and Trayce Thompson have had their time in the sun, and mainstays like Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger have likewise contributed to the team’s firepower at one time or another despite some pretty notable regressions in the first half or all season long.
There have been many teams in baseball history that have been stacked with All-Stars and did not produce results in the win column (for example, the 2012 Red Sox, 2014 Yankees and 2021 Padres). The 2022 Dodgers could have been one of those clubs, but they’ve established the sort of culture that lends itself to winning and making it easier for new additions like Freeman to adapt and contribute from the jump in a colossal way.
By no means are this season’s Dodgers controversial or prone to “sensational” storylines. There’s no underdog tale. There’s not currently a heated division race. There’s not a home run chase. They are just a spectacular baseball club that deserves praise for their ability to stay consistent and maximize the talent they’ve acquired.
Appreciate this team and overall generation of Dodgers. There’s no guarantee the following editions will be as consistently elite.