LA wins again: The Dodgers look ahead to present criticism and future success

Ken+Lund+%7C+Wikimedia+Commons

Ken Lund | Wikimedia Commons

Kyle McKee

In a baseball season like no other in the history of the sport, the Los Angeles Dodgers finished with the best record in baseball, capturing their first World Series title since 1988.

A lot has happened in the sports world since then. Michael Jordan, arguably, became the greatest athlete ever by leading the Chicago Bulls to two three-peats; Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots dynasty that lasted over two decades and the entire O.J. Simpson controversy. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers stood at mediocrity throughout all of those years, until the past decade. However, to say that the last ten years have been extremely disappointing for Dodgers’ fans is an understatement.

Since 2013, the Dodgers have reached, at minimum, the National League Division Series in every season. However, LA has always come up short. In 2016 and 2019, the Dodgers lost to the eventual champion in a heart-wrenching five-game series to the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, respectively. In 2017 and 2018, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost in the World Series to the two teams that have been caught cheating: the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers, one of the most iconic franchises in baseball, could not get over the hump.

It has been a tough road for the Dodgers and their fans, but at long last, they have captured the elusive title that they have desperately craved for. They have achieved that title with the highest payroll in the league. However, all of the money allowed them to acquire Mookie Betts, arguably the best player in baseball right now and Justin Turner, who has been worth every penny that he has been given. Combine that with the best home-grown talent in the league with Corey Seager and Cory Bellinger, with an incredible rotation headlined by Clayton Kershaw, one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball, this team has the pieces to contend for more titles.

Unfortunately, the major headlines coming out of the World Series were not about how great the Dodgers are and will continue to be, but it was about Justin Turner. The third baseman was taken out of Game Six because he had tested positive for COVID-19. Even though it is concerning how information only reaches the Dodgers in the eighth inning, after the game, Turner was celebrating with his team. Without a mask on, he was hugging everyone and was seen kissing his wife. This sparked nationwide criticism in the way Turner and the Dodgers handled this situation. Turner could have easily spread the virus to one of his teammates, coaches or even his wife. Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ manager, is a recent cancer survivor who could have contracted the disease and potentially experienced severe complications due to his pre-existing conditions.

If the Dodgers ended up losing Game Six, what would’ve happened? Everyone involved, from the Dodgers to the Tampa Bay Rays, would have needed to get tested. Turner would have to self-quarantine and Commissioner Rob Manfred would have to decide whether or not to postpone Game Seven due to the fact that everyone would need to take a coronavirus test. The Dodgers would also be without their starting third baseman. All of these possibilities raise the questions of timing and outcome. Could the World Series possibly end in a tie? If not, when would they finish it? Either way, the MLB is thanking the LA Dodgers for closing Game Six out, because Manfred dodged a significant bullet in this case.

The 2020 baseball season could have ended on a crazier note than how this year in America has gone. The Dodgers prevented the nightmare scenario by winning Game Six and earning their seventh World Series trophy in franchise history.