By Jon Weisman
So, I realize there are many Dodger fans who aren’t freaking out, who understand the 99.9 percent inevitability of the Dodgers’ winning the National League West and their fair shot at the World Series. This piece is for the other group.
Sixteen teams could still make the playoffs as of this writing. Ten teams will make the playoffs. All but one will go home empty-handed.
The easiest thing in the world is to give up on your own team and wait for the opportunity say, “I told you so.”
It’s a no-lose situation. If you’re right, you get to cackle. If you’re wrong — who cares? Your team won. Celebrate!
A healthy skepticism is appropriate for any team entering the blender that is the MLB postseason. But looking only at a division leader’s negatives, ignoring its positives and saying it has no chance to win isn’t correct, and it’s certainly not courageous.
The past week hasn’t been the Dodgers’ shining moment, but I assure you, it means nothing about what will happen in October. On Monday morning, I’m going to give you a sneak peek of Mike Petriello’s October Dodger Insider magazine story on playoff myth and reality, but if you can’t wait, do your own research. Take the initiative.
You will not find a link between end-of-season performance and winning the World Series.
Being swept in Colorado is a real drag. Today’s 12-5 loss was the worst of all. Still, to insist that this disqualifies the Dodgers from winning the World Series takes a willful ignorance of baseball history. So does giving up on a team that, whatever its weaknesses, has the strengths of the 2015 Dodgers.
Worried about how they’re blowing their NL West cushion? They wouldn’t have the cushion to begin with, if they hadn’t led the division for nearly the entire season, capped by a did-you-notice 18-5 run from August 25 to September 18, to earn it.
When the Dodgers take the field in San Francisco on Monday, they’ll be the ones with the six-game lead. That’s the team to be proud of.
Of course, Los Angeles could be on a huge winning streak right now, and it wouldn’t guarantee anything for October either. It’s because the differences between all the playoff teams are so small that so many playoff series can take unexpected turns. Baseball is about as unpredictable a sport as there is, and postseason baseball blows that up exponentially.
Maybe the Dodgers will win the World Series. Maybe they won’t. I don’t know what will happen. Neither does anyone else. Keep an open mind — dare I say, a positive one.