Tag Archives: World Series

Moments After Moments…1988…What This World Series Means To Me

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For the first time since 1988, we can all finally say it…

“WE’RE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES” !!!

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers pose after defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leading Off…Game 1…Gibson Makes An Appearance

Oh yeah, Debbie Gibson with the national anthem. Thank you Debbie for not making the anthem a 5 minute affair. Something magical about Gibson and Game 1 of the 1988 World Series…

It’s been 29 years since we’ve seen our Boys In Blue in the big dance. They will be facing off against an old NL West foe, the Houston Astros…

1988…A Special Time for L.A. Sports Fans

Aside from the magical season from the Boys in Blue, 4 months prior, L.A. celebrated another championship…

Other happenings from 1988…

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1988 would mark the last year of the Reagan administration

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the box office topper…

Bobby McFerrin’s words to us…” Dont Worry, Be Happy”

Drei’s Favorite 5 Moments Since ’88

In the 29 years that we’ve waited, there have been lots of moments after moments, both joyful and heartbreaking. My 5 favorites that I witnessed at The Ravine, since ’88…

5. Back to Back NL West Titles

The 2nd of 5 consecutive division titles would be clinched against the hated ones. Though a magical night, it would be the hated one’s with the last laugh in October…

4. ’08 NLDS Clincher Against the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, baseball’s best regular season team in 2008 with 97 wins, entered the NLDS as heavy favorites over The Blue. The Blue would not only knock off the Cubbies, they would sweep them in 3 straight en route to their first NLCS appearance in 20 years

3. 100 Wins and Not a Wild Scene in The Bay

In the final season of the pre Wild Card era when only division champions went to the playoffs, the 103 win San Francisco Giants needed to win on the regular season’s final game to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West. The Blue, having had their party ruined in 1951, 1962, 1982 and 1991 by the hated ones, we’re more than glad to return the favor. For the Giants, in Barry Bonds first season in the dreaded Halloween colors, 103 Wins and Not a Wild Scene In The Bay

2. 2009 NLDS, Game 2, A Happy Holliday at Chavez Ravine

Down to their last out and having the series tied at one, James Loney would hit a fly ball to Matt Holliday in what appeared to be the final out of the game. 

Holliday’s error would prolong the inning, and 2 batters later, Ronnie Belliard would tie the game with an RBI single. After a walk to Russel Martin to load the bases, Mark Loretta would come off the bench and deliver…

Loretta’s game winner would send the Dodgers up 2-0 to St. Louis. The Dodgers would complete the sweep 2 nights later en route to an NLCS rematch with the Phillies.

1. Wherever It Lands…The Finley Slam, October 2, 2004

Down 3-0 heading to the home 9th, the Jints we’re 3 outs away from cutting the NL West deficit to a single game heading to the regular season finale. The Jints ( Yes I said it…) bp would implode, and after tying the game at 3, Steve Finley, acquired in late July in a 3 team trade that sent Paul Lo Duca to the Marlins, would step up to the plate…

Finley’s walk-off slam would give the Blue the 2004 NL West title. It would be their first division flag since 1995 and their first post-season appearance since ’96. The Blue would make 8 other post season appearances since, finally leading to the 2017 World Series !!!

What This World Series Means For Me ?

I’ve done this blog for 12 seasons. I’ve gone to countless games both at home and on the road, experienced many a thrill and many a heartbreak. For those of you who we’re around in ’88 you couldn’t have imagined the next time The Blue would be in the World Series you would be long past your undergrad years, have some salt on top assuming you aint got a dome, be into our 6th different administration, one that seems to do a good job of dividing this country…

In spite of our differences, after 29 years of waiting and many a new generation of Dodgers fans, our Boys in Blue are FINALLY back ! They’ve united a city like I haven’t seen united in quite some time. Yes, we’ve had the Lakers bring us 5 titles during the Shaq-Kobe era and the Kings have brought us a couple of Stanley Cups. But there’s just something about The Blue, a team with a deep rich history, that makes the wait all the more special. 

As for me, in 1988, I was a freshman in San Gabriel High School. I’m sure many of you have been recalling where you we’re in ’88 and the events that we’re happening in the world, in pop culture, or even in your personal life. The passage of time does that to us. Especially when we look back upon a time that brought us plenty of joy, often times making us yearn for nostalgia. 

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Me and my little bro, Daniel. I was 14, he was 3 in ’88. One of my memories of Game One was watching with him and my dad in our living room, listening to our dad read 101 Dalmations during the game. “C’mon dad ! It’s the World Series !!!” 

For the lil’ bro, this World Series is one he and plenty of Dodgers fans born in the mid 80s and after can actually enjoy, rather than saying they won one in their lifetime…

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For me, I’ve experienced two in my lifetime, ’81 as a 7 year old kid still learning baseball and being taught by my uncles to hate Reggie Jackson and the Yankees. The Yankees would be the first team I would be taught to hate. ’88 I experienced as an early teen, viewing our chances of winning the World Series, as good ol’ Vin would say, ” Viewing it with our hearts…” Because really, if not for being a naive teenage Dodger fan, if I saw it from a realistic and objective viewpoint, there really could have been no way we stood a chance against the A’s and their Bash Brothers duo of Jose Conseco and Mark McGuire. 

But it was just that, HEART. The ’88 Dodgers had plenty of it….

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As I write this on the eve of Game 1, words just can’t really express what this means to me. Over the years I often said The Blue will get there before I turn 50. As I said earlier, I’ve enjoyed 2 World Series titles, one as a kid, one as a teen, now as an adult less than 7 years from mid-life and 29 white hairs later (OK, more than 29, but who’s counting?)

This is just a small sampling of memories form ’88 on that I’d like to share. Fellow Dodgers fans, young and forever young, enjoy this moment. It’s been 29 years. We’re 4 wins away from coming completely full circle. LETS GO DODGERS !!!

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If Drei Can Go Back In Time to 1985…

BTTF Happy Back to the Future Day baseball fans ! By now you no doubt know that today is the day when all things predicted about the future are “supposed” to occur, such as the Cubs finally winning the World Series

BTTF_CUBS In the immortal voice of Harry Carey…” CUBS WIN ! CUBS WIN ! “

If Drei Can Go Back In Time…

wpid-fb_img_1445460659740.jpg GREAT SCOTT ! MY VERY OWN TIME TRAVEL DELOREAN !!!

wpid-picsart_10-21-02.49.13-1.jpg OK, not quite my very own time travel delorean… In sticking with today’s theme of time travel, we all have our moments when we would just like to go back in time and change the past. This is true for sports fans, especially baseball fans. Especially in this very month of October. Dodgers fans are no different. 

So if Drei could just hop on a time travel delorean right now and change just one dark October moment in Dodger history, what would it be ? Ironically enough, it would be October 16, 1985. Game 6 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Top 9th, Dodgers up 5-4, one out away from sending this to Game 7 and…” Hey Tommy, DO NOT PITCH TO JACK CLARK !!!!  I REPEAT !!! DO NOT PITCH TO…”

On a sidenote, who was on deck for the Cardinals ? Andy Van Slyke. Yup, the dad of future Dodger Scott Van Slyke…

RANCHO_SCOTT VAN SLYKE GREAT SCOTT !!! Hey Scott !!! I say let’s go back in time to that fateful day in October ’85 and advise Lasorda to walk Clark, and pitch to your dad !!! How ’bout that Scott ?

wpid-picsart_10-21-02.37.52.jpg So there’s my one dark Dodger moment in time that if given just one, I would change. Dodger fans…Baseball fans… If given the chance to go back in time and change one dark moment, what would it be ?

Will the Cubs win the World Series as in Back to the Future 2 ? It will be a difficult task for them at this point being one game away from elimination….

26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 2, 2000 and Beyond

 This is Part 2 of a post from last year originally titled 25 Years and Counting Since 1988, now retitled 26 Years…. , briefly recapping each season from 2000 all the way to this past year .  In the meantime, who would have imagined a World Series between Kansas City and the Giants .  Yeah, it hurts,  but the Giants earned their way in folks.  Want some other painful facts ?  This is now the Giants 5th World Series appearance since our last one , yup, 26 years ago in 1988….

 

Last we looked back upon the 90’s. The four Rookies of the Year winners, the transition from the O’Malley’s to the Fox ownership. Yeah, the 90’s weren’t exactly the most glorious times for our Boys in Blue we’re they ? Certainly the new millenium would see some brighter days.

Outside The Yard

Glory would indeed return for L.A. sports fans but not yet for the Dodgers as the Lakers would make it to the NBA Finals 7 times, winning in 5 of the 7 appearances, the first 3 with the Kobe-Shaq duo and the final 2 with the Kobe-Gasol tandem.

shaqkobetitles Shaq and Kobe, 2000-2002

kobeGasol_titles Kobe and Gasol, 2009 and 2010

Around the U.S. , George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore hold a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the President Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12. This ruling gave Florida to the Bush camp by a 527 vote majority, and a victory in the Electoral College, 271-266, despite gaining less popular votes than Gore. 8 years later, Barack Obama would make history, becoming the United States first ever African-American president.

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September 11, 2001 – A day we will all never forget…. Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack of two planes levels the World Trade Center and the crash of one plane inflicts serious damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, causing nearly 3,000 deaths. The fourth plane is heroically crashed by passengers into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania cornfield when they learn of the plot, preventing destruction of another structure in Washington, D.C., supposed to be the White House or the Capitol building. The plot is attributed to the Al-Qaeda organization led by Osama Bin Laden.

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And baseball has always been a great escape from the world’s realities

2000 86-76 2nd Place

Talented but surly outfielder Raul Mondesi would be traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for local star Shawn Green. . Eric Karros became the L.A. Dodger all-time leader with his 229th home run and Dave Hansen set a Major League record with seven pinch-hit home runs. Kevin Brown led the league in E.R.A. with 2.58 . All these accomplishments would lead to a 2nd place finish, 11 games behind the Giants. Davey Johnson would be fired as manager after only 2 seasons as skipper of The Boys in Blue.

2001 86-76 3rd Place

In Jim Tracy’s first season as the Dodgers manager, the Dodgers, in 1st place through much of the summer, would finish 6 games behind the eventual World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL West. Shawn Green would set an all-time Dodgers record by smashing 49 home runs.

shawngreen

2002 92-70 3rd Place

Shawn Green would hit 42 home runs, becoming the first L.A. Dodger to have back-to-back seasons of 40 or more, Four of those home runs came in one game, May 23 at Milwaukee, tying a Major League record. In that game, Green set a Major League mark for total bases (19). Eric Gagne, in his first season as a closer, would start his record setting save streak in late October that would last into the 2004 season while also setting a club mark with 52 saves. However, the Dodgers would miss out again on post-season play, finishing 7 games behind the defending World Champion DBacks and 3 back of the hated Giants for the NL Wild Card.

2003 85-77 2nd Place

The Dodgers would make another run for a postseason berth as the Wild Card team, but once again, they would fall short, winning 85 games, finishing a distant 16 games behind the Giants for the NL West and 6 games behind Wild Card winner and 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins, who had a huge contribution in Game 4 from some 20 year old rookie named Miguel Cabrera. Eric Gagne became the first Dodger to earn the NL Cy Young Award since 1988, converting all 55 of his save opportunities and entered 2004 with 63 consecutive saves over a two-year period. Gagne had a 1.20 ERA in 77 games and struck out 137 batters in 82.1 innings

t1_gagne Welcome To The Jungle

2004 93-69 1st Place, NL West Champions

Prior to the off-season, Frank and Jamie McCourt would purchase the Dodgers for $430 Million. The McCourts would own the Dodgers until the 2011 season ( I’ll keep my commentary to myself on this one…) . On the field the Dodgers were led offensively by Adrian Beltre, who won a Silver Slugger Award for leading the Major Leagues with 48 home runs. Eric Gagne won his second consecutive National League Rolaids Relief Man championship after establishing the all-time Major League record with 84 consecutive saves. The NL West would not be decided until the 2nd to final game of the season. With the Giants 2 games back with 2 to play against The Blue, they would enter the home 9th up 3-0. A win by the Giants, and they close to within 1 game of the NL West leading Dodgers heading to the final game of the season. After tying the game at 3, Steve Finley steps to the plate…

The Dodgers would win the NL West for the first time since 1995, leaving the hated Giants 2 games behind. The Dodgers would bow out to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, as Jose Lima would pitch a complete game shutout in Game 4, the first Dodgers post season win since winning it all in 1988.

2005 71-91 4th Place

The 2005 season started off promising as the Dodgers would storm out of the gate with a 12-2 start. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got as they w finished the 2005 season 71-91, their worst record since the 99-loss season of 1992, only 11 games out of the first place Padres, who won the division with a not-so impressive 82-20 mark. They finished in fourth place for the first time since 1993. The roster was decimated by 24 disabling injuries and the club used 20 rookies. After 4 seasons as the skipper, Jim Tracy would be fired, as well as GM Paul DePodesta, who took the brunt of the blame from the fans for his frugal ways of operation.

2006 88-74 1st Place Tie, Wild Card

After falling 8 games below .500 into late July, the Dodgers would finish on a torrid 41-19 mark, tied for first with the Padres for the NL West, earning themselves a wild-card berth. The highlight of the season would come in mid-September as the Blue, down 4 to the Padres heading to the home 9th, would belt 4 consecutive home runs, by Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson. After falling behind in the 10th, Nomar Garciaparra would end it all with a 2-run shot. The Dodgers would be swept in the NLDS by the New York Mets.

2007 82-80 4th Place

The Dodgers would have the best record in the National League through 100 games, but a late season swoon and some clubhouse dissension, much of it between old-school veteran Jeff Kent and up and coming not quite in his prime Matt Kemp, would leave the Dodgers 8 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Grady Little would be dismissed at Dodgers manager after 2 seasons, making way for former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

2008 84-78 1st Place

A late-season surge, aided by the acquisition of Red Sox castoff Manny Ramirez, unleashing the most amazing two months of offense the Dodgers have ever seen, hitting .396 down the stretch would lead the Dodgers to NL West title and their 3rd post-season appearance since 2004 with a modest 84-78 record. Chad Billingsley led the club with 16 wins while Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp established themselves as every-day outfielders and James Loney drove in 90 runs. The Dodgers would sweep the heavily favored Cubs in the NLDS ( They really are cursed, aren’t they ) before bowing out to the eventual World Champion Phillies in the NLCS in 5 games. The turning point would be Matt Stairs moster shot off Jonathan Broxton with 2 outs in the top 8th, giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead that they would not surrender. Cole Hammel’s and company would shut it down the next evening. With Broxton as our future closer and the heat he throws, you would want him on the hill should another big game be on the line, right ?

2009 95-67 1st Place

The 2009 season would not only be one of the more exciting season for the Dodgers , it would also be remembered for the 50-game suspension received by Manny Ramirez for violating the MLB drug agreement. Andre Ethier took over as the main run producer with 31 homers ( 4 of those homers in walk-off fashion) and 106 RBIs, with Matt Kemp adding 26 homers, 101 RBIs, 34 steals. The Dodgers would sweep the Cardinals in 3 straight in the NLDS to set up a rematch with the Phillies in the NLCS. Just as in Game 4 the previous year, Jonathan Broxton , 36 saves in 2009, would be thrust into the spotlight once again. With one out in the home 9th, up came a struggling Matt Stairs. Now certainly Broxton didn’t have this on his mind…

He would walk Stairs in 4 pitches, none of them close to the plate. After a hit batsman and a infield pop, with 2 outs, clinging to a 1 run lead, 1 out away from tying the NLCS at 2 games apiece, up came Jimmy Rollins…

The Phillies, like in ’08, would wrap it up in 5, this time they had the privledge of celebrating in front of their home fans. Broxton, in spite of making the all-star team in 2010, would to this day be remembered by most Dodger fans for 2 pitches we all wish he could have back.

So, as exciting as 2009 was, it would end on a sour note. But hey, with back to back division titles and NLCS appearances and 4 playoff appearances in 6 years under the McCourt regime, we’re certainly that much closer to bringing home our first World Series title since ’88 right ?

2010 80-82 4th Place

After going 49-39 in the first half, the Dodgers would finish 12 games under .500 the rest of the way and at 80-82, finish under .500 for the first time since 2005. Matt Kemp would only hit .248 for the season, and Jonathan Broxton was never the same after a 48 pitch meltdown against the Yankees in June. ( Though as I said most Dodgers fans will only remember him for two pitches ) Clayton Kershaw would become the ace of the future, finishing the season with a 2.91 ERA. They would finish 12 back of the eventual World Champion Giants, thier first in San Francisco in 52 years. ( Yes, there was a reason I posted that fact !!! )

2011 82-79 3rd Place

The 2011 season would be marred by the senseless beating of Giants fan Brian Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, as well as being placed in bankruptcy protection no thanks to Frank and Jamie, attendance would fall south of 3 million for the first time since 1992 in a non-strike shortened season. After being as much as 14 games below .500, the Dodgers would put on a late surge, not enough to post a threat for a post-season spot, but enough to put them over the .500 mark for the season. Clayton Kershaw won the Cy Young Award and Matt Kemp just missed a batting Triple Crown and the MVP Award while playing for new manager Don Mattingly. Kershaw, Kemp and Andre Ethier were All-Stars and won Gold Glove Awards.

2012 86-76 2nd Place

On May 1st, it was official. The days of the McCourt regime we’re over !!! The arrival of new ownership – Guggenheim Baseball Management, headed by controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly, would take over full operation of the franchise. In first place for much of the season and led by defending Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, the pitching staff ranked third in the Major Leagues in ERA and opposing batting average, but the offense struggled while centerpiece Matt Kemp battled injuries. In spite of the late season acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Brandon League, Joe Blanton, Randy Choate, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford ( Crawford was on the DL in ’12 ), the Dodgers would finish 2nd to the Giants once again as the hated ones would win their 2nd WS title in 3 years.

2013 92-70 1st Place

After falling as much as 12 games below .500 as late as June, the Dodgers would go on an unbelievable 40-8 from June 22 to the middle of August, overcoming a 9.5 game deficit to the DBacks en route to the NL West crown. At one point the club won 15 consecutive road games, the first NL team to do that since 1957, and they went unbeaten in 18 consecutive series.
Dodgers pitchers led the Major Leagues with 22 shutouts and were second in the league with a 3.25 team ERA. That included Clayton Kershaw, who won his third consecutive ERA title at 1.83, the lowest in the NL since Greg Maddux’s 1.63 in 1995. Kershaw combined with Zack Greinke to go 31-13, and Kenley Jansen would replace Brandon League as closer and Brian Wilson, signed in July after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, took over as set-up man. The offense, was led by Adrian Gonzalez’s 100 RBIs. Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier all battled injuries, but Ramirez’s return in June coincided with the club’s turnaround, as did the arrival of Cuban rookie Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers would enter the playoffs without Matt Kemp, but it would not affect them in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, knocking them out in 4 games.

The NLCS would be a different story. The Dodgers and Cardinals would battle through 5 games that we’re close enough either team could have won , especially the Dodgers if for some clutch hitting and perhaps Don Mattingly not over analyzing . With the Dodgers trailing 3 games to 2 heading back to St. Louis for game 6 and Kershaw on the mound, we really had to like our chances. However, even the best get snake-bitten at even the worst possible times.

So there you have it. 25 years since 1988. 25 years of ups and downs. Yet we still wait confidently for World Series trophy number 7 to come. 25 years. It’s been so long now that I’ve spoken to lots of you Dodger fans over 21 who have still yet to experience a World Series. I feel your pain. That’s what we do as Dodger fans. That’s what we do as fans period. We stick with our team through the good ( This past season ) and the bad ( No WS appearances in 25 years ) and the ugly ( McCourt ownership ) . 25 years is a long time. But I am confident we will not be waiting another 25 years before another World Series title comes to The Ravine.

matt_dre Next Year Bison !!! It’s back to doing things big !!!

dre_dre So Dre, are you going to be around In the End next year for the celebration ?

And finally, I want to thank you the readers who have made this October a really fun one. My goal was to make it to the MLBlogs.com top 50 fan list, which I did back in March. Because it’s based on total views, I don’t know if I crack the list especially after viewership dropped understandably once the Dodgers we’re eliminated. I did, however, achieve the most visitor counts ever for my blog so again, thank you all for dropping by. I probably won’t be posting as much now at least until Spring Training as blogging, while I enjoy it, can be very time consuming as well. I hope you all have a great “off-season”, and here’s hoping to an even bigger 2014 !!!!

As for the 2014 season…

2014 94-68 1st Place

Though the 2014 campaign would come to an abrupt end, lasting only 4 games into the NLDS before bowing out to the Cardinals for the 2nd straight year, there we’re still plenty of memorable moments, from the no-hitters from Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw , to Matt Kemp’s resurgence in the 2nd half, Adrian Gonzalez leading the league in RBI’s , to another Cy Young season from Mr. Kershaw, who has now won the E.R.A.  title four seasons in a row, and of course, erasing a 9.5 game deficit to capture the NL West flag for the 2nd straight season.  Unfortunately, Kershaw would unravel in the post-season and alongside a leaky bullpen, the Dodgers season would end not even 10 days into October.

Like the rest of you, I was disappointed as well.  When $235 million is spent on player salary, expectations are certain to be high.  The bottom line is simple.  The Dodgers simply did not meet , ok, let me rephrase that, they did not entirely meet our expectations.  (  I may be putting it lightly folks ) .  Many we’re quick to put blame on Mattingly.  I disagree.  While I was not crazy about some of his strategic move both during the regular and post-season, I felt he did an admirable job dealing with as many high strung ego’s in the dugout to get The Blue as far as he did.  As for the post-season, he only played the hand he was dealt.  Unfortunately, there was no bluff to call. That’s the post-season.  That’s baseball. 

So it’s been 2 weeks now since the bitter end.  Though I’m long over the shock, as a Dodger fan,  these 2 weeks have still felt long.  Should that be The Blue playing in the Fall Classic ?  Perhaps.  But as for the 2014 chapter of Dodger Baseball, we’ll never know…

Dre’s World Series Thoughts

Last night…

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An obstruction walk off

Tonight… 

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A huge 3 run home run by Johnny Gomes and a game ending pickoff of Kolten Wong knots this series at 2.  So this series will definately be going back to Boston.   Some unusual endings these last two games.   In the meantime…

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Yeah, it’s been hard for me to really show any real interest to the series.  I’ll still stick with my pick…. Cardinals in 6.  I do not see Adam Wainwright losing a third straight time in the post season especially at home tomorrow night.  ( Though it would have been nice if The Blue could have seen him in Game 7 of the NLCS )

26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 1, 1989 And The 90’s

Re-blogged from last season.  It is 26 years now since Chavez Ravine has hosted a World Series.  Here’s a recap of each season, part 1, from 1989 to 1999

 

On the eve of the 109th World Series will mark 25 years now since the Dodgers won their last World Series title, let alone appear in one.  While I enjoy telling stories what it was like being a fan experiencing the Dodgers triumph in 1988, explaining the feeling to the fans who have potentially graduated college in the last 4 years certainly is not making me feel any younger.  Now that I have all but let it out that i’m up there in years, lol, let’s now look back on the last 25 years, first with the 90’s, with it’s highs and lows.  And let’s hope by this time next year i’m writing a piece about The Boys in Blue in the World Series.  But first…

OK. Let’s look back upon the last 25 years of non World Series years

1989 77-83 4th Place

Despite leading the NL with a team ERA of 2.95, the last time anyone finished the season with a team ERA below 3.00, the Dodgers, one season after shocking the world, would finish in 4th place 14 games behind the Giants. So anemic was the offense that Orel Hershiser, despite winning 15 games with an ERA of 2.31, would also lose 15 as well , finishing the season with a .500 mark.

So the 80’s finished on a down note. However, the Dodgers was still a strong decade for the Boys in Blue, winning two World Championships (1981 and 1988), four National League Western Division titles (1981, 1983, 1985 and 1988) and 825 games, tying them with the St. Louis Cardinals for most victories by a National League team during the decade. The 80’s was also a strong decade in L.A. sports as well. Between the Dodgers 2 titles, the Lakers 5 titles, and the Raiders lone Super Bowl in 1983 9 This is a 49ERS fan acknowledging this), 8 championship titles we’re won for the great city of Los Angeles. Oh yeah, let’s also not forget the 1984 Olympics, with baseball debuting as an olympic sport here, played at, of course, Dodger Stadium. Those we’re some fun times as a sports fan in the 80’s. The 90’s certainly look promising, right ? kirk-gibson One last look of the 80’s

The 90’s

The United States enacts Operation Desert Storm, destroying the Iraqi army and ending the Gulf War in a few short weeks. A video is released of driver Rodney King being beaten by L.A. police officers following a traffic stop, igniting a national controversy. Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the United States. Magic Johnson announces his retirement from the NBA after contracting the HIV Virus ( What’s Magic up to these days ? ). In the meantime, on the field…

1990 86-76 2nd Place

Even without Orel Hershiser for much of the season due to shoulder surgery and an injury plagued Kirk Gibson a mere cry from his 1988 season, the Dodgers would finish 5 games behind the eventual World Champion Cincinatti Reds. This would also be the last season for Fernando Valenzuela in a Dodger uniform, as he would be released prior to the 1991 season.

1991 93-79 2nd Place

Hometown product Darryl Strawberry, who put up big numbers in his eight stormy seasons with the New York Mets, would be signed in the off-season for a then whopping 5 years, $20.25 million dollars. After a slow start, Strawberry would lead the team in both home runs (27) and RBI’s (100) In spite of a strong 20-8 finish to the season, the Dodgers would finish 1 game behind the upstart Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown.

1992 63-99 6th Place

Eric Davis, the one time Cincinatti Reds outfielder, would team up with childhood buddy Darryl Strawberry in the outfield. However, both Strawberry and Davis would miss much of 1992 and the Dodgers, for the first time since 1905, would finish the season in last place

1993 81-81 3rd Place

In the final season before the current 3 division alignment, the Dodgers would improve upon their 1992 performance by 18 games. Though they would miss out on the post season , the second of 5 consecutive Rookie of the Year winners would don the Dodger Blue as Mike Piazza , with 35 home runs and 112 rbi’s, would take home the prize, Eric Karros winning the award in 1992. 1993 also marked the final season a 100 plus win team would miss out on post-season play as the Dodgers, on the final game of the season, highlighted by Rookie of the Year winner Mike Piazza’s 2 home runs, would knock out the Giants 12-1, leaving the Giants 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown ( Yup, I was at that game folks ). The following season would be the year divisional re-alingment would take place as well as the wild card. From 1969-1993, only the division winners qualified for the LCS. So yeah, had the wild card been in effect in 1993, the Giants would have easily made the post season. Bummer huh ? ( In my sarcastic voice, LOL ) piazza93 Mike Piazza being greeted by future 3rd base coach Tim Wallach after belting one of two home runs to knock the Giants out of the playoffs

1994 58-56, 1st Place *

In the first year of 3 division aligment, the Dodgers would finish in 1st place, and yes, that is an asterisk next to the feat, if one can consider being 2 games over .500 one. That is because in August, a bitter labor dispute between the players and owners would lead to the cancelation of the remainder of the 1994 season and wipe out post-season and World Series play altogether. Raul Mondesi would win the 3rd of 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Awards. Darryl Strawberry, with his countless off the field problems during his time in L.A, would be released prior to the season.

1995 78-66, 1st Place

One year after the strike had put a black eye on Major League Baseball, in a 144 game season due to the previous season’s strike that carried over into 1995, the Dodgers would capture the NL West by one game over the Colorado Rockies 3 years into their existence. Hideo Nomo, The Tornadoe, would win the NL Rookie of the Year. In the first official League Division Series, not counting 1981’s ” intra-division playoffs “, the Dodgers would be swept in 3 straight by the NL Central Champion Cincinatti Reds.

1996 90-72 2nd Place, Wild Card

Tommy Lasorda, one of only two L.A. Dodger managers along with Walter Alston dating back to their arrival from Brooklyn in 1958, would step down from his managerial duties after suffering a mild heart attack. Bill Russell would take over the reins for Tommy. With a 2 game lead over the Padres and 3 to play against the Friars, San Diego would sweep all 3 games at Dodger Stadium to win the NL West by 1 game, pushing the Dodgers to Wild Card status. They would be swept in 3 straight in the LDS by the Atlanta Braves, ending the season on a 7 game losing streak. Todd Hollandsworth would round out the 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Award winners dodgersROY The 5 consecutive ROY’s would surpass the 4 consecutive the Dodgers had from 1979-1982 when Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, and Steve Sax won the prize

1997 88-74 2nd Place

This time, a late September swoon would cost them. Leading the NL West over the Giants by 2 games on September 16, they would be swept in a crucial 2 game series in San Francisco, the beginning of a 1-6 stretch that would find themselves 2 games behind the hated one’s heading into the final weekend of the year, in which the Dodgers would eventually finish 2 games behind the Giants but miss out on the Wild Card. This would also mark the final season of ownership under the O’Malley family

1998 83-79 3rd Place

In their first season under the Fox group, Mike Piazza , after a lengthy contract dispute, would find himself traded to the Florida Marlins along with Todd Zeile for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson and Jim Eisenrich before landing with the Mets one week later. With a 36-38 record in June, Bill Russell would get his pink slip, as well as general manager Fred Claire. The thought of a Dodgers manager was unheard of at the time considering up until 1998 they had only 3 managers. Glenn Hoffman, brother of Padres relief phenom Trevor Hoffman, would finish out the season as the skipper. 1998 would also be the year that future Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa we’re involved in the home run record chase, with McGwire finishing with 70 home runs. piazza Though he did put up big numbers in Dodger Blue , Piazza will forever be remembered as a Met. To this day, I still don’t believe he has buried the hatchet towards the Dodgers and his fans. I wonder if he will blame me next for the Dodgers fans turning on him .

1999 76-86 3rd Place

Davey Johnson would take over as manager, and Kevin Brown, coming off 3 straight dominant season and two World Series appearances with the Marlins and Padres, would be signed to a 7-year $105 million contract just one year after Piazza had been offerred 6 years at $80 million, rasising some questions amongst the fans why the same deal could not be offered to Mike, an everyday player, as opposed to Brown, who only toes the hill every 5 games. The Dodgers would finish 24 games behind the 2nd year Arizona Diamondbacks.

So the 90’s we’re not exactly some glorious times for L.A. sports fans. The Lakers, though they would continue to make it to the post season, making the playoffs in 9 of the 10 years, also failed to bring L.A. another championship . The Raiders and Rams would leave L.A. after the 1994 season ( I really didn’t care since i’m a 49ERS fan ) , the Clippers we’re a far cry from what they are today, and the Kings would appear in the Stanley Cup in 1993 to lose to the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games. So next, the new millenium. Glory day’s are bound to return to L.A, right ?

Today’s Magic Number Fun Fact and We Can’t Stop….

Good Morning all !!!  Last night’s game went by pretty quick with both the Red Sox and Dodgers combining for a total of 5 hits as Ricky Nolasco pitched a strong 8 shutout innings , getting all the run support he would need on a 2 run homer from Hanley Ramirez, the only blemish on the part of Red Sox pitcher and former Angel John Lackey as the Blue held off the Red Sox, 2-0, in a matchup some or.perhaps many feel could be a World Series matchup.  Last night’s win, coupled with the DBacks loss, not only pushes the NL West deficit to 10.5 gamea but also reduces our Magic Number to win the west down to 24….

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Todays magic number fun fact.  24 .  24 was the number worn by former Dodger manager Walter Alston, who managed the Blue from 1954-1976, leading them to 7 World Series appearances and 3 World Championships, including a sweep of the New York Yankees in 1963…..

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It really has been a Magical Season to this point, hasn’t it ?  The work above is from fellow Dodger fan and Instagram follower Daadozer.  And speaking of our Magic Castle….

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The Viejo is back !!!  It’s Marlon BrandoReno playing with a big toy inside our newly dubbed Magic Castle, which is proof that the ballpark , or in this case also, The Magic Castle, really can bring the kid out in all of us.  And last but not least….

Hey, Nick Punto has really stepped up his game since he went with this Miley Cyrus tune for his at-bat tune.  So hey, whatever works.  Plus the title does seem appropriate.  That’s right….  We Can’t Stop and We Won’t Stop !!!!

Our Weekend Forecast and A Night at The Ravine With Some “Viejo’s”

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A couple of weeks ago I posted this pic of Marlon Brandoreno and the kid in him going for thst cotton candy.  Having recently entered life in the 30s hasn’t stopped one’s hunger for sweet treats at the ballpark, right Viejo ?  Speaking of Viejo….

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Yup, thats right Marlon, or should I say….Viejo.  ( That’s in return for you giving me that label on my recent birthday.  Hey, I still got another year before I see a 4 as the first digit of my 2 digit age….)

OK, our weekend forecast….

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Beware Boston !!!  The Dodgers have set L.A on fire !!!  Even Smokey the Bear has his doubts that you will put a stop to L.A.’s fire…..

Possible World Series preview this weekend Dodger fans ?