Unless you're a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, trust me, it's going to be a very sad October.
Forget the San Francisco Giants and all the other so-called contenders. Forget the standings, too. I'm seeing a Dodgers-New York Yankees World Series, with the Dodgers winning in five games over the pinstriped, overpaid Yankees.
Just the legendary status of the Dodgers as baseball's greatest team is enough to carry them into and through the World Series. Here are five other reasons:
The team has been on a tear in the last two weeks as the season winds down, and we will continue that momentum to grab the NL wild-card spot, and then march forward to the World Series. Since September 21, the Dodgers have won seven of their last nine games, taking two out of three games with the Reds, winning two out of three against the Padres, and sweeping the Rockies to end September with a bang.
First, L.A. fans rule. We bleed Dodger Blue and we all know, this is our year. After putting up with Frank McCourt's shenanigans (and those of his wife, Jamie) since their breakup in October 2010, it was bad for all of us. Bad for fans, bad for the team, bad for everyone except the couple's lawyers. Winning the World Series in 2012 is the reward for Dodgers fans for putting up with the McCourt circus.
Magic Johnson and his deep-pocketed partners have infused new life into the team, and we, as fans, are grateful. Although haters may hate, I will always give credit to Ned Colletti, the Dodgers' GM who has built the team we are watching march toward the Series. Colletti has made a lot of really good moves over the years (even under bankruptcy and McCourt's financial problems), the most recent one being the acquisition of Shane Victorino from the Phillies.
I think Matt Kemp is the future of the Dodgers; with each game that becomes more and more evident. He has stepped up his game as the season comes to a close, hitting .357 in his last 10 games with four home runs, 11 RBIs, and nine runs. If not for his 50-plus-game injury this season, I think we would have seen him not only compete for baseball's Triple Crown but also join the 50-50 club as he predicted last year. In the 104 games Kemp has played in 2012, he has 23 homers, 69 RBIs, and a .307 average.
Good pitching will help the Dodgers win the World Series, and and they have a bullpen so deep that Ryan Lochte once tried to swim in it. Stars like Clayton Kershaw, at 13-9 with a 2.58 ERA, are backed up by guys like Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario, both with sub-3.00 ERAs.
So bring it on. This is the year of the Dodgers and all us "True Blue" fans are already staking out our spots in downtown L.A. to watch the victory parade.
Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia, which didn't make being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan easy. He has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, now able to follow the Dodgers openly and attends games frequently. You can follow him on Twitter -@thefredsherman.
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