Thursday, December 8, 2022
Home SPORTS Dave Roberts hopes Dodgers fans can enjoy the ride

Dave Roberts hopes Dodgers fans can enjoy the ride

“Ask me in October.”

They are four words that define a culture, four words that turn blessings into curses, four words that lurk.

They have been repeated everywhere. They have been written in this space. You have heard? Can you feel them?

Ask a local what he thinks of this season’s Dodgers, those glorious Dodgers, the winningest team in franchise history, the authors of possibly the most amazing summer ever witnessed in Chavez Ravine.

Ask a local what he thinks of 110 wins, best offense and defense in the game, Cy Young Award and MVP contenders, six months of unadulterated greatness.

Then listen to those four words.

“Ask me in October.”

This collective response from fans and commentators alike has made this fall for the Dodgers a boom-or-bust month.

If the Dodgers win the World Series, they could arguably be anointed the greatest team in baseball history.

If they don’t win the World Series, they could forever be known as one of the biggest disappointments in baseball history.

For many, there is no middle ground here. There is no way to get close. Bad luck cannot be claimed. There is no medal for trying.

As much as one may cling to the strange memory of the 2020 bubble shortened title, one remembers the crushing of the Atlanta Braves, the collapse against the Washington Nationals, the crater against the Boston Red Sox, the Astros trap from Houston, and everything. those punches from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Over the past decade, the Dodgers have won so much but ultimately failed so often, and it’s understandable why many have grown weary of it all.

Dodgers players watch from the sidelines during the ninth inning of their season-ending loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of last year’s NLCS.

(John Bazemore/Associated Press)

Stop talking about the trip. Stop insisting on the routine. Do you have the best record in baseball? Then act like it. Take home a full season championship. Do it finally. do it now

Yes, only six of the last 22 teams with the best record in baseball have won titles. The postseason is a crapshoot. The postseason is unfair. None of that matters here anymore. Be smarter than the game of dice. Being bigger than unfair.

Los Angeles has loved the Dodgers this season with the largest combined crowds in professional sports. It happens every summer, but if the Dodgers really want to know how many really feel about them.

“Ask me in October.”

The Dodgers understand this attitude. They signed up for it. They have the highest payroll in baseball. They play in a city of champions. This is how it works here. they get it

But perhaps some feel that it diminishes the past 10 years of unparalleled consistent excellence in the sport.

Only four teams in baseball history have won more games in a season. They are the first team in baseball history to finish three consecutive full seasons with at least 106 wins. This season’s run differential of 333 is the highest since the 1939 New York Yankees.

As of 2013, they are the winningest team in all of baseball. And remember, the last five times they were eliminated, it was by the eventual World Series champions.

Considering this is the longest sustained streak of success in franchise history, at least one Dodger is openly wondering, why can’t fans just enjoy the ride?

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed this sentiment Sunday morning during an impassioned discussion with reporters in the Dodger Stadium dugout.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts watches players warm up before a game against the Colorado Rockies.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts watches players warm up before a game against the Colorado Rockies in July.

(David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

“Fans are fans for a reason, they’ve never put on a major league uniform,” Roberts said. “We want to win a championship as much as they do. If not more, our jobs depend on it. We are in the routine every day since February 15, every day.”

Roberts separated fans into two groups, those who judge the team only in October and those who appreciate the entire summer.

“So there are fans, a subset that feels they don’t care until the postseason and the season is defined by that. That is their prerogative,” he said. “There’s another subset of fans that can appreciate what it takes to win, to have the season that we’re having and to understand that there are a lot of things that happen that play out in a postseason that are unpredictable … that subset that’s in this with us and really appreciate that this is a great team. And they are prepared to handle any outcome.”

This reporter asked Roberts if he ever wishes he could yearn for more unbridled regular-season cheer around Chavez Ravine like in Seattle last week when the Mariners made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.

“Yes, I do,” he said. “Unfortunately, the world has become very cynical, which is sad. … Are some fans, not all, jaded? Absolutely. other [they] They don’t realize what it takes, what this team, in particular, has had to overcome to get to this point.”

Roberts said he wished there was more pure happiness in the moment.

“The sense of gratitude and joy is often lost in our society, and certainly in sports, it is at the forefront,” he said, adding: “I would like them to definitely enjoy the ride and know and appreciate what we do, regardless of ultimately, if we are the last team standing”.

If the Dodgers don’t have that trophy, Roberts said he resigned himself to hearing the whistles no matter how many applause preceded them.

“If the Dodgers don’t win this season, there’s going to be a subset that feels like we’re drowning. We are not a good team. It was a lost season,” he said. “Never mind. That factual narrative isn’t going to change for some people. But then again, that’s just noise for our guys.”

Roberts actually fueled this buzz this spring on “The Dan Patrick Show” by securing a World Series win.

“We’re winning the World Series in 2022 … we’re winning the World Series this year, for the record,” Roberts said at the time.

He later modified his statement by saying, “We’re winning the World Series if our starting staff stays healthy.”

However, when asked by Patrick to reaffirm his guarantee, he did so, saying, “I’m going to expose it. I’m putting it out into the universe.”

Like it or not, fair or not, the Dodgers universe will have a ready answer when asked about the wisdom of Roberts’ guarantee.

“Ask me in October.”

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