Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten talked with Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times this weekend, covering a wide range of topics. One of the most notable area of discussion was the idea of Los Angeles improving a team that won 111 games in 2022 but then lost in stunning fashion in the NLDS.
Here’s what Stan had to say to Bill.
“We have succeeded in too many ways on too many fronts for me to think of this as any kind of failure. Just in the last eight years, five LCSs and three World Series, I don’t think those are bad numbers. … We won one World Series, we lost another one in Game 7, I don’t think those are symbols of a fatally flawed program. I just don’t agree with that. …
“I’m sure there are ways that we can get better. … We can’t accept that there’s no way we can get better. … That’s not an acceptable conclusion. You can look at everything that happened and you can look at everything we did … you hope the breaks even out over a period of time, but we always assume there are things we can do to get better. …
“You have to continue to look for ways every day to maximize your output, we certainly do. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.”
These aren’t empty words from Kasten. In 2021, the Dodgers tied a franchise record with 106 wins, then they went out and signed Freddie Freeman to make their team even better. Los Angeles has shown repeatedly over the year, both in offseason free agency and in aggressive moves at the trade deadline, that they’re committed to getting better whenever and however possible. As Kasten says, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it hasn’t worked, it has never been because the front office was content to rest on their laurels rather than trying to improve the team.
The 2023 Dodgers will likely look quite a bit different than the 2022 team, and it’s important to remember those differences will be attempts to improve the team, not knee-jerk reactions to a frustrating postseason exit.
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