Almanac Baseball: Yeah Dodgers Just Won the World Series


In recent years we have seen some quite magical World Series. The Nationals herculean effort last year was a fitting follow up to the mighty Red Sox winning in 2018. The Astros broke through for their first Commissioners Trophy in 2017 and that great drought breaker by the Cubs the year before was simply astounding and uplifting. Not only were all of those four series great to watch, they also had a common thread – each side had beaten the Dodgers on the way to their crowns.


At the start of this series, I was hoping the Rays would make it five in a row. As it is for many footy fans to have a double dose of enmity towards Collingwood and Carlton, so too with the Yankees and the Dodgers. Many fans view them as soulless businesses rather than repositories of joie de vivre we see in so many other teams.


So rather than be a curmudgeon, I will take this opportunity to congratulate the Dodgers on their first rings in 32 years. I will not, however, detail the way in which they got to the top of the mountain. I’ll leave that to others.


I just want to talk about Mookie Betts.


Mookie was a key part of the Red Sox team in that wondrous season just two short years ago. Last year was less than wondrous at Fenway. With the tumult of losing their manager, Alex Cora, the Boston behemoth lost its way spectacularly. The biggest news for the club, and in all of baseball, was a trade that saw Betts make his way to the City of Angels.


In a shortened season of just 60 games, as opposed to 162 normally, it was clear that Mookie was bringing a spark to the Dodgers. They entered the postseason with a spring in their step. Their roster looked a lot like it did in the preceding four years of thwarted ambition but having Mookie at the top of the order gave them a more menacing, more potent look.


And so it came to pass.


The batting numbers Mookie accumulated in the postseason were mediocre. He was never really in serious consideration for any MVP awards. His fielding was stellar, though, and that had many observers suggest his worth to the team was in line with his reputation.


In the series winning Game 6 just completed, the Mookie mystique was on display. The Rays got on the board early through the 10th postseason home run for Randy Arozarena. That shot put him in rarefied air as he became the first hitter in the history of Major League Baseball to post double digits in the business end. The Dodgers MVP, Corey Seager, also moved into equal 2nd spot with eight ding dongs this postseason but Randy’s performance was phenomenal as the kid is still a rookie!


Behind some superlative pitching by Blake Snell, the Dodgers were held at bay until he was controversially relieved in the 6th inning. A wild pitch brought one home and then Mookie scampered home on a forceout giving the Dodgers a one run lead. It seemed that might be enough, but Mookie wasn’t done.


In his last at-bat in the 8th, Mookie had two strikes from two fastballs. The next pitch was a slider. He saw his opportunity and he swung low and hard and sent that sucker over the centre field fence. He’d be damned if his team was going to win the World Series without a proper run batted in. If a job’s worth doing, do it yourself.


In 1918, the Red Sox won a World Series that would be their last for the next 86 years. They traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees the following year and the ignominy of seeing the Evil Empire become the most successful team in the MLB was a very bitter pill to swallow.


Exactly a century later, the Red Sox won their fourth title since lifting the Curse of the Bambino. They traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers the following year. If this presages an era of domination by the Dodgers that pill may have to be a sleeping tablet. Seeing those show ponies join their east coast cousins in lauding it over everyone else would be tough my friends, very tough indeed.




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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.


  1. John Butler says


    Re The Dodgers, I presume you are familiar with Ry Cooder’s album Chavez Ravine?

    Also, I read that Dodgers infielder Justin Turner was subbed out mid game after he tested positive to Covid! Have the players been in some sort of hub? You really wonder what is going on over there.

  2. george smith says

    As the Brooklyn Dodgers they were the home of Jackie Robinson, the first Afro American player in Major League Baseball. They were relocated to Los Angeles in 1958, which makes them the Fitzroy of MLB, though not nearly as sanctimonious…

  3. As a Blue Jays fan I desperately wanted the Rays to win, alas having said that, it pains me to write this but having Clayton Kershaw in your line up was going to eventually tell – even if his post season numbers are not as good as they should be for such a gun.

    I m glad that Tommy Lasorda can smile some more – the nicest guy in Baseball I got to meet him when he was managing the USA Olympic team in Sydney during Batting practice before taking on the Aussies.

  4. I’m a big fan of Mookie Betts, Dodgers outstanding right fielder. Over the series Mookie held some fantastic catches, he’s very fast on his feet. He’s very good at sealing bases as he proved when stealing home in game 6. Then, of course, he can bat. Two homers in the series. I admit to being fond of the Rays also and was most pleased that the Yankies missed out again this year.

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