The Dodgers have won the World Series for the first time in 32 years1.
I was 11 years old in 1988, and was unaware that Kirk Gibson’s home run was an outlier. 32 years is a long time. My favorite athlete in 1988 was the Dodger’s Orel Hershiser. Now, he is the lead color commentator.
Part of being a sports fan is putting up with a lot of abject misery for a single moment of happiness. I did not really expect that the Lakers and Dodgers would win championship in 16 days.
The Game 4 meltdown was the worst, and I had plenty of taunting text messages from my friends. But I suspected this was going to be the year.
The Dodgers won’t get credit for how dominant their team was because of the shortened season. But they had the best National League winning percentage in 111 years. Their run differential per game was one of the best ever. It is not that the Dodgers had a Barry Bonds or Mike Trout, it was that they largely had no weakness at all.
Finally winning the World Series in this era is plenty cathartic, and puts the cheating Astros behind them. There will be decisions that need to be made. Do they bring back Justin Turner when he is in the decline phase of his career? Do they pay out the nose to keep expensive relievers like Blake Treinen2.
The beauty of this team was how much of the roster was home-grown, and the inherent payroll flexibility they had. Now, many of those players are due for extensions. Once players like Bellinger and Seager have new contracts, it will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do. They are already paying Betts, and once they lock up their best young players, the team will get expensive.
Baseball does not have a salary cap in the manner of the NBA or NFL, where a championship usually means a tear-down or losing veterans. At some point though, there will be a limit.
For now, I just want to enjoy the title and be glad my favorite team finally got over the hump.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.