It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.
Been a long time.
The Dodgers pushed Joe Maddon and his defending world champion Chicago Cubs to the brink Tuesday night, beating them up for 3-0 lead in the NLCS. The Dodgers are a win away from the Series. And the Cubs are a loss way from not having won a world championship since 2016. Imagine that.
I wonder if Joe Ma is going to bring a snake charmer or rainmaker to the Wrigley Field clubhouse on Tuesday. It probably won’t matter. Only the 2004 Red Sox have come from 0-3 down to win a baseball postseason series. You know who started that comeback. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who started the comeback with a walk, steal and run in Game 4. The guy knows all the tricks.
The Dodgers looked like the best team in baseball for a good portion of this season, then fell apart. Only these Dodgers could snap an 11-game losing streak and clinch a playoff spot in the process. Now they look like the best again.
It’s time for the Dodgers in the Series. It’s time for Clayton Kershaw greatness in a Series. It’s time for Kenley Jansen’s arm and Cody Bellinger’s bat and Justin Turner’s beard in a Series. It’s time for those classic Dodgers home uniforms back in a Series. We need the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance in a Series. We need Kirk Gibson replays in a Series. We need Jackie Robinson memories in a Series. Now if we could only get Vin Scully back in the broadcast booth …
Maybe Rays fans get doubled up. Maddon won the Series without the Rays last season, and maybe former Rays GM Andrew Friedman, who might be posed for his Theo Epstein Master Builder moment, will do the same. Rays fans can only watch. What fun.
Dodger dogs are overrated. These Dodgers aren’t. They have yet to lose in the postseason. 6-0 I don’t see the Cubs winning four off them. I don’t see the Astros or Yankees winning four off them, either, though the Astros are great fun and likable and, lo and behold, the Baby Bombers are, too.
The last time the Dodgers swept a four-game playoff series was 1963, when Sandy Koufax overpowered the Yankees in the World Series.
Sandy Koufax. Kirk Gibson. It has been a while.
Nothing is certain. Dodgers history teaches that. All those Series losses before they ever won it all. And Gibson’s homer propelled the Dodgers to a mammoth Series upset over the heavily-favored A’s.
No crying from Cubs fans, please, if the Dodgers close them out. You have your championship.
The Dodgers want theirs. Clearly.