Dodgers Finally Waking Up
June 23, 2014 in Sports News
They were the pre-season pick to run away with the National League this year. Just look at the roster, look at the payroll. But then, look at the standings. Granted, the stats have gotten better in the past few days. Could it be that the Dodgers are finally coming around?
On paper you’d think so. It wasn’t so long ago that Los Angeles was 9 ½ games in back of the Giants in the National League West. Now the San Francisco lead has been cut to 4 games and the Dodgers have the third best win percentage in the National League. Actually, Los Angeles is .18 better than the Washington Nationals who lead the National League East.
So maybe the Dodgers are making their move, at last. Perhaps Mattingly has the upcoming All-Star break in mid-July set as a goal for his team to take over the top spot in the NL West. They just might do it.
As if any more inspiration were needed, the Dodgers have what could well be the finest overall pitching staff in the majors right now. With the young headliners Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke getting most of the headlines, Mattingly quietly slips in Josh Beckett or Dan Haren.
Los Angeles also boasts an awesome bunch of closers just waiting in the wings to put the game to rest, or maybe pull it out of the fire. Brandon League and Brian Wilson can both be devastatingly accurate when they are on key, and then there is one of the most dependable finishers in baseball in Kenley Jansen standing by to close it out.
But that’s not all. The Dodgers have two guys that set them apart from all other franchises in Major League Baseball. One is only 23 years old in his second season with the Dodgers. The other has been with the Dodgers since they were in Brooklyn, and is 86 years young.
Yasiel Puig is the most exciting player to enter professional baseball in years. His youthful exuberance and enthusiasm are an obvious good influence on the team as a whole. The older guy is, of course, the great Vin Scully up in the booth, by himself, calling the Dodgers games with his almost poetic descriptions of the game and its players, just as he has been doing for the past 65 years.
No baseball team, ever, has had a better play-by-play man on their side than the Dodgers have in Vin Scully. He is as much a part of the team as any player down on the field and always a positive factor in the Dodgers success.