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COLUMN: Dodgers we love it!

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DODGERS: Players rejoice after their 9-3 victory over the Padres on September 25.

DODGERS: Players rejoice after their 9-3 victory over the Padres on September 25.

mlb.com/dodgers

mlb.com/dodgers

DODGERS: Players rejoice after their 9-3 victory over the Padres on September 25.

Clara Sandler, Community Editor

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When you go to a Dodger game at Dodger Stadium and they win, Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” rings through the stadium. The song is all about LA pride and superiority. Even though the Dodgers have been playing this song for years, this season it truly reflects their performance. But before I get to that, some context.

The last five years have probably been the hardest to be a Dodger fan. Why? The Dodgers have won their division, the National League West, for the last five years, and they still haven’t won a World Series since 1988.

For some reason, this year feels different. For some reason, everything seems to be falling into place. And I wouldn’t do what I’m about to do if Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig had not said “see you in the World Series” in a postgame interview…

But I’m about to call my shot.

The Dodgers are going to the World Series, and they’re going to win this year. I believe this for five key reasons:

 

Number one, they have offense. If you just look at a typical lineup on a normal day, they are stacked. Chris Taylor tends to lead off, but new acquisition Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets has also began to lead off — both men have high batting averages and on-base percentages.

Then, you have Corey Seager, last year’s Rookie of the Year and an MVP candidate; Justin Turner, a slugging machine and MVP candidate; and Cody Bellinger, Rookie of the Year this year and also an MVP candidate.

The team’s lineup could be discussed for hours on end, but briefly, some other recognizable players—both in the lineup and able to come off the bench—are Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Chase Utley.

In addition, the Dodgers have clutch veterans Adrian Gonzalez and André Ethier, both of whom have spent most of the season on the disabled list. Adrian is already back, and it looks like Ethier will also be back in time for the postseason.

 

Number two, they have defense. With an arm like Yasiel Puig’s in right field, the opposition has no chance. The rest of the outfield as well have proven their strength. The infield, made up of Cody Bellinger, Chase Utley (or Logan Forsythe depending on the day), Corey Seager and Justin Turner, is known for its efficiency and dexterity.

 

Number three, pitching. Both the starting pitchers and relief pitchers are equally effective and have amazing skills. The Dodger pitching staff has the lowest earned-run average (ERA) in the league,  3.14. The starting ace, seven time all-star and three time Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, is followed by Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Hyn-Jin Ryu and the team’s new acquisition from the Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish.

There have been some bumps in the road for the pitchers. Kershaw is currently on the disabled list with an aggravated back injury. Wood is also on the DL. And to get Yu Darvish, who is an amazing pitcher with an ERA of 3.83, the Dodgers sacrificed one of their best prospects, Willie Calhoun.

Right now, the Dodgers have a very young team that has excelled in the minors because of its farm system, so trading a young prospect was a risk. It would seem that the risk is worth it so far, because as a Dodger, Darvish is 3-1.

 

Number four, manager Dave Roberts was a Dodger himself, so he knows the importance of the jersey and the city. Roberts is a fairly young man at the age of 45, and is therefore able to relate to the players. He has faced his own personal challenges as well, having already fought off cancer. He represents the resiliency of the city and pushes the players to be their best.

 

Number five, the Dodgers are hungry and consistent. Some other good teams this season are the Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. These teams are good but inconsistent. They go on winning streaks for four or five days, and then a losing streak for six or seven. The Dodgers have a consistent routine and always come ready to perform.

And even when they lose, they come back the next day, take out yesterday’s garbage, and focus on the game at hand.

 

So here’s the deal. We have the right team, the right leadership and the right attitude. Sports Illustrated just called the Dodgers the best team ever.

So Yasiel Puig has called his shot, and I have called my shot, and I can’t wait for Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” to ring through Dodger Stadium on that sweet night in October —the night we finally win the World Series.

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COLUMN: Dodgers we love it!