How dynasties die: Dodgers tiptoe toward an abyss Braves fans know all too well

Asia's Tech News Daily

In a slightly different timeline, Clayton Kershaw would be gearing up to face the Atlanta Braves and fend off elimination in Thursday’s NLCS Game 5.

The bedrock of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ current, wildly successful era exited his last start of the season early with an elbow problem and is missing the playoffs for the first time in the Dodgers’ nine-year run as an October fixture.

His presence, so long taken for granted, could have dramatically altered the Dodgers’ now-teetering path. Sliding doors, the beats of a butterfly’s wings, it’s all impossible to untangle. But it feels less likely a team with Kershaw (and thus four trusted starting pitchers) would wake up Thursday in a 3-1 hole against an 88-win Braves team, their 106-win season riding on whether they can navigate a bullpen game to get the baton back to Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler.

The exercise is just as distressingly effective when applied to Max Muncy’s injured elbow. Or to Justin Turner’s stiff neck, or his slump or the hamstring injury that ended his postseason on Wednesday night.

Of course, in another entirely different timeline, the New York Mets put juuust enough distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East. Even after Ronald Acuña Jr.’s injury, Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos is dissuaded from attempting the trade deadline talent excavation that allowed Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall to shine in the October light — a raid of the bargain bin that now looks like a season-shifting tour de force.

The Dodgers are somehow in this timeline, though. The one where they dealt for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, still didn’t catch the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, finally managed to triumph over their rivals in an NLDS tug of war, and are still staring down a winter of questions and reassuring statements sagging with that all-too-familiar qualifier.

“Even though they didn’t win the World Series.”

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Chipper Jones absorbs the Braves’ loss to the Yankees in the 1996 World Series. The dominant team he spearheaded won the title in 1995, then never reached the summit again. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

A dynasty that won’t bloom

The difference between a team that is good enough to become a dynasty and a team that actually becomes one is often perilously little — sometimes nothing more than timing. 

Just ask Braves fans.

Step one of dynasty-building is regular season dominance. The Dodgers have that. Over the last 810 games — the equivalent of five normal regular seasons — Andrew Friedman’s fully operational Dodgers Death Star is 510-300. Since the expansion era began in 1961, only those late-90s Braves have put together a better stretch. You know the teams.

As it turns out, regular season dominance is also step one of building a crushing monument to what could have been.

This Dodgers golden era that began in 2013 and kicked into high gear with Friedman’s hire prior to 2015 was, until 2020, defined by its lack of consummation. Adding Mookie Betts and fully wielding their organizational superpowers, they ended that conversation by capturing their rings in the COVID-shortened season.

Bobby Cox’s NL East titans — built on the arms of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, the bat of Chipper Jones and the glove of Andruw Jones — mastered the regular season to a degree that even the current Dodgers core would have to envy, yet only managed one World Series triumph. That also came in a shortened season, the 1995 campaign that started late due to the strike. They are remembered fondly, but also wistfully.

The frustrating thing these two teams could likely sympathize over is that the only object of the game you can actively pursue is winning games. Find a way to win more than anyone else in MLB’s grueling 162-game regular season, the logic goes, and you’ll also be the team most prepared to win the dozen or so October games that can satisfy the actual cultural object of the game — winning the World Series.

The Dodgers had baseball’s second-best bullpen this season. They are more than capable of stifling the Braves in Game 5, handing the ball back to Scherzer and Buehler and breaking Atlanta’s heart for the second straight year. But there’s no illusion here.

The early 2010s Giants never won 95 games or made the playoffs in consecutive seasons. The 2000 Yankees won 87 games.

Teams that can claim dynasty status aren’t distinguished by any intrinsic superiority, but by a blend of timing and talent that conspires to emerge when the moment is ripe, when those dozen wins mean exponentially more.

Winning as much as they do in the regular season does not grant the Dodgers any special privilege in October. It just kicks up more dust when they fall.

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Clayton Kershaw is among several key Dodgers mainstays who will reach free agency at the end of the 2021 season. (Wally Skalij/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

How many more shots do Dodgers have?

On the other side of the ledge looms the nebulous threat of time and necessary change. 

Difference-making cogs who the Dodgers couldn’t offer a starter’s playing time (or wouldn’t offer a starter’s salary) are sprinkled around the league now. Pederson is hitting huge playoff home runs for their opposition in the NLCS, while Kiké Hernández is doing the same for the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

Chris Taylor — who walked off the wild-card game to keep the Dodgers in these playoffs — will be a free agent at season’s end, and perhaps the next useful complementary piece in L.A. who finds he can be a main attraction elsewhere.

On a larger scale, Kershaw will be a free agent. The team has said he won’t require elbow surgery, but the injury interruptions and setbacks have been coming faster lately.

Kenley Jansen, the closing bookend to Kershaw’s Hall of Fame starter, is also set to reach free agency again. Both have been there before, only to re-sign with the Dodgers, but there are no guarantees.

Corey Seager, the shortstop who has so often lifted playoff hopes with a bat that runs hot in October, is also set to hit a drooling shortstop market with a readymade replacement already on the team in Trea Turner.

The beauty of Friedman’s Dodgers has been their ability to regenerate new, often better, versions of crucial parts lost to free agency or injury or trade. There are just no guarantees that the same track will roll on beyond this season. And for this historically excellent Dodgers group that, by all of the measures we would use to decide such things, deserves to go down as one of the best teams ever built, that means there are no guarantees beyond Thursday night.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Partnership to launch software coding education programs in GCC

© Provided by Khaleej Times Sheikha A. Almheiri, Chairwoman, Newage Learning. — Supplied photo Newage Learning and infoShare Academy are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic partnership, ... Read more »

Online loan fraud: Beware of illegal apps offering loans - Know ways to avoid being scammed

© Provided by DNA The risk of becoming a victim of online fraud has grown during the Coronavirus-induced lockdowns. According to a new analysis by the Reserve Bank of India, ... Read more »

Luke Ronchi: 'Pitch holding up better than expected'

In a studio show on Star Sports, commentator Simon Doull said he hadn’t heard umpire Virender Sharma prompt Will Young that ten seconds had elapsed since he had been given ... Read more »

Congress not our electoral ally: TMC to skip opposition meet ahead of Winter Session

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The already strained relationship between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) got another dimension on Sunday when the party announced that they ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron: BCCI closely monitoring India A's South Africa tour

With anxiety mounting over the spread of new Covid-19 variant Omicron in South Africa and travel restrictions being imposed by many countries, the India A team’s ongoing tour of the ... Read more »

MECON Recruitment 2021: Apply For Various Managerial Posts on meconlimited.co.in Before Dec 25

© Manmath Nayak | India.com Education Desk MECON Recruitment 2021 MECON Recruitment 2021: MECON Limited has invited online applications from eligible candidates to apply for several posts including Assistant manager, ... Read more »

Fact Check: Are these UPTET aspirants sleeping in the open on a cold night?

Uttar Pradesh is in the news once again as the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) was cancelled on Sunday due to an alleged paper leak, which set off a political blame ... Read more »

7 things we already know about the new Covid-19 variant

© Provided by Cape Times With the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant by South African scientists, which has caused mass panic around the globe leading to several countries imposing ... Read more »

Closing the country for strict Covid-19 fourth wave lockdown will 'finish us', say KZN performing artists

© Provided by Mercury DURBAN – Fears and speculation of a strict lockdown and imminent closure of the country, as a result of the Covid-19 fourth wave, is creeping in ... Read more »

Sir Frank Williams dead: Former Williams F1 chief and founder dies aged 79

Sir Frank Williams, the founder and former chief of Williams F1, has died, aged 79. Williams was admitted to hospital on Friday and passed away on Sunday morning. In a ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing: Giovanni Pernice denies rumours he is dating Made in Chelsea's Verity Bowditch

© Provided by The Independent Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice has addressed the rumours that he is dating Made in Chelsea star Verity Bowditch. Yesterday (27 November), The Sun cited ... Read more »

Game of Thrones actor dead at 21 – Animal star Bart the Bear II who also appeared in Dr Dolittle 2 dies in Utah

ANIMAL actor Bart the Bear II, who appeared in Game of Thrones and Dr Dolittle 2, passed away at age 21. Bart, who acquired quite a long list of acting ... Read more »

Hanukkah 2021: Celebrating the holiday after a year of adversity

Celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is a bright spot for Jewish people after nearly two years of living in a pandemic. Over 5.1 million people have died worldwide from ... Read more »

Zürcher nach Südafrika-Ferien positiv getestet: «Ich habe vielleicht Omikron, aber es interessiert niemanden»

Ein Zürcher, der aus Südafrika zurückgekehrt und positiv getestet worden ist, macht den Behörden Vorwürfe. Gegenüber Blick sagt er, dass die neue Corona-Variante Omikron kein Thema gewesen sei, obwohl er ... Read more »

Roger Schawinski gibt sein TV-Comeback

© SRF Roger Schawinski ist bald wieder am Bildschirm zu sehen. Sein Abschied vor der Kamera schien endgültig, als seine Talk-Sendung «Schawinski» beim SRF aus dem Programm gestrichen wurde. Doch ... Read more »

Punjab CM Channi wants to pursue PhD in Mahabharata, says will set up research centre on Hindu epics

© Provided by Zee News Khati: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Sunday said he will learn Sanskrit and do a doctorate on the Mahabharata as he announced to ... Read more »

Union minister slams MVA govt, calls Thackeray ‘absentee CM'

© Provided by Hindustan Times Union minister Prakash Javadekar (PTI Photo) Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday claimed that people call the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in ... Read more »

Two Omicron variant cases detected in Britain

He was informed of the two cases, one in Chelmsford and one in Nottingham, late on Friday (November 26) night, Javid said in a broadcast clip. The two individuals and ... Read more »

Exclusive: Millie Court on acne journey, Love Island gossip and eyelash tips

Gorgeous Love Island winner Millie Court was always our favourite on the show and gave us so much fashion and beauty inspiration. From her bold outfits to her incredible earrings ... Read more »

Teen worker at Brooklyn bodega shot in head, critically hurt

A teen worker at a Brooklyn bodega is clinging to life after being shot in the head on the job, police said Sunday. The 18-year-old victim was working at M&M ... Read more »

Will COVID-19 vaccines work against Omicron variant? Here's what AIIMS chief has to say

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, reportedly has over 30 mutations in the spike protein region and has the potential to resist ... Read more »

People of Tripura gave clear message: PM Modi on BJP's win in local body polls

© Provided by Hindustan Times BJP supporters burn firecrackers outside a counting centre during the Tripura Municipal Corporation Election in Agartala on Sunday. (ANI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday ... Read more »

Most people think society doesn't pay enough attention to older people

Most Americans think society today pays too little attention to the thoughts and opinions of older generations. Americans of all ages think so, though younger people tend to be less ... Read more »

Poll: Lifestyle main factor in determining longevity, Americans say

Lifestyle tops the list as the most important factor when determining how long a person will live, according to a recent CBS News poll. A person’s lifestyle comes out far ... Read more »

Peter Wright responds to Adrian Lewis 'cheat' comment after duo pulled apart by security

Peter Wright has said he’s ‘not bothered’ about being branded a cheat by fellow professional Adrian Lewis. The two rivals played out a tight battle in Minehead on Saturday, with ... Read more »

Sir Frank Williams dead: Former Williams F1 owner dies aged 79

Sir Frank Williams CBE, the founder and former team principal of Williams Racing, has died at the age of 79. On behalf of the Formula One legend’s family, Williams Racing ... Read more »

Lindsay Lohan announces she's engaged on Instagram

"My love. My life. My family. My future," Lohan wrote on Instagram. Read more »

I'm A Celeb's Richard Madeley reveals he almost died during childhood tuberculosis battle

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Richard Madeley has revealed he thought he would die after getting struck down by tuberculosis as a child. The Good Morning ... Read more »

Is monotasking the new multitasking?

© C.J. Burton Switching constantly between tasks can lead to burnout, according to research. Photo: Getty Shruti Verma, 45, couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but she felt a ... Read more »

Kalah dengan satu undi, cadangan babitkan wakil rakyat pembangkang dalam JTPD ditolak

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Johor Suhaizan Kaiat, memaklumkan seramai 28 Ahli DUN tidak bersetuju, manakala 27 ADUN bersetuju setelah undian secara rahsia dijalankan selama ... Read more »

Moderna says it might release a modified COVID-19 vaccine for the Omicron variant by early 2022

© Rick Bowmer/AP Photo A vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Rick Bowmer/AP Photo Moderna’s chief medical officer said the company could release an updated vaccine by early 2022. News of ... Read more »

New Covid variant shuts borders across the globe

© Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP Israel announced some of the strictest curbs, closing the borders to all foreigners — just four weeks after reopening to tourists following a prolonged closure ... Read more »

Legendary F1 team boss Sir Frank Williams dies aged 79

© Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images Frank Williams, Williams Team Owner Williams was admitted to hospital on Friday, according to a statement issued by the team, and died peacefully on ... Read more »

5 things to know on November 28, 2021: Shooting, smash-and-grab, Maxwell, storms, music awards

Hundreds of thousands of US students are dreading turning 21 because it means they’ll be living in limbo and scrambling to find ways to stay in the country they love. ... Read more »

Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack

The Associated PressFILE – In this May 20, 2016, file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the “Empire” FYC Event in Los Angeles. Smollett is going on trial this ... Read more »

Morocco halts all incoming air travel from around the world because of rapid spread of new omicron variant

PARIS — Morocco halts all incoming air travel from around the world because of rapid spread of new omicron variant. Read more »

Sir Frank Williams dead aged 79: Formula 1 legend passes away after lengthy battle with illness as tributes flood in

FORMULA ONE legend and former team owner Sir Frank Williams has sadly passed away aged 79 following a battle with illness. The racing icon, who founded Williams in 1977 before ... Read more »

TFT Oceania Arcanist Cup: Standings, scores, and schedule

© Provided by Dot Esports Oceania’s best Teamfight Tactics players are battling it out in the Arcanist Cup for a chance to represent their region at the Teamfight Tactics Gizmos ... Read more »

Deregulierung der Finanzindustrie: Neue Freiheiten für die Skandal-Branche

Bundesbern will neue Fonds erlauben, die von der Finanzmarktaufsicht nicht beaufsichtigt werden. Welche Folgen das in Zukunft haben wird, ist kaum absehbar. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Neue Freiheiten für die ... Read more »

Iran nuclear talks to resume with world powers after five-month hiatus

Photograph: Fernando Alvarado/EPA Expectations of salvaging 2015 deal low amid fears Iran is covertly boosting nuclear programme Talks between world powers and Iran on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal will ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic