Starting in 2013 the Dodgers began a run unprecedented in their long history. Only the Boys of Summer teams come close to the kind of dominance this team has had in the National League West. 8 straight division championships, 10 consecutive appearances in the playoffs, 3 pennants, 1 World Series win. Pretty impressive stuff.
But are Dodger fans satisfied? No. The one series win seems to be the chaffing point. A lot of Dodger fans I have talked to feel they should have won at least two more. 2017 is the obvious one. But they also felt the team should have beaten the Braves to get to the series in 21, and also should have beaten the Padres to get to the NLCS last year.
The Dodgers were after all the best team in the majors and should have rolled into the World Series. As we all know, the best does not always win. As the last decade or so has shown, it now is usually the team that gets on a roll in the postseason.
In comparison to what this present team has done, there is only one 10-year stretch in Dodger history where they even come close to this kind of performance. 1947-1956. The so called, Boys of Summer.
Over that ten year run, they won 6 pennants, finished 2nd 3 times and 3rd once. They totaled 945 wins. They won over 100 only once, 105 in 1953. They had four managers over that period, Leo Durocher, Burt Shotton, Charlie Dressen and Walter Alston. All six of their World Series came against one team, the Yankees. They won only in 1955. They pushed the 47, 52, 55, and 56 series to 7 games. The team that had the best record of any Dodger team in history up to that time lost in 6 games in 1953.
By comparison, the 2013-2022 Dodgers have won 931 games. Take into consideration that one of those seasons was only 60 games long, and they won 43 of those, plus the fact they had to win another 13 games just to win the Championship, well that is pretty impressive stuff. They have bettered the team record for wins three times. 2022, 2021, and 2019. They just missed with 104 wins in 2017.
Also take into account how much harder it is now to just get to the World Series. It is a gauntlet. Brooklyn had to be better than 7 other teams to get there. LA has to win the division, then face opponents in two other series just to get to the big dance. And like I said earlier, the best team does not always win. The Padres and Phillies both proved that decisively last year. Both had to dispatch 100 win teams. The Padres beat two, the Mets and Dodgers. The Phillies took care of the Braves.
They could not beat the 100 plus win Astros though in the series. They did take them to six games and put a scare into them a couple of times. Now there is also a new wrinkle. If you do not have the best record and get a bye in the first round, You have to beat a team in the Wild Card round. So that team has to have 13 more wins to get the title.
I am a lifelong fan. I have been lucky enough to be around for all of the Dodgers World Series wins. The most satisfying was the sweep of the Yankees in 1963. Second would be the 81 team coming back from two games down and winning the next four including a couple of very dramatic wins at Dodger Stadium. Beating the A’s in 88 was sweet, especially because they did it without their best player on the field except for one most memorable at bat.
59 was nice because it was the first. And they were clobbered in game one 11-0. Losing after winning the first two hurt. Losing to the Astros left a really bad taste and a total dislike of Yu Darvish who was supposed to be the co-Ace with Kershaw.
I sincerely hope I get to see another. I like so many here thought that would happen last season. That same optimism is not visible so far this offseason. The fans are restless, they want a earthshattering trade that will suddenly vault the Dodgers back to the top of the heap. Maybe, just maybe, they are better off not being the favorite and having a huge target on their back.
Maybe it is time to make it in the hard way and have no time off to think before you have to play hard. I sincerely believe the layoff of five days affected that team adversely. I have never seen anyone use it as an excuse. But obviously to me, something was way off with the offense, and it showed from game 2 through 4.
Let us then appreciate what this team has accomplished over the last ten seasons. They Boys of Summer won a few more games, made more appearances, and left us broken hearted just as much as this generations team has.