Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
After a memorable 2020 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had a disappointing season. Now, they are in second place, four games behind the surprising San Francisco Giants, in the highly competitive National League Western Division. After the sweep by the San Diego Padres, manager Dave Roberts assured his team would be the National League Western Division champions for the ninth straight time at the end of the season.
I have the utmost respect for Roberts’ baseball knowledge, and his eternal optimistic attitude is what the Dodgers need. While many outspoken Dodger fans love to criticize Roberts, during his tenure, Roberts has experienced unprecedented success of a Major-League manager. However, the 2021 Dodgers don’t have the necessary spirit to win any championship.
During my forty-four seasons of watching the Dodgers closely, I have witnessed three Dodger world championships. These special teams had one aspect in common: a never say die attitude. The 2021 Dodgers don’t have this necessary attitude. Can they develop it? Probably not.
President Andrew Friedman allowed both Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernàndez as free agents to go to the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. True, the Dodgers could replace these players’ abilities on the field, but they could not replace their unstoppable personalities. Both Pederson and Hernàndez have fun-loving attitudes, and the Dodgers don’t have any players with this necessary attitude for a championship-caliber team.
Yes, the Dodgers don’t have good defense, a necessity for a championship-caliber team. No baseball team can give away outs and win games. Wednesday Matt Beaty, playing for Mookie Betts who had the stomach flu, should have caught the fly ball that opened the flood gates for the Padres. However, the Dodger bullpen should have been able to pitch around that misplayed fly ball, but they couldn’t. Hopefully, Friedman can find a couple of good relievers at the Major-League trading deadline.
The Dodger offense needs help. Only in a few games, they have had their projected lineup with healthy Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, and Betts. Of course, they will struggle. Against left-handed pitching, the Dodgers haven’t been good, even with the addition of the future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols; therefore, many Dodger fans want Freidman to obtain a fantastic right-handed hitter. Not many teams will trade a fantastic hitter, particularly when many teams can still compete for either their divisional titles or Wild Card.
The Dodgers should play better than they have, but they have had injuries and a lack of winning spirit. I understand it is frustrating to watch them lose when we think they should win, but sometimes in baseball, it happens. Criticizing everything on social media doesn’t benefit anyone. I hope the Dodgers will perform better after the All-Star break than they have so far.