What a roller coaster ride the 2012 season was for the Dodgers. A new group of owners were introduced and they quickly answered any skepticism about the direction they wanted to take the team. To start the year there was doubt that the Dodgers could get it done with the lack of offense. Then they started overachieving and the thought was that with a gritty pitching and scrappy never-say-die offense, just maybe they could hang around and sneak into the playoffs.
Then August 26 happened. The Dodgers lineup was suddenly filled with all-stars like Shane Victorino, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez and excitement came back to Dodger Stadium. There were a lot of positives to take from the 2012 season, but here are five things the Dodgers, or its fans won’t miss in 2013.
5. The $15 Dodger Stadium Parking
One of the first changes the new ownership made was lowering the Dodger Stadium general parking form $15 to $10. It was such a small change, but a much appreciated one. Although $15 and up seems to be the norm when parking around Los Angeles for events, the thought that parking was at times more expensive than some of the tickets just didn’t seem right. Pricy parking, you will not be missed.
4. The Stadium Scoreboards
There are renovations being made to Dodger Stadium and one of those changes will be the scoreboards. Over the years, I couldn’t be the only one that saw stadiums like Turner Field in Atlanta build the biggest scoreboard in the league and thought, “We’re L.A.! We should have the best scoreboard!” Whether the new scoreboards will be the best or not is to be seen, but any upgrade is better than the batting-practice-beat-up scoreboards of old. I’m sorry outdated scoreboards, but you will not be missed. Photos via @djricashade
3. The Anemic Dodger Offense
The Dodgers were held to three runs or less in 60-of-127 games before the blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox. That’s 47.3 percent of the games with lack of run support.
Then the Dodgers got Adrian Gonzalez, he was paired up with Hanley Ramirez and the Dodgers still couldn’t get it done offensively, scoring less than three runs in 60 percent of its final 35 games.
Ramirez finished the year batting .257 and Gonzalez only hit three home runs with 22 RBIs in what was supposed to be a stacked Dodger lineup.
Matt Kemp’s injuries didn’t help.
Even when the Dodgers brought in mortal enemy, Shane Victorino, he was looked upon to be a spark plug at the top of the lineup and just wasn’t. This year will no doubt be different, but last year’s Dodger offense will not be missed.
2. Frank McCourt
You almost forgot about him, huh? Well, let me remind you how bad it was in the McCourt Era. Just kidding.
Dodgers Nation went through enough with McCourt. He left on pretty good terms considering how much tension he caused. He tried to make it clear that he wanted the best for the Dodgers and even seemed sincere about it.
Still, although there were a couple of good years sprinkled in during 2008 and 2009, it was muddied by several years of mediocrity. As hopeless as 2012 felt with the financially-strained McCourt, it is that much encouraging in the Magic Johnson and Guggenheim era.
1. The Playoffs
The Dodgers will not miss the playoffs. They were supposed to run away with the division and be a playoff threat once their Avenger-like lineup was assembled.
It didn’t exactly happen that way.
This year however, there is absolutely no way the Dodger offense will struggle like last season.
Shane Victorino is now Carl Crawford, the guy behind Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw is now Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke and they have a full offseason to all get acquainted with each other.
There is no doubt this team was assembled to make a playoff run and a deep one. The standards have been raised and anything less than a National League pennant could be considered a failure. The feeling of watching the Giants celebrate a championship will not be missed.