The Dodgers won on Sunday. It’s really not news, they do it a lot. Beating the Miami Marlins isn’t really a reason to celebrate either, as it’s more of a function than an achievement. And yet, zoom out and it’s amazing what the Dodgers have achieved.
It was the Dodgers’ 87th win of the season, out of 125. Their win rate is 0.696. They are moving fast with 112 wins. This will be their fourth season out of 100 wins in the past five full seasons (we’re scrapping the 2020 season at the moment, but we’ll get back to it). If they even get 104 wins, this will be their fourth season with a 0.640 win percentage for a season out of the last five. Quite simply, this has never been done in the modern age.
The late 30s Yankees did just that. But baseball in the late 1930s was a few stars surrounded by guys who were bummed and half-footed. And of course, Jackie Robinson has yet to integrate the game. The early 40s “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals had three consecutive .640 seasons, but again, it was the 1940s. Each league had eight teams full of Orc-looking guys (small guys, not Urukai) . Orcs are often drunk.
We have not seen this level of dominance in over half a century. And not like baseball now, with more movement and more stress and fatigue, a much larger pool of players, and of course, the overall quality of the players. And the Dodgers frequently poke fun at it all simply to amuse themselves.
Sure, they’re better at what the game asks for than everyone else, which is player development. They don’t have to raise, but they’re still looking for the next ass kicker. They can even let an ex-MVP like Cody Bellinger deflate like Yokozuna sit on a soft cushion and barely notice. Gavin Lux or Julio Urias or Tony Gonsolin are brought over and their feet in the baseball butt to the side. Tyler Anderson or Justin Turner or Max Muncy was removed from the baseball field and rehabilitated to become the best player in the league. And they still have enough money in reserve to exchange for Mookie Betts or Trea Turner.
And of course, they’re the only team – aside from the Padres that they continue to hand over typewriters to – willing to open the checkbook to keep Betts or lure Freddie Freeman west.
That’s part of the reason they won’t be remembered alongside other Yankees teams or maybe even the Braves of the 90s. They’ll be seen as having a financial advantage that no one else can access, other owners will make sure the pen holders record that way. It was the same for the Yankees that day until the Red Sox kicked them down.
Of course, the cloud of shit hanging over the Dodgers’ legacy is really the only World Series title, coming out of that 2020 season that’s hard to watch in the same way as any other season. Their playoff setbacks, with a sample size barely leaving a ripple in the sea of games they’ve played, will mark them unless they fix that this October and maybe not even after. there.
The little elements that you can play through in 162 seasons are so much more when it comes down to five or seven games, or sometimes one of them. You can go up against a cheating team in the most epic way the game has ever seen (possibly). Or an opponent 108 wins. Or everyone gets hurt. Or teams can change themselves in a short series with elective rest days to only throw their five best pitchers, which makes them a 110-win calibre instead of a more modest team like regular season. Dodgers can’t force themselves in the same way to be an enhanced version. They are the enhanced version for six months. Every confusing decision made by Dave Roberts matters in the knockout stages in a way that it didn’t happen on July night.
They made the greatest monster in baseball as we know it (literally, obviously in the case of Trevor Bauer signing). And they did it much more organically than most would like to realize so as not to have to research why their team didn’t (that’s within the reach of most if they just simply wanted).
Maybe it’s the stain the Dodgers can’t wash away, that they’ve dominated in an era of baseball where so many teams don’t even want to try or aren’t willing to take the final step of being on the same plane as the Dodgers. surname. There were many corpses for the Dodgers to eat the people inside. And only the rare enemy wants to look them in the eye, and never more than a season or two. The Cubs, Nationals, Red Sox have all overtaken the Dodgers at some point. It all fades into the background quickly afterwards. Only the Astros with similar development systems remained in the penthouse, and they were still too happy to let any of the freelancers walk.
There’s probably nothing missing but a World Series that keeps the Dodgers afloat, though one has the feeling that they won’t be making the same money and buzz as the others. A game here or there in a sea of hundreds, to which the Dodgers have won a greater percentage than anyone, will define them.
Hard to seem fair, but no one said baseball has to be fair. In fact, its unfairness is key.
Riqui Puig . Appetizer
I’ll get more info on LA Galaxy’s Riqui Puig and what his signing to MLS means in the bigger picture, but perhaps tantalizingly this is the type of pass he is capable of. function, seems to find a wormhole through Revolution’s defenses:
You can hear the Revs tearing open like a velcro if you turn up the volume.