That magical home run by Kirk Gibson against Dennis Eckersley is the ultimate memory of glory for the Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Although it is an unforgettable moment, the image is getting older. And it should have been 28 years since then.
In other words, Clayton Kershaw, the supposed savior of the Dodgers, the man who broke the curse, has never seen a champion who gave him a check for $ 215 million.
The Dodgers have entered the postseason the last four seasons, two of them have reached the anteroom of the World Series and always, something has gone wrong. In 2013. And generally that fault is defined in a single word: the relief.
However, management has not made the adjustment, bordering on Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: “Keep doing the same in the hope of getting a different result.” Because the arrival of Mexican Sergio Romo is just one step in the right direction, but the bullpen remains the weakest point of a team that is not only ready to win in 2017, but is wasting the best years of the best pitcher on the planet .
But the lack of attention to the bullpen is not enough to curb the golden dreams of its fans. The rotation looks healthy, maybe a bit loaded to the left, but with Kershaw, Rich Hill, the return of Hyun-Jin Ryu and the second year of Mexican Julio Urias, it’s worth being optimistic.
Batting can be even better. Or maybe not. Everything starts and ends with Corey Seager. The reigning rookie of the year rose as the bastion of an order to bat full of interrogations. The first, of course, hangs over him. Will you be able to keep up the pace now that scout reports have a better idea of how to work it?
Dave Roberts needs Seager’s versatile offense to open the way for veteran Adrian Gonzalez and a Justin Turner who in 2016 finally established himself as a homer threat. The arrival of Logan Forsythe, in exchange for the prospect José de León, rounds out a picture that may be the envy of the rest of the league.
The grounds are spot on. Joc Pederson is still punch or homer, while Yasiel Puig still does not find the formula that made him a new sensation in 2013 and his continuity is in danger if it can not be the spark that ignites the engines of a team that aspires to everything. And not only to live an unforgettable memory.
With the best pitcher in the solar system, the Dodgers have advanced to the playoffs four seasons in a row and unsuccessfully hit the doors of the World Series in two of those opportunities. Now, again they present a competitive picture that promises protagonism throughout the season. Will it be enough to take that extra step? That question will be resolved after 162 games. In the meantime, the only question they have on paper is the same problem as always: the bullpen.
1. Help for K-Kid: During the regular season, the Dodgers have been able to make up their lack of relay, but have been denuded in playoffs by the failures of their bullpen. The arrival of Sergio Romo is a step in the right direction, but does not cover all the gaps.
2. The resurrection of Puig. Cuban Yasiel Puig arrived in the Major Leagues in 2013 as a breath of fresh air given his joy and dynamism, but since then everything has gone downhill. It should be back to a few years ago or it could become expendable on the computer.
3. Avoid the sophomore slump. The current Rookie of the Year, Corey Seager was immediately established as the offensive pillar of the team. Many of his aspirations depend on his shortstop maintaining the level although now the rivals have a better idea of how to work it.
1. Kershaw: As close to a guarantee in professional sport as it is possible.
2. The picture: Gonzalez, Forsythe, Seager and Turner are a promise of fireworks.
3. The Teenager: Urias had flashes of greatness and at 20 years can only improve.
1. The bullpen. With the exception of Jansen there is no one else to bring down the curtain.
2. The health of the pitchers. Only Maeda made all her exits. Alarm lights.
3. The team changed to one of their best prospects for Forsythe. He better do.