AJ mobbed by teammates

As the Spring Training days continue getting crossed off, the idea of a new season gets closer to becoming reality. For some teams, it may mean more of the same, which can be a positive or negative. And for others, hope may at last carry over onto the field.

The Dodgers enter 2015 as back-to-back National League West division champions and once again facing high expectations. They’ve been projected to run away with a third-straight division title and are among the favorites to reach the World Series.

However, the Dodgers haven’t been named the favorite. That honor instead goes to the Washington Nationals, who are oddsmakers’ favorite and virtual reality simulations, as noted by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

As for the Dodgers, they check in behind the Nationals for most seasons ending with a World Series win:

The Nationals greatly bolstered their pitching staff this offseason with the signing of Max Scherzer. The 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner is a career 91-50 with a 3.58 ERA and he’s integral to what many are touting the best starting rotation in baseball.

They also added to their bullpen in the form of Casey Janssen, who has 90 saves in his seven years as a closer. The last time the Dodgers made it to the World Series was back in 1988 when they beat the Oakland Athletics in five games; largely with the help of Kirk Gibson’s famous home run in the first game.

While World-Series expectations remain, this season marks the first for the Dodgers under a new front office in quite some time. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi have taken the franchise in a new direction — which has resulted in better overall depth as opposed to a roster that’s top heavy.

How it translate to the field remains to be seen, but barring significant unforeseen circumstances, the Dodgers should once again be in the thick of postseason contention.

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Andrew Friedman Press Conference


24 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    Prediction….they will not win this year. Not with this pitching staff. 1 & 2 are fine..3 is injured, 4 & 5 are iffy at best….The BP is shaky…..offense and defense look ok so far, but it is spring….Freidman and Zaidi fall flat on their collective faces this year….

    Reply
    • Giantkiller000

      What exactly is your definition of “flat on their faces”? Missing the playoffs? Not reaching the World Series? Not winning the World Series?

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        Needs no definition…I think the season will show that a lot of the moves they made were bad ones.

      • Giantkiller000

        Sure it does. If you say they are going to fall flat on their faces, I’d like to know what you feel that means. I’d like you to back up your comment. It’s very difficult to find a positive comment from you on this board. So I’m just asking that you back up one of your comments. That’s all.

        And for the record, I don’t think anyone feels the Dodgers are going to waltz into the World Series. I think we all expect them to make the playoffs, and probably win the division. The playoffs are a crap shoot. The starting pitching can’t have more than 1 bad day in a playoff series. The bullpen has to be rock solid the entire series. And the bats have to get hot, especially in clutch situations.

      • Bill.I.Am

        He doesn’t have to back it up. It’s an opinion, not a fact.

      • Giantkiller000

        That’s weak. I’m simply asking him to clarify. I’m not asking for proof of an opinion. I’m asking for what he would consider falling flat on their faces would be. If he can’t do that, then everything he says should be ignored. Anyone can make claims and then later say I was right all along. If he wants to stand behind what he says and be taken seriously, then he’ll clear up what he means by falling flat on their faces. That’s all. I’m not here to make enemies with anyone.

      • Blue

        Personally, I’d think falling flat on your face would be synonymous with finishing last or next to last in the division…which will not happen.
        They’ll win the division this year. I truly believe we will see a deeper playoff run…I would not be surprised to see a Boston-LA WS. This is a good team, regardless of what Michael N.egative Norris thinks and has told everyone since the offseason.
        They are and have been looking great so far this year…the offense all the haters were worried about looks anything but anemic.
        How come when anyone on here says “the offense looks good” the response is that “it’s spring and doesn’t mean anything” but when someone wants to point out all the perceived negatives, all of s sudden spring matters?? Look above for examples….for Petes sake guys…this team is looking great. Let’s get some positivity on this site. It helps if you take off your I hate Friedman goggles…

      • Giantkiller000

        See, something like that is what I’d consider falling flat on their faces. Maybe even as far as simply missing the playoffs.

        I’m with you on the positive train! We’re fans! I don’t see how you can gain any enjoyment from being negative. Are you happy or satisfied if you are proved right? Are you happy if you are proved wrong and things turn out well? In which case, you spent so much time dwelling on the negative you didn’t enjoy the ride. Anywho, Go Dodgers!

      • Michael N. Norris

        I do not dwell as you say on the negative….quite the opposite…..the only point I was trying to make is this. an awful lot of things have to fall exactly into place for this team to do what we all want…..1 Grandal becomes what his scouting report says..a solid hitter with 20 HR power. 2. Joc has a good rookie season. 3. the BP is improved . 4. Age does not catch up with J Roll or Uribe,. 5 and most important… The starting staff stays healthy…..and the team as a whole stays healthy./….as far as not liking Freidman, or Zaidi…that’s just not agreeing with all the moves,….especially stockpiling injured arms.

      • Blue

        A lot of things have to fall into place with every single team in the majors to have a chance in October. Everything you said is true for every team out there. We have more depth now than in the past which translates to more ability to deal with the issues that will come up.

        Do you think the team is better or worse than last year?

      • Michael N. Norris

        Better defensively, yes….seems like so far the offense is more consistent. bench will be solid…and they have pieces to trade which they did not have last year….not sold on the 4 & 5 starters or the backend of the BP…overall a better team….

      • Michael N. Norris

        Never said they were not a good team…..you are right, they have looked good…..I am allowed to disagree with the FO, you and anyone else here…..but that’s ok because if the team proves me wrong…great…I will be happy. But I think you are wearing blinders if you do not think that Washington, or Chicago are not going to make a strong run. Winning the division is going to be no cake walk. The Padres will make things interesting, and never underestimate the Giants under Bochy….it is just an opinion….

      • Blue

        Blinders? No, I think there will be other teams that will be good of course. And not one person anywhere has said anything will be a cakewalk. Not sure where you’re getting that from. Winning is never easy and there’s always challenges along the way. I just think we have the team to overcome them.

      • Michael N. Norris

        You seem like a great fan blue….and you make good points. the blinders thing was probably the wrong word to use, but a lot I have read on other sites and especially on Dodgers.com, those guys are thinking they are just going to waltz to the series…I have been watching this team and this game way too long to think that is going to happen. They have a good team that is for sure, and I hope you are right that this bunch can overcome the obstacles…..we shall see as things unfold….

      • Michael N. Norris

        I would have replied earlier…I was in Denver with my room mate who was getting his chemo. I am not a huge fan of the new FO, and no I do not think Ned was all that great either,. But I think a couple of the moves they made will come back and bite them on the rear. Kemp, well I know Matt was not the same player, and I know it was probably time…but I would never have traded the guy to a team in my own division. I have been watching the Dodgers for over 60 years. I have seen them win with all sorts of different teams. My biggest fear in all this is that Freidman made too many changes…..

      • Michael N. Norris

        I have posted positive thoughts before…I just do not think that they have improved the bullpen or the starting staff that much. Ryu was out close to a month last year and so was CK. They managed to ride that out. I have little confidence that Anderson will go through the year without DL time, and they grossly overpaid McCarthy who has never, outside of 14 games as a Yankee last year, been all that effective. Falling flat to me means they do not meet the high bar everybody has set for them. The BP guys they traded for have looked less than stellar. The starters who would be backups have either been injured or ineffective. The other reason is that other than their own division, the Dodgers staff is not as good as Washington’s. The offense looks good. So does the defense so far. Grandal has done just about what I expected and stayed down around the Mendoza line. Pederson has been consistent and Gonzo and Puig are playing well.

      • Blue

        Which moves do you think will prove to be bad, other than sending Kemp to SD?

      • Michael N. Norris

        I think signing a bunch of injured pitchers will prove to be a waste of money…I did not agree with signing McCarthy for 4 years…I think he will turn out to be a Dan Haren clone. I liked Dee…..but his defense was not the best. But so far the only guy from that trade who has looked good is Hernandez, and he will go to AAA. Not impressed with Hatcher at all….Heisey has also looked terrible. But you never know how any trade or move will play out until they play for real…I will say this….66 million for a 29 year old guy with no MLB experience seems a little high….and he will probably sit out the year with sugery…

      • Mike

        I’m with you Michael. Staying positive has absolutely no effect on a game. The reality is, we all love our Dodgers, but reality trumps our wishes. If we go by what we have seen, we should be worried. Spring Training is nothing to gauge a team by either. We all want to be wrong in our assessment of the new Dodgers, but the heart is too string to fool the mind. In the excitement to build a new team, the new GM was like a kid in a candy store buying all he could. It will bite the Dodgers in the back side.
        1970’s Dodger were my team. Go Dodgers, won or lose!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Thank you Mike. I have been a fan of the team a long time. But that does not mean that I just sit there and agree with every move the front office makes. I can name dozens of trades and signings that were made before the new guys got here that were awful. I understand Freidman’s desire to change the dynamic. He is not the first to try it with the Dodgers and he will not be the last. When Murdock bought the Dodgers, his guys traded the best player on the team, Piazza, and got baggage back. The only guy in that trade who was a Dodger more than a year was Gary Sheffield. And we all know how much of a pain he was. Had a couple of good years, but attitude? The guy was a far greater cancer in the clubhouse than Kemp ever was. But as you said….fans see with their hearts. They want to believe.

    • Guest

      It appears you think you should run the front office. I will take my chances with this team. You are entitled to your opinion.

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        I am making my judgement based on what I am seeing happen, not because I want to run the team,.,,,,I would not want that job. They made a lot of changes and anyone who thinks they are going to just waltz to the series and win without controversy and problems is just dreaming. They have already lost Ryu for a while to basically the same injury that shelved him last year. The BP is great one day lousy the next…If you trust Anderson to make it through a full year…well good for you. McCarthy got all that money for a good 14 game stretch with the Yankees last year…..He has never been THAT good….but we will see….They will probably win the division, and get to the playoffs…..but they won’t get to the series…

      • Blue

        Ryu was far from “shelved” last year. That number of wins and quality of pitching from a #3 guy is nothing to sneeze at.
        Shelved is what kemp was for a couple years. Shelved is what happens to Hanley after getting injured walking to the dugout. Lol

  2. Bill.I.Am

    What was used to simulate the 50,000 seasons? MLB The Show 15?

    Reply

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