It may seem like an eternity ago, but it was only June 21 that the Los Angeles Dodgers were all but left for dead: the boys in blue were 30-42 through 72 games, were suffering through a number of injuries and shared in their underachievement with their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Angels. 9.5 games behind first place, there seemed to be zero hope for a division title in L.A.
Fast-forward three months later, and the mood could not be more different in Hollywood. The Dodgers went on a tear after that 30-42 low point, winning 42 of their next 50 games, and settling so comfortably into first place that their late season mediocrity hasn’t stopped them one bit from winning the N.L. West title.
If the Dodgers can win the World Series this year, it will be the coda to one of the most unbelievable turnarounds in MLB history and a complete reversal of long-term fortunes for a franchise that lurked at death’s door for the past few seasons.
When Frank McCourt first took over the Dodgers in 2004, there was a great deal of excitement in Los Angeles. Then nasty family squabbles and horrendous financial decisions left the Dodgers bankrupt, forcing McCourt to sell the team for $2 billion to former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson along with Stan Kasten.
Enter Clayton Kershaw (15-9, 1.88 ERA), Zack Greinke (15-3, 2.67 ERA) and, perhaps most importantly, the phenomenal Yasiel Puig, and the Dodgers are in prime position to lock up their financial advantage and continued prominence in the NL for years to come.
Even if they don’t win the World Series, the Dodgers will still return an excellent team to the field in 2014. But winning would be that much sweeter, and it would permanently erase the horrible memories of the last few years for Dodger fans.