A few weeks ago, we were burying the Los Angeles Dodgers. We were firing manager Don Mattingly. We were trading all of their big contracts. We were ready to utter those fateful words: wait until next year.
Well … next year might be here early, Dodger fans.
The blue crew is on a five game winning streak — currently the second longest in all of MLB. That would have been unheard of not too far in the distant past.
Several things have been working in the Dodgers’ favor as of late. Yasiel Puig has arrived in Chavez Ravine as the chosen one to carry on the torch of Dodgers greatness. Hanley Ramirez is healthy and producing as the club hoped he would before his spring training injury set him back for months. The removal of Brandon League as the closer gave hope to the team sealing victories, and the surprising grit of Zack Greinke and the emergence of the young unknown phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu have bolstered the rotation.
But the two things that are working best for the blue crew? For one, they are in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. The best record in the NL West is the third-best in most other divisions in baseball, and next to last in the super division we call AL East. Secondly, they have refused to waver from Donny-ball.
For all the complaining about Mattingly’s managerial style, the team has stayed course and it looks as though they may be finding some wind in their sails. After all, Mattingly could only work with a roster given to him and at several points thus far, many productive stars were on the bench with boo-boos.
L.A. is a laid-back place — one that Donny Baseball fits in perfectly. The outside glare of the omnipresent worldwide media put an unnecessary strain on Mattingly and his “whatever happens, happens” style.
The Dodgers have done the right thing by not pushing the panic button. It would have been far too early for that.
The Dodgers are still way back in the standings with a long way to go to be in the race. The best thing they can do, since they’ve gone and buried themselves so deep early on, is to stick to what they’re doing and let whatever happens, happen.