Los Angeles Dodgers
Since arriving in Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958, the Dodgers have been a model of consistency. In 61 seasons, the team has made the playoffs an incredible 24 times and won the World Series 5 times. The consistency of regular-season success has continued in recent years, but the postseason success has not. The franchise has been through repeated playoff frustration since its last World Series title in 1988.
As the Dodgers enter the 2020 season, they lay claim to at least 91 wins and a National League West crown in the last 7 consecutive seasons. Their play has led them to at least the National League Championship Series in 4 of those seasons, but they have not yet broken through for a World Series title during this period. In both 2017 and 2018 they finished as the Major League runner up, but those losses did not come without controversy, particularly the 2017 loss in 7 games to the Houston Astros.
In the months following the 2019 season, a sign-stealing scandal involving the Astros came to light. The Astros admitted to using a high tech system in the outfield that relayed what pitch was about to be thrown by opponents. That information was then passed along to the hitter in the very low tech form of team personnel banging on trash cans. A certain number of bangs on the can clued the hitter into whether the next pitch would be a breaking ball or a fastball.
The Boston Red Sox were accused of using a similar strategy, which, to a lesser degree, put a cloud over their 5 games World Series win over the Dodgers in 2018.
Despite those disappointments, the Dodgers have remained the class of the National League during the era, excluding the early decade success (in the form of 3 World Series titles) of their arch-rivals, the San Francisco Giants,
The Dodgers always seem to have a star-studded roster. Clayton Kershaw, widely considered the best left-handed pitcher of his era, has been with the team since 2008. During that time, he has amassed 174 wins and a career ERA of 2.43. He has led the league in strikeouts 3 times and appeared in the All-Star game 8 times. He, along with up and coming right-hander Walker Buehler, is the current aces of the staff.
Offensively, Cody Bellinger is another homegrown star who won rookie of the year in 2017 and NL MVP in 2019. The team traded for star outfielder Mookie Betts before the 2020 season, acquiring him from the Red Sox along with David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Kenta Maeda, and 3 minor league prospects. The Dodger package was split between the Red Sox and Twins, who were also involved in the deal, which helped Boston get the prospect they desired. Shortly before the pandemic-shortened 2020 season started, the Dodgers signed Betts to a mega-contract worth 365 million dollars over 12 years.
The Dodgers president of baseball operations is Andrew Friedman and their team president is Stan Kasten. Dave Roberts has been their manager since 2016, and he was won the NL West division title every year since taking the job.
For a team with as much success as they’ve had, the Los Angeles version of the Dodgers doesn’t have a lot of Hall of Fame players who consider the Dodgers their primary team. Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale are certainly on the list but played both with Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Catcher Mike Piazza came up through the Dodgers organization and played there from 1992-1998, but he was eventually traded to the Florida Marlins in a landmark deal that brought Gary Sheffield to LA and had his best years with the New York Mets. Don Sutton was a dominant right-hander who spent 16 total seasons in a Dodger uniform, and Kershaw is on track to be in the Hall someday.
Many of the iconic and most celebrated Dodger players come from their days in Brooklyn. These include Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball back in 1947, and Duke Snider, who had over 400 career home runs and was with the organization when it made its move west.
Like the Betts deal, major trades for LA have often included the Red Sox. The Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez from them in 2012 and swung a deal with Boston for Manny Ramirez in 2008.
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