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Dodgers: Friedman’s Championship Aspirations Fueled by Early 2021 Playoff Exit

With the way the Dodgers have played all season long, it would be hard to imagine a disappointing outcome from the 2021 season. Unfortunately for Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers, the team lost in the NLCS against the Braves after being crowned World Series champs in 2020 and look to revisit those aspirations once again.

Instead of moping about what could have been, Friedman got to work immediately replacing the loss of Corey Seager in free agency with All-Star shortstop Trea Turner to a one-year deal. Friedman wasn’t finished as he then signed former NL MVP Freddie Freeman to a massive six-year $162 million deal.

The signings solidified the top of the Dodgers batting order with Mookie Betts leading the charge and being a huge part of the Dodgers 2020 championship run. The three together have Dodgers’lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball and a +320 run differential and allowing just 446 runs with their All-Star pitching unit. 

A lot has changed within the team, but the mentality of winning remains the same. Friedman took the lessons learned from the 2021 season and turned it into one of the greatest Dodgers teams of all time, so far (quotes via Michael J. Duarte, NBC LA).

“This is a much better situation than last year. Living through what we did last year obviously made things way more challenging. So, our goal going into this year was to put ourselves in the best position to win this division. Which is our first goal. That then sets us up to have the best chance of accomplishing our ultimate goal. So, to be in this position right now is great in that we can really focus on getting guys back healthy and getting them ready for October. And that’s where our mindset will switch starting tomorrow.”

Friedman and the Dodgers have a lot to be happy about, but the job isn’t finished. The last thing the Dodgers need is a repeat of last seasons disappointing ending.

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2 Comments

    • Did you want Kenley back after 2021? Probably not, so KJ left for Atlanta and Friedman got a closer. If he didn’t, I’m sure you would be asking for Friedman’s head because he didn’t go out and get one.

      Getting a player for AJ Pollock after posting career offensive highs is a classic Friedman “buy low sell high” type of trade. We had no room for AJ in our already crowded outfield, so getting a possible closer for guy-on-the-bench was a smart move. The hope was Kimbrel, who struggled in a setup role in Chicago, would improve if moved into his more familiar closer role. We have the best pitching coaches so hopefully we can fix a few things. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.

      There is still hope for Kimbrel, although with each blown save it seems less and less likely. He got behind in counts last night and it cost us the game. Fortunately because of Friedman, we have other options.

      It’s sad how some entitled “fans” complain about Friedman even though this team could be the best Dodger team ever assembled.