Clayton Kershaw Applauds Padres Spending, Still Thinks Dodgers Can Beat Them
One of the biggest storylines this offseason has been the budding rivalry between the Dodgers and the Padres in the NL West. After winning the division by a whopping 22 games last year, the Dodgers lost to the Padres in the NLDS in four games. Then, the Padres continued to reload this offseason, spending big on All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts and retaining Manny Machado for the rest of his career.
Many people in the baseball world have applauded the Padres for their spending, and rightfully so. Dodgers longtime ace Clayton Kershaw was even among those to praise their spending this offseason, when he told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that what the Padres are doing is great for the game of baseball.
“What they’ve done is great,” Kershaw said. “They’ve improved their team. They’ve gotten big-name guys. They’ve got good players. They’ve extended some of their guys. What they’re doing is great. It’s great for the game and it’s great for players individually.”
However, that doesn’t mean he’s scared of them this season.
“I still think we can beat them,” Kershaw said.
A very popular pick among MLB experts this season has been the San Diego Padres to win the NL West, and even the World Series. For the first time in seemingly forever, the Dodgers aren’t the odds-on favorite to win the division — but maybe it’s better that way.
For the last decade, the Dodgers have come in with high expectations, and most of the time, failed to meet them. It’s not easy to win a World Series, and it’s even more difficult when you’re coming in with the pressure of a World Series or bust label every single year.
While this year is still no different — I can’t imagine anyone around the organization being satisfied with any result besides a World Series this season — there is much less pressure than in years past. Everyone is talking about the big-spending Padres, and it seems that the pressure is going to be on them to follow through. While people still expect the Dodgers to be great, it’s nowhere near the same expectation as last year, or the years before that.
So, let’s let everyone keep talking about the Padres, and praising them for the team they’ve put together this offseason. Because we all know the Dodgers have more than enough talent to contend, and maybe the underdog mentality is exactly what they need to get back to the World Series.
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