by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
ARLINGTON, TX — The drought is over after Julio Urias delivered the knock out blow which was a strike that ended the game and allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to raise the World Series trophy at Globe Life Field on Tuesday night. The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1, but won something more than just the game, it’s baseball supremacy.
For the first time in 32 years, after disappointing outcomes in 2017 and 2018, the Dodgers shook that losing monkey off of their backs and avoided being the Buffalo Bills of baseball.
After a horrific game four that resulted in a Dodgers loss thanks to some suspect decisions by manager Dave Roberts and the pathetic play of reliever Kenley Jansen, it would be up to starter Clayton Kershaw to salvage the team’s season in Game 5. Kershaw was masterful on the mound in addition to that, the offense resurrected and propelled Los Angeles to victory. The Dodgers proved that they are mentally tough to withstand any amount of adversity.
The Dodgers rebounded from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, so it should’ve been no surprise that the Dodgers could overcome a hole they dug for themselves.
Blake Snell was the Thanos to the Dodger Avengers type hitters as Game 2 felt like Infinity War as Snell annihilated the Los Angeles offense and appeared to be unhittable. Game 6 felt more like End Game as the Dodgers began to wear into Snell trailing 1-0 before Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Snell.
“I think at that point, I was like, ‘I got a chance,’” Betts said. “Snell was rolling… I wasn’t asking any questions, though. I was just like, ‘Hey, your manager said you gotta go, next guy’s coming in.’ At that point, I tried to put an at-bat together and go from there.”
The Dodgers began to smile and breathe a little easier, and took full advantage of reliever Nick Anderson in the sixth inning.
The boys in blue refused to be denied and never looked back, as Mookie Betts launched a solo homer halfway to AT&T Cowboys Stadium for insurance. Throughout the bubble life and the sixty game shortened season due to COVID19, this was by far the hardest championship for any team and/or player to obtain under these strenuous circumstances.
“This team was incredible all throughout the year, all throughout the postseason, all throughout the quarantine,” World Series MVP Corey Seager said.
The Dodgers won eight consecutive National League West titles and after being cheated out of the 2017 and 2018 championships, the baseball made sure to right the wrongs that Rob Manfred refused to regulate.
“We said it. This is our year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said during the on-field celebration. “Everyone in this ballpark wearing Dodger blue, everyone all over the world wearing Dodger blue, never wavered. This is our year.“
Roberts is only the second African-American manager to win a World Series.
The Dodgers finished the regular season (43-17), but most importantly concluded the season as champions. No more wondering if Roberts could manage his club to win the big one. No more slander on the name Clayton Kershaw, no more wondering will we ever see the Dodgers win a championship in our lifetime. All of those questions and thoughts have been put to rest.
The Dodgers organization from the ownership to Stan Kasten, President Andrew Friedman on down are loaded with incredible baseball minds.
This talented roster was missing two things apparently, a fair playing field and the offense and superb defense of Betts in their lineup.
The last time both the Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers won championships in the same year was 1988. Ironically the year this writer went to his first ever Dodgers game during Game One of the World Series against the Oakland A’s, and we know how that turned out.
The Dodgers are the kings of the baseball world, and have enough talent to put together a dynasty for many years to come.
Hopefully Justin Turner testing positive for COVID19 and joining his teammates on the field that night, won’t overshadow the team’s glorious moment.