Tha Sports Junkies 101

Los Angeles Dodgers: New Year, New Team

Los Angeles Dodgers: New Year, New Team Image via Sportsgraphics36


Los Angeles Dodgers

There is no team like the Los Angeles Dodgers. Paying top-dollar to obtain the best available. Whether through trades or free-agent signings, the Dodgers always seem to be in great shape to make it deep into October.

With this expectation of the Dodgers over the last decade or so, the hype always seems to calm down.

Making the playoffs ten times since the last Dodger Championship in 1988, the odds say they must have won the World Series at least once out of those times. Nope. They lost in the NLCS four times and lost in the NLDS six times.

Clayton Kershaw – Photo: Arturo Pardavila III – Via

Eight managers in the last 28 years have always came up short. It is not like the talent is not there; it most certainly is. The bad luck each Dodger team has faced can be quite devastating.

The closest a Dodger team has made to getting back to the Fall Classic was this past year’s team; losing the NLCS in six games to the soon-to-be World Champion Chicago Cubs.

Each and every year, the Dodgers put together an above-average team. Though with a few holes, which is normal in a ball-club no matter the market size, the Dodgers are always in a good position to take the division and go beyond. But they always come up short. But the optimism of the fan base keeps pushing on. And why wouldn’t it?

With arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, 2016 Rookie of the Year, Cory Seager the return of a shutdown closer, Kenley Jansen, and 2016 NL Manager of the Year, Dave Roberts, it’s hard to be anything less than optimistic.

Off-Season Moves:

The Dodgers made very nice moves, bringing back essential pieces from last year’s campaign. They re-signed starting pitcher Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract. They also re-signed third baseman Justin Turner for 4 years worth $64 million and shut-down closer Kenley Jansen for 5 years worth $80 million. Both Turner and Jansen originally rejected qualifying offers.

(left) Adrian Gonzalez (right) Justin Turner – Photo: StadiumBound – Via

They also re-signed pitcher Chris Hatcher, outfielder and first baseman Scott Van Slyke and infielder Charlie Culberson on one-year contracts for 2017. Hatcher and Van Slyke avoided arbitration.

They have also been busy stocking up for the future. In trading away utility player Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers acquired minor league utility player Darnell Sweeney; 30-year-old first baseman and outfielder Darin Ruf was also included in the trade.

The Dodgers also traded veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Seattle Mariners for LHP Vidal Nuno.

Expectations For 2017:

Expect the Los Angeles Dodgers to decimate competition. Winning the NL West is likely, and with the talent this team is oozing, running away with the division is a possibility. With a solid, and hopefully healthy rotation, teams will find it hard to score against the Dodgers. Even the motivation to do so before the closer Jansen starts warming couldn’t save their opponents.

Also expect another deep playoff run. A World Series appearance is a possibility, and with a healthy, full season from Kershaw, God knows how many games they’ll win, but I’ll try to guess.

With a star-studded rotation and infield and an up-and-coming young outfield, I don’t see how the Dodgers can’t win 95+ games. By winning all those games, the momentum could push them all the way towards the Fall Classic.


With a chip on their shoulder, the 25 men that step into Dodger Stadium can play up to the hype. Though the hype has been following these Hollywooders for quite some time, the fact that they are predicted by many to win it all each and every year will push them, like it has to the many Dodger teams before. Adding all the pieces needed has been completed. Now, all eyes will be on the Dodgers to make another run.