After falling two games short of a World Series berth in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers came into 2014 with some big expectations.
In the spring, many considered the Dodgers to be World Series contenders and although there was some bumps and bruises along the way, the team won their second consecutive National League West title and head into the postseason as the favorites in the NL. They will take on the St. Louis Cardinals as the second seed in a series that begins Friday.
Despite the projections, part-owner Magic Johnson believes the team isn’t built for just one year via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Everybody wants to try to put the payroll as the big thing. It’s not about that. It’s about a team that’s growing. This team has only been together two years. Everybody’s, ‘Oh, the payroll. They’re supposed to win everything.’ No. They’re supposed to grow like every other organization. That’s what it’s about. We as the owners, we know that and we’re seeing the growth in this team.”
Johnson also doesn’t believe it will be a letdown if the team fails to win a World Series:
We want to win bad – just like every other team wants to win when they get to the playoffs. But if we don’t it’s not going to be a bust. We know we are good enough to win it. Now we just have to wait to see what happens.”
Ace Clayton Kershaw had said earlier this season that the mentality was “World Series or bust.” The Dodgers finished with the second-best record in the NL and the best road record. They head into the postseason fairly healthy, with Hyun-Jin Ryu expected to be back for the NLDS.
The Dodgers have not been to a World Series since 1988, when they defeated the Oakland Athletics, and they will be looking to change that this season.