As we all know (and were reminded of Thursday night), elimination sucks.
As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out after the Game 5 heartbreaker, the Los Angeles Dodgers know playoff elimination as well as anyone — tying the all-time record for playoff appearances without a trip to the World Series (nine).
And if you read Twitter at all on Thursday, you’d think the Dodgers were destined for another 27 years before a trip to the World Series. Some writers threw out the word “rebuild”, there were (obviously) scores of “Fire Mattingly” and “Screw the Nerds,” and I’m sure there was even a “TRADE THEM ALL” tweet somewhere in there.
Look, I get it, you’re mad the Dodgers lost — you expected more from this roster, and disappointment leads to sudden surges of stupidity. But before that sudden surge turns into a way of life, let’s take a deep breath and gaze into the future — because I promise it’ll cure any amount of pessimism and depression you’re feeling right now.
You see, the thing is, the Dodger future is actually incredibly bright — even if we were to ignore the fact that they’re going to continue spending more money than everyone else.
Consider the list of players returning next season barring another trading spree: Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Brandon McCarthy, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Hyun-Jin Ryu, JP Howell, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Hatcher, Scott Van Slyke, Alex Wood, Pedro Baez, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Yimi Garcia, Luis Avilan, Corey Seager and Jose Peraza, among others.
For those scoring at home, that’s four starting pitchers, the core of a much improved bullpen, the starting first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, entire starting outfield and the starting catcher — all from a division-winning team.
But wait — it gets better!
This roster won the division (by the largest margin in the NL and the second-largest margin in the Majors) despite key injuries to their No. 3 starter (Ryu, who missed the entire season), their No. 4 starter (McCarthy, who made just four starts) and their best outfielder and hitter (Puig, who played in just 79 games).
So, division winner despite seemingly devastating injuries? Hmmm….
CONTINUE READING: Youthful Dodgers Roster Stands To Improve In 2016