Filed under Columns, Opinions

Los Angeles Dodgers have the potential to win the World Series

The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine” and Def Leppard’s “Love Bites” were on top of the music charts.

Although it’s been 25 years since they beat the Oakland Athletics to claim the 1988 World Series title, the likelihood of the Dodgers winning the World Series this year is increasing more and more as each day passes on.

Led by starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and shortstop Hanley Ramirez, the 2013 Dodgers are Major League Baseball’s hottest team.  Since June 22, the Dodgers have shocked critics by winning 84 percent of their games.

With a near-perfect starting pitching staff and three of the league’s best hitters, the Dodgers have positioned themselves as the front-runner in the National League West division.

In order to understand why the Dodgers have been so successful in the past two months, it’s important to understand how a team works.

Think of a baseball team like a human body. In order for the body, or team, to function properly, all of its parts must contribute equally.

Before June 22, the Dodgers were one of the most incomplete teams in baseball. With a record of 30-42, the Dodgers suffered from unreliable pitching, unreliable hitting and low self-esteem.

When one part of the team excelled, another part fell behind. Inconsistency was the Dodgers’ main hindrance to winning games.

After calling up outfielder Yasiel Puig from the minor leagues, the Dodgers found a new lease on life. Instead of having intermittent success, the Dodgers learned to work more cohesively.

Images of pitchers chatting with batters in the dugout were the result of increased morale in the clubhouse.

For the first time all year, Dodgers hitters and pitchers worked together to achieve the team’s main goal to win their division.

Another benefit of increased morale was the easing of calls on upper management to fire manager Don Mattingly.

As the team won more and more games, Mattingly became increasingly affable and comfortable as manager.

Although the Dodgers may be the favorite to win the National League division, it’s apparent to some fans that a few minor changes must be made to ensure the team’s postseason success.

Pitchers Chris Capuano and Brandon League are the team’s two biggest points of concern.

While the rest of the team has matured, Capuano and League have continued to struggle.

In order for the team to make the postseason and remain a frontrunner, both pitchers must become more mature and reliable.

If their struggles continue, the Dodgers may miss out on their chances to make history.

Regardless of what happens in the postseason, the Dodgers have restored pride in a team that has disappointed its fans in recent years.

With some of the league’s most dynamic players and a recent change in ownership, the Dodgers have proven themselves as the city’s most beloved team.

It could be worse, as the city’s other team — the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — has undergone one of the biggest let-downs in recent baseball history.

Shane Newell is a junior journalism major and the opinions editor of the Daily 49er.

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