October 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers bench watches game action in the ninth inning against New York Mets in game five of NLDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
If you hadn’t heard the news yet, the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated in the NLDS for the second consecutive year and were unable to move on passed the NLCS for the third straight season. Sources have confirmed that there were no hearts broken among San Francisco Giants fans.
Why does this feel so good?
The Dodgers elimination from contention does not make the Giants any less eliminated from contention. The Dodgers still finished a whopping eight games ahead of the Giants in the NL West standings, and they won two more 2015 playoff games than the Giants ever will.
And yet, I feel elated. A Not-Dodgers team will win the World Series this year, as they did last year, the year before that, and every year since 1988.
There is something so sweet about this particular Dodger meltdown. The Dodgers cannot blame their loss on any one element this off-season. There was no Clayton Kershaw meltdown, there was no Mattingly brain fart, there was no Puig misadventures. Their counterpart, the New York Mets, were simply the better baseball team. Daniel Murphy played like some hybrid of Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson, Jacob deGrom pitched liked Greg Maddux with more speed, and the Dodgers had little to respond with.
Well on second thought, no one covering third on Murphy’s steal was pretty dumb. Well on third thought, Ethier purposefully catching a sac-fly in foul territory allowing Murphy to score was pretty dumb too.
The Dodgers now enter the off-season in disarray. They already attempted to rebuild doing their $300 million dollar roster after celebrity-executive Andrew Friedman signed on. It did not work.
They tried buying their way to the World Series the traditional way, by signing or trading for the biggest names on the market (Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez). It did not work. They tried buying their way to the World Series by going after the saber-metric wunderkinds (Howie Kendrick, Justin Turner). It did not work. Where do they go from here?
“Greinke very likely may opt out of his contract with his player-option clause, and from there he could end up with any team–Even the San Francisco Giants.”
Now they face an off-season of uncertainty. Greinke very likely may opt out of his contract with his player-option clause, and from there he could end up with any team–even the San Francisco Giants, but that is another conversation for another time. Mattingly has seemingly been on the hot seat for his entire tenure with the Dodgers, but with every World Series-less season, his job security has become more and more controversial.
The Dodgers big international signees were all non-factors this postseason: Hyun-jin Ryu, injured, Alex Guerrero, forgettable, Yasiel Puig, struggled to say the least. These three players costed the Dodgers $106 million to not affect the NLDS.
And now baseball fans, we get to watch as either the Royals, Mets, Cubs, or Blue Jays are crowned World Series Champions. Every one of those choices are excellent; every one of those choices are exponentially better than the Dodgers.
Next year is an even year, the Giants have a certifiably brilliant manager and payroll flexibility. Neither the Giants nor the Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year. The Giants merely got head start on their plans for next season.