The saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but after the Los Angeles Dodgers won 94 games and the National League West, they completely overhauled the front office and made a series of moves that will result in possibly five new starters in the lineup.
Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi were brought in, while Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Brian Wilson and Hanley Ramirez are gone. Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal, Brandon McCarthy and Joel Peralta are here. While it’s tough to say right now that the team is improved, one thing that is for sure is that it’s different.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, manager Don Mattingly believes the changes are for the better:
I just feel it’s more of a team,” said Mattingly. “The club last year won 94 games. We were a little crazy, but that’s who we were. Nothing wrong with that. But I think the pieces will fit together better [in 2015].”
Because they are more of a team, Mattingly also says the team is better suited for October:
The way we’re built, it’s more like a playoff team, a team that battles every at-bat, more of a team approach and finding a way to win a game with the whole group of guys.”
Rollins is a World Series champion and veteran leader, Kendrick has been to the postseason four times and another October disappointment for the rest of the Dodgers should make for some better pedigree come playoff time.
It’s the next step in the evolution of the Dodgers since Frank McCourt was removed as owner and the Guggenheim Partners took over. The first step was acquiring big-name players and flashing money to improve the team. It worked, as the Dodgers have won the division the past two years, but without a World Series title, it was time for a second fresh start.
Time will tell if the moves were the right ones, but the 2015 Dodgers will be eager to win and get back to the playoffs.
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