Some pitchers claim to throw "F You" fastballs. Dodgers righty Lance Lynn actually lives it.
Entering the trade deadline, Lynn sported a characteristic high K rate with the Chicago White Sox, but was unable to translate it into his expected level of success. Subconsciously, it's possible that Lynn was ... well, bored with not competing, and took that stasis out on his own right arm.
It's impossible to watch Lynn and somehow miss his internal fire. But for a last-place White Sox team in a season that began behind the eight ball with an injury? It was easy to draw parallels between Lynn slinging 96 MPH, but still putting up a 6.47 ERA, to the last time he was traded midseason: 2018, when he signed late, posted a 5.10 mark for the Twins, then found himself rejuvenated with the Yankees (4.14 ERA, 61 Ks in 54.1 innings, misused in the playoffs, oops).
As the Dodgers predicted and the rest of the league feared, the veteran righty seems immediately rejuvenated in their uniform. According to Lynn, every rumor he'd heard about the world-class Dodgers' way has been confirmed during his short time with the organization. Based on the way he talks (and acts) and the way Dave Roberts plans to attack this stretch run and postseason, it seems his furor is rubbing off on the team's foundation, too.
Dodgers starter Lance Lynn has been intense, missing ace since 2023 MLB Trade Deadline
Iron sharpens iron. It goes both ways.
"You’re seeing why everyone wants to come here. Even watching them from across the field, playing against them so much in the playoffs from my time in St. Louis, you just notice this sense of urgency. They’re ready to go, ready to contribute, with veteran guys letting the young guys be themselves, but helping them along the way.- Lance Lynn, USA Today
They just play the game hard. They play the game right. And, man, do they win.
This is everything I thought it would be playing here. Really, it’s like a rebirth for me. It’s unbelievable, really."
Roberts' self-described "favorite team he's ever had" has a long way to go before they'll be known outside the borders of Southern California. Last year's 111-win Dodgers have already mostly been forgotten. High October expectations, pitching failures, and somber offenses can remove the veneer of "magic" real quick.
But Lynn's served as an injection of intensity at the perfect time, providing something special to the culture that's incubating him. It's a symbiotic relationship -- and perhaps the magical Dodgers required an injection of "F you" to get them through the October monster that's conquered them in recent seasons.