Thanksgiving Day is here and Dodger fans have much to be thankful for this year. For the first time in a long time, the Dodgers are MLB champions. The list could go on forever, but here are the five things to be most thankful for.
1. Kershaw Finally Getting His Ring
After years of ridicule and playoff heartbreak, future first ballot Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw delivered in October. Kershaw posted a 2.93 postseason ERA and won both his World Series starts (3 ER in 11.2 IP) en route to the Dodgers championship.
He completed his professional resume at the ripe old age of 32. He’ll never have to listen to the naysayers ever again. We as Dodgers fans don’t have to ever endure another “yeah, but in the playoffs…” conversation.
How it started. How it's going. pic.twitter.com/KS5Qr381R1
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 2, 2020
In the words of another Hall of Famer, Bill Parcells, “For the rest of your life, nobody can ever tell you that you couldn’t do it. ‘Cause you did it.”
2. One More Championship with Vin Scully
Getting to celebrate another championship with the Voice of the Dodgers is truly special. Imagine how big that signature Vin smile was after Julio Urias recording the final out against the Rays. For the first time, an entire generation of Dodger fans get to bask in a championship alongside the seminal Scully.
'55, '59, '63, '65, '81, '88, and now 2020.
What a year. What a season. What a team.
— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) October 28, 2020
3. Kevin Cash Pulling Blake Snell in Game 6
It’s impossible to compile this list without Rays manager Kevin Cash’s fateful decision. Let’s be honest, the Rays probably win that game and force a Game 7 if Snell stays in. To say he was dealing would be an understatement: 73 pitches, nine strikeouts, two hits allowed. Betts, Seager, and Turner were a combined 0 for 6 with six strikeouts.
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) October 28, 2020
Instead, Cash pulls Snell. Nick Anderson gives up a double to Betts and then throws a wild pitch to allow Barnes to score. Betts scores on Seager’s infield hit to give LA a 2-1 lead, and the rest is history.
4. Everything Mookie Betts Does On a Baseball Field
The Mookie Betts effect on the Dodgers 2020 season cannot be overstated. From his trio of series-changing defensive plays in the NLCS to his epic World Series Game 6 performance, Betts pushed the Dodgers over the proverbial hump.
From the very first day in Spring Training, Betts felt like a Dodger. His leadership, his composure, and most importantly, his drive propelled the Dodgers to a 2020 championship.
Dodger fans should be thankful for the opportunity to watch a spectacular five-tool player for years to come.
5. Doc’s Newfound Playoff Bullpen Management Skills
After years of questionable playoff bullpen decisions, Doc got everything right in Game 6 of the Fall Classic. He utilized seven pitchers who recorded 16 strikeouts and yielded just one run. 2015-2019 Dave Roberts would have pulled Urias for Kershaw or Jansen for a disastrous ninth inning.
Instead, Roberts rode the hot (left) hand of Urias to cap off his finest performance as a playoff manager.
What are you most thankful for as a Dodger fan this year?