By Ben Ramirez
The 2018 Major League Baseball preseason began with Los Angeles Dodgers fans feeling angry that their team came up just short of defeating the Houston Astros in seven games in the 2017 World Series. We were confident, however, that the Boys in Blue would remain at the top of the heap in the National League (NL) and return to the Fall Classic.
Then the flu hit the clubhouse at the Dodgers’ spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona, going through more than two dozen players. Then all star third baseman Justin Turner broke his hand after being hit by a pitch during the last week of Spring Training. Then during the exhibition series against the Angels, a sewage mane broke, releasing waste into left field just past the Dodgers’ dugout.
That was all before the season even started.
Now well over a month into the MLB season, the Dodgers have had a mediocre Murphy’s Law type start to the year. They are 15-20, and second to last place in the NL West. What ever could have gone wrong went wrong.
After posting relative sub-par numbers in his first handful of starts, ace and face of the franchise Clayton Kershaw was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder issue. The team’s best pitcher in 2018, Hyun Jin Ryu, is going to be on the disabled list through July at the earliest. Young superstar shortstop Corey Seager is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. Closer Kenley Jansen has been dismal at best. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Could it be a post-World Series lull? Sure. But the the past 10 seasons, every team that lost the World Series ended the following season with a winning record. A curse caused by the sewage on the field? Possibly. Baseball is a superstitious game after all, and since that night they have played similarly to what was released on the field.
Whatever the case may be, the team is not performing like a playoff team and while the vast majority of the season is still ahead of them, with each day and each loss, the chances of another miracle summer dwindles. There is still hope that as the Southern California summer nears the Dodgers will heat up as usual, but until or unless that happens, it is time to hit your big red panic buttons.