The past week has been an absolute nightmare for the Dodgers. Fans expected a third straight world series trip and to finally see the team capture that elusive ring, but instead got an exit in the NLDS. The fallout from the game five meltdown has led to both fans and pundits pointing blame at anybody and everybody in the organization, and Sunday has been no different. Everybody seems to be asking, what went wrong?
“Their thinking is that the playoffs are essentially a spin of the roulette wheel, which just so happens to be a convenient explanation for their failures,” Hernandez said in his column. “They insist they are more likely to win a World Series if they win their division annually rather than go all-in in any one season, which sounds like an excuse for avoiding tough decisions.”
He goes on to say that the Dodgers are too attached to their prospects, and their future, to make a serious gamble on their present. They can’t win a World Series because they refuse to go all-in on a season.
Although he acknowledges Andrew Friedman acquiring Yu Darvish in 2017 and Manny Machado in 2018, he points out that they did not pay a steep price for either of them and missed out on Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Both have been a lethal one-two punch for the Houston Astros.
Hernandez thinks the Dodgers need to be bold, and ESPN’s Buster Olney agrees.
While Olney doesn’t blame Dave Roberts or Kershaw as he states that too often, decisions are judged by their results. He doesn’t think the Dodgers haven’t been bold, everything they’ve tried just hasn’t worked.
The Dodgers knew their bullpen was a liability. They tried to fix it by throwing money at Joe Kelly, giving Pedro Baez more opportunities, and relying on rookies Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. Olney said that LA has some decisions to make in regards to their bullpen and starting rotation, but they do have money to spend this winter. He recommends the Dodgers go after a consistent veteran bat in Anthony Rendon, who is a free agent once the season is over.
MLB.com seems to agree with Olney that the bullpen needs to be addressed by the Dodgers, specifically a closer. They published an article listing every team’s biggest need this offseason, and LA needs a “big dog closer.”
Their explanation is simple and to the point: “What do you get the team that has everything? Now that Kenley Jansen has come back to earth, the Dodgers could use someone else to be the dominant pitcher he once was.”
Regardless of where you believe the blame for the Dodgers failures lie, it’s clear that the front office has some very tough decisions to make.