The key to any good sports team is a collective effort. It’s the entire group of athletes working toward a common goal while having some luck along the way.
The great teams don’t just rely on star players to carry the load each game but rather have members of the organization that can pick up the slack if need be. Every person is going to have rough stretches throughout a season, so making sure that the role players are up to the challenge is crucial.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are led by stars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, but they also have a ton of more than-capable guys that surround them. It’s the next-man-up mentality that has allowed LA to find success on the field this season.
The guys around Betts and Freeman understand they need to help pick up the slack and that they can’t rely on them all the time. Veteran outfielder Jason Heyward spoke on this fact recently.
“It can’t always just be [Mookie and Freddie], and I think that’s been a big part of their success this year, and ours. We lean on them, but they lean on us, and they let us know they appreciate us,” Heyward said. “That’s what it’s gonna take all year long, and that’s what it’s gonna take in October.”Per The LA Times
Heyward has been one of the more important pieces to the Dodgers this season. He has seen a resurgence in the late stages of his career, and he has majorly contributed to the great team that LA has put together.
On the year, Heyward is hitting .261 with 12 home runs and 33 runs batted in. Throughout his time in the league, he has seen it all. Heyward knows that it takes everyone to reach the mountaintop that the Dodgers are working to get to once again.
“Yeah, it’s huge,” Heyward said of the importance of getting contributions from up and down the lineup. “That’s what it’s gonna take all year long, and that’s what it’s gonna take in October.”Per The LA Times
As long as the rest of the guys continue to contribute, LA should be a very tough team come playoff time. They are only as strong as their weakest link, but for now, the team is in great shape going forward.
LA continues their home stand as they finish their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, before welcoming in the league-leading Atlanta Braves for a four-game set.
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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