In Defense of Being a Dodger’s Optimist

After the dust settled following Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, many Dodger fans were left with varying degrees of despondency, anger and depression. They wanted a blockbuster move, a game-changer of epic proportion. That special piece to propel us to the thing we hunger greedily for, a World Series win. That’s one thing all Dodger fans agree on, we’re long overdue to hoist up that winning trophy!

But, the front office did what they’ve been doing since their arrival, a piece here, a piece there, but nothing that excited the fanbase. Except maybe those who look at our prospects, left mostly untouched, as a win. I’ll state this now, I’m in this camp. But, hear me out.

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The Dodgers have the best stable of prospects they’ve had in years. And outside of losing Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton we’ve held onto our future – Julio Urias, Jose De LeonCody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo, who are all honing their immeasurable skills in preparation for their big league debuts. Urias has been to the show and the others may be right around the corner… at least I hope so. I’d love to get a look at some of these guys when the roster expands.


The truth of the matter is, there weren’t many game changers out there for the Dodgers. I wish we’d gotten some vital pieces during the Winter Meetings, when there were more options. We got Maeda, who’s a good acquisition, but we lost Greinke. I felt more frustration then, than I do now.

In my opinion, Chris Sale was the only player worth possibly taking a run at. But, in order for the White Sox to consider giving him up, we would’ve had to give up the farm. Our future, for the possibility of a win now. I think that would’ve been a terrible move, especially when considering our current injuries. I, also, don’t believe the White Sox ever had any real intention of trading Sale. They wanted the moon and stars and checked to see if there were any takers.

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There’s no denying, the Dodgers are banged up and hobbled. We have a complete roster on the DL, not to mention the best pitcher in all of baseball, Kershaw, sidelined. What we need more than anything right now is a miracle. Oddly enough, we’re getting one by way of the struggling Giants no less. Despite our numerous injuries, our hot and cold offense and our struggling starting pitching we are still in this race. As of this writing, we sit only two games back and lead the Wild Card race. Where are the Diamondbacks, the team all the “experts” had as contenders for the NL West, yeah, they’re cleaning the basement, as usual. Baseball is a funny game and winners aren’t always the likeliest teams.

“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” ~ Vin Scully

Here’s where I may annoy some of you with my optimism in the face of defeat. I wrote the heart of this piece while the Colorado Rockies were crushing us, thankfully we avoided the sweep. I did some editing the morning after the Red Sox shellacked us. So, don’t doubt my optimism isn’t real. It’s not always easy, but it’s at the heart of my fandom.

Bottomline, as we head into the homestretch, this mangled team is what we have to work with. Although, hopefully, some of our DL dwellers will return to help this team move forward. I’m looking at you Clayton Kershaw! We, as fans, can continue to rant and rave or we can plant our butts onto this bandwagon of blue and root for our boys. I intend to do the latter. Let’s not give up hope until Vin calls that last out. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Vin’s last career game call doesn’t also crown the NL West winner between the Hated Ones and us.

As you can see below, I temporarily thought about scrapping this piece because maybe it was too upbeat. But Jeff and many other Twitter friends reinforced my belief that optimism isn’t a dirty word. Jeff went one step further and gave the best reason for fans to stay invested:

So, as you read these last paragraphs, imagine me as Tommy Lasorda (not just a Dodger loving girl from Oxnard – Shout-out!). Nobody would roll their eyes or sneer at Tommy for bleeding Dodger Blue and pushing for optimism.


So, here goes… Baseball is a mixture of skill, luck, grit and magic. And this team needs all of those elements, now more than ever. No doubt they’re struggling, but despite adversity, they didn’t lay down and die. That’s grit! The elusive component needed when all signs point to failure. With a healthy dose of luck and magic we can still win this thing. So now it’s time for this fanbase to believe in magic, wish for some luck and don’t give up until the very last out. True Blue means always, good or bad. Like it or not, these are OUR Los Angeles Dodgers and they need us to continue believing in them. It’s not over, until it’s over and not a moment sooner. So settle in and let the melodious voice of Vin Scully guide us into the play-offs.

As always, GO DODGERS! 


Illustration by “Philbert” at DodgersBluePen.com

Jody Wahl

Jody was born and raised in Southern California. She currently splits her time between CA and CO. She has been a true blue Dodger fan since birth. She also roots heartily for the LA Kings and the Green Bay Packers. Jody firmly believes the NL should not adopt the DH. Let 'em hit.


  1. I have been a baseball fan since my father took me as a young boy to the Coliseum in 1958 to see my first Dodger game. I was hooked and have been a baseball fan ever since. 
    This team through little fault of management has had the worst run of injuries I have ever seen. Now some of it is managements fault. When you sign McCarthy and Anderson and their history is full of injury you should not be surprised when they go on the DL. Same thing with Grandal. When he is healthy he is incredible. But he is a catcher that constantly gets hurt and does not play well when hurt. I would make him a first baseman as you cannot depend on a catcher that cannot produce when dinged up as that is the job. 

    But fluke injuries to Etheir and wear injuries like Kershaw, Thompson, Hernandez etc all have an effect. We are terrible against left handed pitching as with Thompson and Kike out and Puig being hurt and then sent down we have little right handed power. 

    So unless Anderson comes off and pitches well and Kershaw comes back and Thompson we will not do well this year if we make it to the playoffs. The Giants spent big to get a left handed Moore to be able to hit us with Mad Bum and Moore in the series coming up and the playoffs in we make it… 

    But I am very hopeful for next year. With everyone back this team should be able to trade for some great talent where they decide they need it. I am not sold on Grandal catching. And depending on how they feel long term on Thompson we need right handed power. As stated we should have pitching coming out of our ears…But we shall see…..

    Jody being optimistic beats the heck out of constant depression Life is way to short to stress…..The Dodgers depth has amazingly kept us in it when other teams would have folded. I would like to say that Roberts and his Team of coaches have done an amazing job with their Next Man Up mentality and I love the grit of this team…Which is a direct reflection of the coaching staff…

  2. Fyi….Moore vs dodgers this season 1-1, 11ip, 5.73 era, .273 baa. Madbum 0-1, 11ip, 4.09era, .275 baa. This could be that neither pitcher has definitive splits righty vs lefty, about identical vs lh or rh batters. This year isnt over. Also Moore means no Smardjia in a 3 (reg season finale) or 5 game series (playoff)

  3. brazier1 With Thompson and Puig out of the line up and Kershaw on DL and Kazmir being very erratic If we see a rotation of Mad Bum, Cueto and Moore I do not like our chances if we run out Maeda, McCarthy and Kazmir….. Plus we usually countered Mad Bum with Kerhsaw one ace canceling the other.  Kazmir and McCarthy have been very erratic. Maeda has been solid….I like Stripling rather than Norris. Norris has never been a lights out pitcher…Stripling has the chance to be a #2 I think….Time will tell but he has great feel for his breaking ball and off speed stuff and is fast enough to keep guys honest. If you have command of 3 pitches you can do well…

    We really need Anderson and Kershaw back by September….Along with Thompson and Etheir… Not really impressed with Reddick but he is probably pressing and has consequently been not good at bat…

    Very much not impressed with Chavez looks like another gas can like Hatcher….Nice pick up guys….

  4. LOL shout out! 
    Yes, Dodger Blue I bleed until the last breath is shed on the mortal coil! 
    The Dodgers still have a possibility of turning it around, but we must go on a winning streak now, or we will be out of even the possibility of a wild card!!
    Thanks for reinforcing the optimism, Jody!

  5. Always great to read responses by other positive, optimistic Dodger fans! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  6. Jodywhl I think it is always better to be optimistic….So thanks for the article. I see they brought up Segedin from Okie City which is a good move as he has shown this year to hit lefties especially well. 
    Now a negative comment…McCarthy is going back to being McCarthy which is a mediocre pitcher at best. In my opinion one of the really bad decisions the Front Office made. Pitching a poor game again this evening even in the bad light.
    The Dodgers need to pray for Anderson and Kershaw to come back and hope the young arms of Urias, Stripling and possibly DeLeon can give them some wins…

  7. Look, we’re one game back starting the second week of August. Since the day Greinke signed with Arizona all we’ve heard is that this front office has run us into a guaranteed last place finish. At some point, fans who knock the guys making the moves will have to concede that the Dodgers are STILL a SERIOUS playoff contender DESPITE 23 players having been placed on the DL at some point this year … including The World’s Greatest Pitcher, who hasn’t pitched for weeks!!! People are moaning about the trade deadline pick-ups … Rich Hill has a blister … it’s an annoying inconvenience but hardly a reason not to make that deal. Do you really think Josh Reddick is going to go 1-for-the-rest-of-the-season? He’s an All-Star caliber player! Besides, did you look at the trade deadline market? We got two of the top prizes out there! Plus, we kept Urias, DeLeon and Bellinger! If we can somehow win without Clayton Kershaw what makes anybody think we’d be doing better with Chris Sale? We wouldn’t have Urias to make a start today – he’d be in Chicago. I think we should be rejoicing that we’re still in this thing and it appears as if something very special could be brewing! C’mon, folks, this is FUN!!!

  8. I agree, Phil. The fact that we’re still in this thing despite all the injuries etc. is testament something special is going on here. Maybe magic, maybe luck… Whatever it is, it’s happening. I’m all in to the end. Baseball IS fun. Winning baseball is Fun x10!

  9. Phil Fountain Phil I agree with you they have played amazingly well and Roberts and his staff should get serious Props for forging a gritty team…
    It has been amazing what they have accomplished with their Next Man Up philosophy. Plus with so many guys playing they have a real chemistry going….
    Do not get too carried away here a  Chris Sale pick up would have been amazing. Is he worth Urias, DeLeon, Bellinger and maybe Holmes and Cotton? I do not know. But always remember these guys are prospects not proven ballplayers. Pederson was a cannot miss talent and he is just OK in my book. He may improve his offense but I do not know if he has hit his ceiling a 240 average is not impressive. Seager on the other hand has met expectations and more…
    We have talent and the Front Office has to be commended for picking up guys that look to have the potential to be very good…Such as Thompson, Toles, Segedin, Taylor and the pitcher Fein. 
    But they do not seem to have the touch with rotation type pitchers. As Colletti drafted Kershaw, Urias, DeLeon, Stripling etc and his team grew Jansen and signed Greinke I trust his pitcher evaluation instead of Friedman’s team with their choices of Hatcher, McCarthy, Kazmir, Anderson Latos and Johnson….

    but yes this is FUN….

  10. While I agree these guys are just prospects and not proven, I still wouldn’t have taken Sale. They aren’t proven, but you’d basically be giving away the farm for one guy. As we’ve seen with Kershaw gone, one guy doesn’t make or break a team. But, giving away the farm most definitely hinders the future. I do agree Colletti had a much better pitcher evaluation than the current front office.
    I’ve really appreciated your thoughtful and considerate comments on this blog. It’s quite refreshing.

  11. Thanks Jody I appreciate the positive take….The sky is not falling and if the season ended to day we would be in a Playoff Game after that it is a crap shoot. The best team does not always win by any means we have all seen that repeatedly. 

    I would not have taken the trade for Sales either and I am glad they did not. It was way too much to trade. Trades cannot be evaluated for several years. I do not like the Hill, Reddick trade as they are rentals and we did not really need left handed hitting we needed right handed hitting. Hill to me is another Norris a very mediocre pitcher that has had a flash of luck this year. You do not trade a potential like Montas for that in my book. And yes I did say they are all prospects. We shall see how the trade goes. So far this Front Office is not good at Pitching evaluation and curiously for how many of them there are do not seem very good at trades either. The Latos Johnson Avilan thing was a disaster. Althought the Grandal deal is looking to be a good one…But they are incredible on the waiver wire….

    But yes overall I am ecstatic the way this team is playing and I believe they will be dominant in the next decade….They are smart (kind of) but have lots of money and a patient ownership which is the key. If you have the long game you can win…

    Thanks for the articles…And comments

  12. Yeah, Hill and Reddick felt like “we’ve gotta do something” trades. Like you said, they really didn’t address a specific need which seems to me should always be the goal.
    Anyway, onto the next series. I can’t wait! U0001f600U0001f44d

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