World Series or bust. It was a mantra believed to be true for the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into the 2014 season and it was validated, in fact stated verbatim by Clayton Kershaw in an August interview.

The Dodgers fell six wins short of reaching the World Series, 10 of winning a ring and now face plenty of questions in the off-season. While the Dodgers fell short of their goal, Carl Crawford said he doesn’t believe they underachieved, via Pedro Moura of the OC Register:

I know to most people it looks like weโ€™ve got a big payroll and we underachieved, but itโ€™s just one of those things. Every time you make it to the playoffs, I look at it as a success. We just didnโ€™t get to where we wanted to go.”

On a personal level, while Crawford spent the early portion of the season platooning in left field and suffered a sprained ankle that kept him out for six weeks, the left fielder ended the regular season on a high note.

Crawford began to hit well prior to his injury and manager Don Mattingly made the decision to stick with the veteran as the primary starter upon his return in July. The 33 year old initially struggled but found his swing and finished the year hitting .300 for the first time since 2010.

While Crawford hit .313 in August and .448 in September with 23 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, he wasn’t able to carry over his production into the NLDS. He finished 5-for-17 in the four games, but failed to come up with a hit in key moments.

Crawford’s shortcomings includes him grounding out to end Game 4 and eliminate the Dodgers with the tying run on second base and the go-ahead run at first. It’s unlikely the Dodgers will go forth in 2015 with the same crowded outfield they’ve carried for the past two seasons, which could make Crawford a trade candidate.

However, given Crawford’s age and the fact that he’s owed over $60 million for the next three seasons, the odds may be more likely he remains in Los Angeles.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

29 Responses

  1. Marcos Amezcua

    BS!!! Dodgers underachieved due to a HORRIBLE GM and Horrible Coaching. Fire them all

    • Michael N. Norris

      that’s crap…….winning the division is not that easy..getting to the WS even harder….and did not see the GM or any of the coaches play a single game..get some knowledge and place blame when it is deserved not because you are unhappy and stupid

      • Marcos Amezcua

        Michael you want to talk about getting knowledge. Who puts the coaching staff together tgeGM. Who makes the the rosters move to strengthen the team the GM. Did the Dodgers offense live by feast ot famine Yes. Who made the decision to put Elbert on the playoff roster even though he only had 4 1/3 innings of work this year the GM and Coach. Who decided to bench Puig but not Uribe or Gordon the Coaches. Lastly did we have the worst bullpen going into the playoffs?? Say what you want the GM and entire coaching staff worked to go into the playoffs with this roster. If it failed then who’s to blame ObamaCare?? So if you want to be stupid I hope you enjoy your bus ride. This team highly underachieved and it falls squarely on the GM and the entire coaching staff.

      • Michael N. Norris

        show me one of those guys who ever stepped on the field and played the game…not one…..stupidity is rampant in your case because you have no clue who mead all those decisions….Colletti, DM and the FO got together and put that playoff roster together….but no matter who does what, it falls on the players to win….Elbert was on the roster because Paco was still not ready after his DL stint…Howell had been awful his last few games, including game one….your #1 pitcher has a meltdown in the first game…and that’s the GM’s fault? It would have been 2 games to 0 going into St Louis….but because the BP was iffy they could not trust them…Kershaw made 1 bad pitch and they lost…..that was the GM or the managers fault….excuse me moron…..players win games….not the front office or the managers…and they won 94 games with these guys…I would say that was pretty damn good…..if it was so freaking easy to get to the W S they would be there every year…..

      • Joe V

        Michael N. Norris, seriously, you don’t understand that management can cause a team to lose? Really, how do you explain in game 1, not making a pitching move after your pitcher gives up 4 straight hits, then 2 more hits and 5 runs before Mattingly gets off his sorry butt to make a change?!

        WTH don’t you get that it’s managements fault for not pulling a player when he’s in trouble, instead of managing like Mattingly has, (using the cross his fingers method) and getting the guy out of there and stop the bleeding?

        How is it that you come up with “Kershaw made 1 bad pitch and they lost” They hung him out to dry for 6 hits and 5 runs before they (in all their wisdom) decided to make a change?

        Then remember the end result was, they lost by 1 run, ONE RUN, do you think just possibly that making a change earlier might have made a difference in 1 run?

        My guess is yes and that WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

        You said “but no matter who does what, it falls on the players to win” and the players are told by management what to do and when to play, so no matter how you try and frame it, they didn’t manage their players properly.
        Go Dodger Blue!!

      • Marcos Amezcua

        Joe you are wasting your time with Michael. He must be related to either Ned or Mattingly because there is no reason why he is so sticking up for them so hard. Management and Coaches are supposed to build a team to win WS NOT just win the division (barely), make the blames and exit after one series.

      • Michael N. Norris

        6 games is not barely moron, and I happen to think DM is a good manager…..not great…the Dodgers have been in the playoffs 5 times with Ned at the helm and he worked for the worse owner in team history….I have seen a lot worse..also this is only the 2nd season for this ownership,.,,and I think they will be the ones who decide weather DM and Ned are gone, not the fans. In order to bolster the BP and starters anyone with any knowledge knows that it would have cost the Dodgers one or two of their best prospects….Phillies wanted Joc, Urias and Seager for Hamels…..Ned kept was the right move..just so you know it was reported that Ned is on the hot seat and DM is safe…….up to the FO now…..

      • Joe V

        Michael N. Norris, WTH is your problem, you can’t even have a discussion without calling people morons? I guess when all else fails including logic, you have to start trolling. SMFH

        First of all, I replied to your comment where you referenced the 1 bad pitch while you were talking about Game 1.

        “your #1 pitcher has a meltdown in the first game…and that’s the GM’s fault? It would have been 2 games to 0 going into St Louis….but because the BP was iffy they could not trust them…Kershaw made 1 bad pitch and they lost”

        You’re the one that made the comment, so if you made a mistake and meant game 4, you didn’t say that. So think before you go calling people morons. ~instant karma~

        You said: “Who would you have brought in to pitch in the first game? the whole BP was worthless, you have your best guy out there and you pretty much trust the guy to get it done”

        You bring in ANYONE else, and not just let your ACE take the bullets. Management is responsible for who they hire as relievers, management made the decision of who to take to the playoffs, management made the choice of leaving Kershaw in. That’s just the facts man, like it or not, no matter how you want to try and twist it.

        You said: “I have seen worse managers and GM’s and owners than DM and Ned” yes, there’s no doubt about it, but that doesn’t mean that’s the reason to keep them. I don’t think the owners paid the amount of money they did to have a *I’ve seen worse* kind of performance, they paid that money to have a “we are the best” kind of attitude and performance.

        So then you say, ” I defer to their experience when it comes to in game moves” and that’s exactly what we’re talking about here! Their experience as managers are/were well paid for in order to make the most intelligent moves / decisions possible, they didn’t, and now it’s time to pay the piper…. *I’ve seen worse* is not what people pay good money to see….

        Go Dodger Blue!!

      • Michael N. Norris

        I apologize to you for that..been reading too many negative things lately and I guess it just got under my skin….for that I am sorry….. I do believe it is on the players more than the manager…he pus up the lineup and it is up the guys to perform. I believe Ned has done a good job….I would not have traded our best minor leaguers for what was out there…

      • Joe V

        Apology accepted…..

        Go Dodger Blue!!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Thank you seem like a great fan…

      • Joe V

        I’m sure you are too, we just have to field a better *complete* team out there next year, and if that means replacing the powers that be, I’m good with it. We have too much talent in this organization to be mediocre.

        I bleed Dodger Blue, my baby book said at 5yrs old, “Joey is already a die hard Dodger fan!”

        Go Dodger Blue!!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Me also ,…hey it is up to the needs another starter….since Beckett retired and Bills is iffy…..BP has 4 guys under contract…..Wilson, League, Howell and Jansen..Haren’s vested….they will have to decide what to do with Hanley…….lots of action this off season…..

      • Michael N. Norris

        they came from 9.5 games back and won by 6…that is not barely winning the division

      • Michael N. Norris

        The one bad pitch moron was in game 4…..the pitch to Adams….Who would you have brought in to pitch in the first game? the whole BP was worthless, you have your best guy out there and you pretty much trust the guy to get it done….he didn’t that’s baseball. Now Ned built the BP, that’s true. But it is always on the players to perform. As far as firing guys, I think the whole thing is a knee jerk reaction to losing…..I have been watching this team a long time and I always want them to win. But I never place blame when they lose… I have seen worse managers and GM’s and owners than DM and Ned….and I defer to their experience when it comes to in game moves…fans think with their hearts not their heads and all of them think they know what is best……they don’t

      • Joe

        Let’s be honest. This team is full of talent. Anyone can manage this team to a division title as we continue beat up on crappy teams. We can’t win close games. – playoff games. It comes down to execution and we can’t execute because we have no game plan. We just go up there swinging, don’t advance runners, etc. We are a much more talented team than the Cardinals, but they are better tam.

      • Michael N. Norris

        and by the way..kiss my ass moron

      • Marcos Amezcua

        Michael your ignorance is even worse then Ned and Mattingly so their is hope in Dodgers nation since they aren’t the stupidest people out there.

      • Michael N. Norris

        far from stupid bud…….I know the game a hell of a lot better than you and I also know that those guys have more baseball smarts than either of us..

      • edgar

        I agree 100% Marcos. I said that since game 1. I’m sure Colleti had an influence with ownership agreeing to keep Mattingly.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Leave polotics out of the discussion

      • Michael N. Norris

        I apologize for what I said…forgot my manners there and the fact that you are entitled to your opinion….I disagree….but that’s me….I know plenty about the game, I played many years, but I defer to the pros here…

  2. ajrams

    This is my opinion on the Colletti, Mattingly and Kershaw. First of all as much as I hate to say it congrats to the Giants for somehow beating the Nats who I thought was the best team next to us.

    We lead every game 7th inning or better and our bush league 50
    million dollar bullpen who couldn’t save a game if they faced blind little
    leaguers blew everyone, Wilson cut, Perez cut, League cut, Friars a
    triple A retread was our gap pitcher, really, cut that idiot he throws a 98 mph
    ball that’s straight as a lazer I could hit that out of the park with a wiffle
    bat. We have 60 million coming of the books this year, they keep blaming
    Mattingly, hell, I’d leave my starters till their arms fell off as well, he’s gun
    shy with his bush league bullpen Colletti put together. Look Mattingly has made mistakes but he has that team with its cast of characters and egos playing well, imagine if we had Gibson we would have fatalities in that dugout.

    Do you know that Kershaw instead of being
    1 and 5 in playoffs and calling him he can’t win in big games, lead all four of
    those losses 5 losses into the 7th of which 3 of them he had 2 hitters or better, when your coach
    has no faith in the bullpen that’s what happens. Kershaw could easily be 5 and 1 with a mid 2 ERA.

    I finally agree with the fans fire Colletti the fact that at the trading deadline came and went
    knowing our bullpen blew easily 12 saves, and I’m being generous and we still won 94 games we should have won 100 and also easily beaten the Card. Colleti should be fired he should have
    gotten help all year long not all the loser retreads we had this was a great time with a crappy middle relief.

    • David Nowell

      I agree with everything you are saying, my only questions is…..Did management handcuff Colletti at the trade deadline? He may be the GM, but I am sure someone outlines the sand box he has to play in.

      • ajrams

        David, its possible that management handcuffed Colletti but I can not believe that they did especially with how this new group wants to win. We could have gotten Lester and sure as hell had WAY better package to offer for Price than thr Rays received. Maybe because we are the new Yankees they play hard ball with us but talent is talent and what the Rays got for Price was nothing. As much as I love Puig these trade rumors , if they are true I would consider a Puig trade to the Cubs for Russel the studd shrtstp they recieved from the A’s and some middle relief and one of thier minor league catchers. Also Puig for Giancarlo would be a win win for both teams as Puig is under salary control.

  3. Michael N. Norris

    Earlier I said some pretty harsh things to a couple of guys forgetting that they are entitled to their opinion….I sincerely apologize for that…..I disagree with their point of view but that is no reason to be rude, which I was….just tired of people placing blame. To me, I have followed the Dodgers most of my life….first being a fan 5 year old in 1953. When they moved to my home town, I was the happiest kid on the block….I have always been a fan and even sang the National Anthem there in 1981…a Championship year.. I met Wes Parker, Duke Snider and a few other players….shagged fly balls for Norm and Larry Sherry prior to spring training at a big park in Highland Park..That being said….I defer to the knowledge of the front office and coaching staff, when it comes to game decisions and player moves…..they have far more knowledge than us fans…

    • Joe V

      We’re good man, and reading this post, it’s a bit ironic to what I just posted earlier above ^.

      Sometimes people/fans just have to agree to disagree. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We have a couple of coincidences:

      I’ve been a fan since 5 years old, (according to my baby book) which was just shy of when you first were. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I sang (with some other fathers on Fathers day) the National Anthem, but it was at Angel Stadium as it is close to my home and easier to catch a game and not fight the LA traffic. ๐Ÿ™

      Back in the 70’s I got a ball signed by almost all of the Dodgers, including the longest playing infield together 72 – 80 of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey!

      In 1988 they had installed some *auxiliary seats down the foul lines for the playoffs, and due to having some connections in management, (for another team) I got to sit front row about ยฝ way up the third base line. I got several foul balls that day, ( 2 just in batting practice) and tried to have one signed by Hershiser. (I’ll save that story for another time)

      The National Anthem was going to be sung by Florence Henderson, and she came walking across the field from center field. As she was about a third of the way towards the infield, I yelled “I love you Florence” and she looked over and smiled and waved. She then walked a few more steps and then turned towards me and walked straight towards me. As she was almost to me, I put out my arms, (as it was obvious she was coming to me) and she put out her’s and gave me a big hug then a kiss and a smile. It was pretty cool, and the people around me were trying to figure out who this guy was that Florence Henderson just kissed? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gotta love it…. but it was just an average Joe

      Go Dodger Blue!!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Seen Florence there a couple of times…the coolest thing about the National Anthem thing was that I got that because of Wes Parker…I met him at a card show in Anaheim…..he got me Duke Sniders autograph on a piece of paper…and later I got Duke to autograph a picture…he was my all time favorite Dodger…..Wes came out to see a show I did in Long Beach at Georges Round Up….a C&W bar there…..and he was the one that took my cassette to the office where they choose the Anthem singers…….I sang on Sept 9th 1981…which also was my girlfriends birthday …They played the Giants…..I got to go in the dugout, Wes gave me a ball that I had autographed by about 12 guys…..On the way out to CF to sing, I shook Fernando’s and Bobby Castillo’s hand….that was the night that the Giant pitcher hit Cey and broke his arm….they lost 6-3 in 10 innings…….

      • Joe V

        Very cool Michael, Yeah when I sang at the Big A, it was with other Dads too. I wouldn’t be able to handle it solo. My shower doesn’t even let me do that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I met Drysdale a couple of times. Favorite Dodger, hmmm, not sure about that one at the moment. I’ll have to ponder that one a bit when I’m not so tired….

        Go Dodger Blue!!

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