The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently trying to fight their way back in the National Championship League Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. They need a win tonight in Game 6 of the NLCS to force a Game 7 or their season ends.
I had a brief chat with Stacie Wheeler of Lasorda’s Lair, FanSided’s Dodgers website, and asked her some questions about the state of the Dodgers. Is Yasiel Puig bad for baseball? Are the Dodgers built for success beyond this season?
Here is her input.
Is Yasiel Puig bad for baseball?
Yasiel Puig is great for baseball! Regardless of how you feel about the Cuban superstar’s attitude and antics, Puig’s talents really are exciting to watch. He brings a spark and fervor to the game which not only has helped the Dodgers turn their 2013 season around, but he has also attracted more fans in general to baseball creating more revenue for MLB. Now that he is being showcased in the playoffs and on the national scene his controversy no doubt brings in viewers and new fans. Puig’s success also sheds light on the international prospect scene and Cuba. The new owners of the Dodgers have recently delved back into the international free agent market, and the signings of both Yasiel Puig and Hyun-jin Ryu both have proved the talent which is potentially out there for discovery.
The Red Sox nearly swept the Dodgers earlier this season, so they are obviously the tougher team against the Dodgers. The Tigers are still stacked with good pitching and dangerous sluggers, so either team would be a formidable foe for the Dodgers in a potential World Series matchup. Personally I would love to see a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. It would pit two teams against each other who were involved in that blockbuster trade last season which saw Adrian Gonzalez being dealt to the Dodgers along with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash in exchange for James Loney, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, and Jerry Sands. Both teams have had success since that August trade, and it would be an exciting matchup between the two clubs.
If the Dodgers don’t go to the World Series, is it a successful season?
Yes, this Dodger season can definitely be classified as a success. Getting this far in the NLCS (Game 6 at this point) is the furthest the Dodgers have gone since the sacred year of 1988. This Dodger team, chalk full of talent, had an epic stretch going 42-8 at one point in the season. Winning the NL West decidedly, and then going on to defeat the Braves in the Division Series has really been a thrilling journey for Dodger fans. We of course want to clinch that coveted World Series berth, and it would be disappointing to come so close and not make it.
Are the Dodgers built for long-term success?
The Dodgers still will need to work on rebuilding the farm system in order to be solid long-term. Right now they have some big stars who can help the team win in the short-term, but their minor league system was stripped after having to trade for some of those superstars. They traded away some pitching prospects in order to get players like Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. There are still other holes to be filled as far as team depth as well
If the Dodgers don’t win the World Series, what offseason moves should they make?
The most important offseason move for the Dodgers will to be to sign Clayton Kershaw to a long-term contract. Kershaw, who is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, will probably garner more than $200 million in the 8-year range, and he deserves every penny. The Dodgers will also look to sign Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to play second base who they have had an interest in. They might re-sign reliever J.P. Howell who was solid this year out of the bullpen, and Juan Uribe most likely will also get a new contract after having a great comeback season. Other free agent rumors have also surfaced, but it is unlikely the Dodgers will sign any big dollar free agents like Robinson Cano this winter. It might actually be a semi quiet offseason for the Dodgers this time around.
Remember, you can get more Dodgers news at Lasorda’s Lair.