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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Champs! The best Dodgers team ever ends L.A.‘s 32-year title drought | ESPN

On Tuesday night, in a neutral stadium 1,400 miles away, at the conclusion of a bizarre season played amid a global health crisis, these Dodgers finally made their mark. Their 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series won them their first championship since Gibson famously hobbled to the batter’s box in 1988, a fitting coronation for a dominant franchise.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 27, 2020 at 11:50 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, world series

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   1. Srul Itza Posted: October 27, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5985987)
Is there an asterisk big enough to convey how cheap this World Series win is?
   2. BillWallace Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:03 AM (#5985993)
How about none at all?
The quality of the baseball itself was good as any year and two of the legitimately best teams played in an entertaining world series with the better team winning.
If the season is 162 games instead of 60 with last year's playoff rules then the Dodgers and Rays almost certainly still make the playoffs.

If a .500 team won you'd have a point but they didn't.

Congrats to the Dodgers. Happy for Kershaw. People will be talking about Cash's terrible decision for decades (if baseball survives).
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:03 AM (#5985995)
Justin Turner was removed from the game, and no one knew why.

It turns out he tested positive for covid19.

That post game celebration with all the hugging and shouting in celebration to each other just became quite disconcerting.

Oh, look! Here come the players' families on to the field to join in the celebration!

   4. SoSH U at work Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:05 AM (#5986000)
It sounds like it's a good thing the Dodgers won. Game 7 might have been played in mid-November.
   5. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:05 AM (#5986001)
Is there an asterisk on the 1981 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers?

They only made the playoffs because of their record over ~60 games, too.
   6. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:08 AM (#5986002)
16-team playoffs, the best team won. Not too dis-similar to the 1982 NFL. Congratulations to the Dodgers and everybody in LA.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:10 AM (#5986004)
Dodgers probably wouldn't have won 70% of their games if they had to play 162, but nothing cheap about this World Series win.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:11 AM (#5986005)
I haven’t seen Magic Johnson on the field, but he’s celebrating maskless in the stands. He’s somewhat-famously immuno-compromised.

I’m pretty much the opposite of a doctor, though.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:12 AM (#5986006)
FWIW -- 10 seconds of my time -- the b-r simulation Dodgers went 121-41 (747 WP) but lost at some point in the playoffs. Cleveland (98-64) beat the Cards (96-66) in 7 games.

So this WS win is more legit than that one. :-)

I don't see any reason not to consider the playoffs this year legit. If anything, it was a tougher playoff road to survive and the two (probably) best teams did. The regular season ends up something of a joke but Houston seemed the only pretender to last in the playoffs and we all know they're still a very talented team. Compare to 81 where arguably the two best teams in the NL (the ones with the best overall records in their divisions) didn't even make the playoffs. Of course the Dodgers won that one as well. So this is no worse than the Dodgers 2nd least legit WS win.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:21 AM (#5986008)
Agree with most of the posters above. When the season started I was thinking, well this will be totally bunk and some rubbish team is going to squeak by and win it all.

But nope, the best teams made the series and arguably the most consistent team of the last 4 years finally won it all; so it seems right.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:23 AM (#5986009)
Good for LA. I don't think anyone is going to asterisk this thing. Congrats to the champs!
   12. Red Voodooin Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:33 AM (#5986011)
This postseason gauntlet was MORE difficult, it seems to me, than a normal year's playoff. Post #1 in this thread is just an incredibly bad take. There was absolutely nothing "cheap" about what the Dodgers just achieved.
   13. baxter Posted: October 28, 2020 at 01:20 AM (#5986017)
I wonder if it helped Seager to play fewer games, he had worn down a couple seasons toward the end. Of course, it is a shorter season for all the players.

People have referred to the '81 NL where the Reds had the best record, but due to split season failed to make the playoffs.

It is not as if it was a fluke for LA to make it to the series, having been in 2 of the previous 3.
   14. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: October 28, 2020 at 01:52 AM (#5986022)
Is there an asterisk big enough to convey how cheap this World Series win is?
This championship looks a hell of a lot more legitimate than the one that the Asterisks “won” in 2017.
   15. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 02:00 AM (#5986027)
My feeling is that under the circumstances, a team that didn't do well shouldn't feel down, but a team winning it all definitely has the right to celebrate.
   16. filihok Posted: October 28, 2020 at 02:02 AM (#5986028)
The Dodgers appear to have played the game with an intelligible player.

That might deserve an asterisk. Navigating the playoffs? Not at all.

Also...why can't baseball ever do anything not totally scummy?
   17. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 28, 2020 at 08:07 AM (#5986036)
My feeling is that under the circumstances, a team that didn't do well shouldn't feel down, but a team winning it all definitely has the right to celebrate.


Completely agree with this. It's kind of funny but the end result for the three sports that were interrupted/delayed by COVID all had champions that were either the favorites or very near the top of everyone's list. With all the potential for something weird we wound up with "chalk."
   18. TomH Posted: October 28, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5986038)
The 2020 Dodgers had the best runs scored - to - runs allowed ratio (how the Pythagorean record is determined, if you wish) since... 1939.

Would they have kept it up over 162 games? Dunno. They have been really really good, ya know, for 4 seasons now.
They went 13-5 in the playoffs, scoring 101 runs and allowing 66.

I will take their WS ring as more "deserving" and less "cheap" than many others we could name since LA last won in 1988. And I ain't no Dodger fan.

   19. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: October 28, 2020 at 09:31 AM (#5986052)
The Dodgers appear to have played the game with an intelligible player.


From The Ringer article on Turner, it would appear the team legitimately didn't know, though it leaves open the question why the results of Monday's sample weren't available until the game had already begun (since it seems from the testing of the Tuesday sample, results could be returned quite quickly).

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, in the second inning of Tuesday’s game, the lab performing tests for MLB found an inconclusive result for Turner’s Monday sample. It then ran the third baseman’s just-arrived sample from Tuesday, which tested positive, and informed the club, which removed Turner from the game. Fox’s Ken Rosenthal further reported that Turner’s test was not a false positive.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5986058)
Congrats to Kershaw! The guys still without rings:

Active players, most games without a ring:
Nick Markakis 2,154
Edwin Encarnacion 1,960
Joey Votto 1,771
Ryan Braun 1,766
Matt Kemp, 1,750
Nelson Cruz 1,742
Evan Longoria 1,742

Most starts without a ring, active players
Zack Greinke 459
Felix Hernandez 418
Gio Gonzalez 328
Edwin Jackson 318
Francisco Liriano 300

Let me know if I missed a ring in there.
   21. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 28, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5986068)
I posted this in chatter, but pitchers in last night's games struck out 49% of batters (27 out of 55). That's better than Josh Hader's best year (47.7% in 2019.)

Urias was quite a weapon this postseason: 1.56 ERA in 23 innings.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: October 28, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5986069)
Nelson Cruz 1,742


Of all the folks on that list, he's the guy with the least reason to complain about his fate.

   23. Astroenteritis Posted: October 28, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5986097)
As far as asterisks go, this World Series (and whole season) is certainly worth every bit of 1/3 of a normal season.

And it's ludicrous to suggest that, for a franchise that has had so many great teams, this team that played a 60-game season is the greatest. No way. It's like they won the League Cup and are declared champions of Europe, to use a soccer comparison.
   24. Astroenteritis Posted: October 28, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5986098)
Also, good for Clayton Kershaw, I don't know how you can't be happy for him.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5986109)

Most starts without a ring, active players
Zack Greinke 459
Felix Hernandez 418
Gio Gonzalez 328
Edwin Jackson 318
Francisco Liriano 300

Let me know if I missed a ring in there.


Edwin Jackson won one in 2011 with St. Louis
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5986111)
Edwin Jackson is still active??
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5986116)
Edwin Jackson can never retire, only the actors that play him.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5986125)
EJ started 4 games for that Cardinals title team, including one WS game. I don't remember that, either.
   29. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5986136)
Edwin Jackson can never retire, only the actors that play him.


So Edwin Jackson is like the Dread Pirate Roberts?
   30. Busted Flush Posted: October 28, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5986146)
So Edwin Jackson is like the Dread Pirate Roberts?


I think masks are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 28, 2020 at 01:18 PM (#5986157)
Looking it up, Jackson didn't pitch in 2020 after being released by Arizona in May. I'd be surprised if he ever appears again, unless they recast him with Walker Buehler or something.
   32. Zach Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5986221)
No asterisks for me. Everybody knew going in that this was going to be a super hard year and we just had to make the best of it or do without.

And all things considered, they did a pretty good job. We didn't see teams with so many missing players that the competitive integrity of the game would be compromised. We saw two good teams in the World Series, and the better team won for normal baseball reasons.

The ghost runner rule and the neutral site World Series should not survive the year, but I'm happy calling this a real season and a real championship. The gigantic asterisk of "Yeah, but COVID" is so obvious that no further distinctions need to be made.
   33. Jay Seaver Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5986224)
I must admit, I did have to laugh a bit when Fox was running images of the Dodgers alongside all the other teams that had gone a long time without a title, because in my mind, 32 years without a title in a 30-team league (which, admittedly, was a 26-team league in 1988) isn't so much a "drought" as "roughly fair".
   34. Zach Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5986228)
I think it will end up getting treated like the war years: sure the best players were gone, and nobody had any catchers, and the games were played at odd times, and etcetera etcetera. But the games themselves were legitimate, so the stats should be contextualized but not ignored.
   35. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5986239)
There weren't even any weird statistical outliers this year. Nobody batted .400, etc.

The only thing that looks unique to me is Max Fried going 7-0.
   36. bunyon Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5986240)
Division championships from the season are asterisked. But teams like the Rays and Dodgers were clearly going to be in the playoffs. Once there, there were no ghost runners or 7 inning games. An extra round to get through. Nothing cheap about the championship at all.
   37. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: October 28, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5986257)
Also, good for Clayton Kershaw, I don't know how you can't be happy for him.
Oh I'm sure someone invested in the "Kershaw's a choker" narrative will come along and explain how eventually.
   38. BillWallace Posted: October 28, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5986318)
I think it will end up getting treated like the war years: sure the best players were gone,


They were? Who?

It just makes no sense outside of sour grapes. I would love to see, given the preseason projections of the Dodgers and the actual results over 60 games, what the Dodgers playoff % chance is if the season had another 102 games... under the 16 team playoff rules it would damn close to 100%, but even with the standard playoff rules it would have to be 95%+, they were just clearly a great team that played well.

And as previously mentioned the playoffs were even harder with the extra round, and the baseball itself was high quality.

For me this is as legit as any other championship.
   39. Rally Posted: October 29, 2020 at 08:20 AM (#5986383)
There weren't even any weird statistical outliers this year. Nobody batted .400, etc.


Arozarena looked like a small sample size fluke, hitting 7 homers in 64 AB, slugging .641.

But he overcame that slow start (probably COVID-19 related) and slugged .831 in 77 playoff AB.
   40. Rally Posted: October 29, 2020 at 08:26 AM (#5986384)
We did have 3 starters with sub 2 ERAs, led by Bieber at 1.63. The ERA+ for Bieber and Bauer are 3rd and 5th best all-time, joining Pedro, a deadball pitcher, and an 1800s pitcher in the top 5. I think those are outliers.
   41. Rally Posted: October 29, 2020 at 08:29 AM (#5986385)
I think it will end up getting treated like the war years: sure the best players were gone, and nobody had any catchers


That would explain the historic spike in passed balls.
   42. BDC Posted: October 29, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5986427)
I guess one way to look at the Dodgers' greatness is to ask how many champions have a 43-17 regular-season run at some point. Those can't be vanishingly rare. The 2018 Red Sox went 44-16 over one 60-game stretch. Of course they did have one of the greatest regular seasons ever. The 2019 Nationals had way fewer wins, and I think their best 60-game stretch was "only" 40-20.

Though maybe the better comparison is to teams that went 43-17 in their final 60 games, and those would be a lot harder to find.
   43. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5986435)
It's really a shame we didn't get to see the Dodgers over 162. I mean, there can't be an answer to how great they were given the vastly different season. But they look like they could have been an all time great team.
   44. BDC Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5986453)
The 2017 Astros went 42-18 to start the season, I think their best 60-game stretch. The 2016 Cubs had at least 42-18, including the stretch from their 101st game through their 160th, close enough to the 2020 Dodgers on both counts (W% and placement in the season). The 2009 Yankees reached at least 42-18 in at least a couple of somewhat-separated (maybe slightly overlapping) runs, one of which included their 158th game ... and so it goes.
   45. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5986457)
I think it will end up getting treated like the war years: sure the best players were gone,

They were? Who?


Change that to "a few of the best players were gone"

Mike Leake
David Price
Yoenis Cespedes
Buster Posey
Michael Kopech
Marcus Stroman
Lorenzo Cain
   46. Srul Itza Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5986458)
I am surprised most people do not jump to the 1984 Tigers, who started 35-5, and went to 44-16 on their way to a 104 win season.

Oh, and the first comment was a wee bit tongue-in-cheek, just to get the ball rolling.
   47. TomH Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5986461)
most years since making playoffs
Seattle 19
Chicago AL 12
Philly 9
Cincinati 7
   48. TomH Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5986462)
most years since being league champ (pennant)
Seattle /never since 1977
Pittsburgh 41
Milwaukee 38
Baltimore 37
Oakland 30
Cincinnati 30
Minnesota 29
Toronto 25
   49. TomH Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5986463)
never have won it all
(AL) : Texas, Tampa, Seattle
(NL) : Colorado, San Diego, Milwaukee
   50. TomH Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5986464)
most years since winning it all
Cleveland 72
Pittsburgh 41
Baltimore 37
Detroit 36
New York (NL) 34
Oakland 31
   51. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5986465)
most years since making playoffs
Seattle 19
Chicago AL 12
Philly 9
Cincinati 7


The Reds, quite historically I might add, played in the 2020 playoffs. 0 runs scored in 22 innings played over 2 games counts as historic, right?
   52. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 29, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5986466)
I am surprised most people do not jump to the 1984 Tigers, who started 35-5, and went to 44-16 on their way to a 104 win season.

Oh, and the first comment was a wee bit tongue-in-cheek, just to get the ball rolling.


The 1975 Reds were 20-20, then 50 games later were 61-29 at the All-Star Break. They slacked the first 10 games after the Break, going 4-6. So, a 45-15 60 game stretch. Then 18-4 in their next 22 for a 63-19 stretch. .768 for half a season. Not too bad.
   53. Rally Posted: October 29, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5986472)
most years since being league champ (pennant)
Seattle /never since 1977
Pittsburgh 41
Milwaukee 38
Baltimore 37
Oakland 30
Cincinnati 30
Minnesota 29
Toronto 25


Should be 27 for Toronto - Joe Carter hit that homer in 1993.
   54. puck Posted: October 29, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5986620)
There weren't even any weird statistical outliers this year. Nobody batted .400, etc.

Remember Charlie Blackmon? Finished at .303. But he was nominated for a gold glove, which is weird in an unexciting way.
   55. BillWallace Posted: October 29, 2020 at 10:20 PM (#5986622)
You can't give them historically great because they didn't do it over 162. If you're going to asterisk anything, it's their win%. Maybe they would have won 110, who knows? Maybe only 97. Either way they're deserving champs.

That list of missing good players is what, 10-12 WAR total? That's nothing.
   56. Zach Posted: October 30, 2020 at 06:40 PM (#5986738)
I think it will end up getting treated like the war years: sure the best players were gone,

They were? Who?


During WWII? Lots.
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 30, 2020 at 08:24 PM (#5986746)
As far as asterisks go, this World Series (and whole season) is certainly worth every bit of 1/3 of a normal season.

I'd put an asterisk on the entire season, but I'm not sure how the Dodgers can be held responsible for that. They didn't cause Covid and they didn't make the rules.

And it's ludicrous to suggest that, for a franchise that has had so many great teams, this team that played a 60-game season is the greatest. No way. It's like they won the League Cup and are declared champions of Europe, to use a soccer comparison.

That's silly. The Dodgers have only won seven championships, and the first six had major flaws / lineup gaps that this one doesn't. I don't think there's much question that this was the best team in franchise history. No way over the course of a 162 game season they wouldn't have finished ahead of their closest competitors, from 1953, 1955, 1963 and 2017. Much better OPS+ and ERA+ than any of those teams, and a much deeper and more balanced roster. I just hope that they'll all be around next year for a rematch with a Yankees team that isn't missing Judge and Stanton and 40% of its starting rotation. That team would've made for a much closer World Series.
   58. baxter Posted: October 30, 2020 at 10:54 PM (#5986760)
It is a very interesting team to watch because of the players' versatility. Seeing them move around the infield and outfield makes for a more interesting game (not just the shifts, but that say Taylor will play 2b/Rf, for example, in the same game).

   59. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 30, 2020 at 11:34 PM (#5986761)
I've been watching baseball for a lot longer (69 years) than most of you have been alive, and the more I watch, the more I'm convinced that in terms of sheer talent,** the majority of truly great teams over the past 120 years have come since the mid-1990's. The 2020 Dodgers are only the latest of them.

Now if only they could figure out a way to put more balls in play.....

** Meaning observable skill sets. Many of the players I saw in the 1950's and 1960's would have a hard time getting onto a roster today, even with multiple stages of expansion.

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