The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2022 season didn’t end as many believed it should’ve — including Los Angeles Times columnists who ended up facing a bit of scorn for claiming MLB should hand the 111-win Dodgers a trophy regardless of whether they wrapped the campaign as World Series champions.
That’s not how things work, though, and it never has been. Even back in the day, when the regular season meant the most it ever has, the team with the best record in each league advanced to the World Series for a shot at the title. The team with the overall best record didn’t always earn the hardware by default.
Whether you’re examining a 12-team playoff field or a format that sims straight to the World Series, there’s always a chance the “better team” will not win out. “Better” means different things to different people, too. The most regular season wins, collected with an unbalanced schedule (which will change in 2023), might not be the clearest metric of success, either.
Still, while it might come off as somewhat sour grapes, Andrew Friedman’s assessment of this year’s outcome isn’t a lie. The best team does not win the World Series every year. Dodgers fans simply wish that, after so many consecutive seasons of being the best team, that they’d won more than one during the era.
Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman questions whether World Series always turns out with the right winner
Rest assured, while Friedman admitting a clear fact about the postseason will get most of the headlines, he didn’t spend his press availability making excuses.
Instead, he placed the blame for the Dodgers’ playoff failure on every sector of the organization, from the front office to the field level.
While the result of the postseason might not always be consistent with whatever roster stayed healthiest and most effective from Opening Day to Game 162, the Dodgers’ one-and-done playoff appearance this season was a failure. Friedman didn’t sugar coat it.
Friedman’s job begins anew this winter, with Dave Roberts reportedly returning and plenty of roster work still to be done, especially in patching up a rotation that won’t have Walker Buehler and is set to lose Andrew Heaney, Tyler Anderson, and potentially Clayton Kershaw.
When the Dodgers regroup and reconvene in February, it’ll be on every member of the organization to set the kind of tone necessary to carry the team’s momentum through all the rust and rest the new playoff schedule necessitates in early October.
The “best team” might not win the World Series this season, but the Dodgers certainly weren’t at their best when the bell tolled for their elimination, either. That needs to change.