Dodgers Team News

Max Muncy Believes Dodgers Still Have One of the Best Teams in Baseball

A quiet offseason for the Dodgers is coming to a close, as pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Quite a few position players are already in camp, and the rest will be there in the next day or two. Los Angeles didn’t make many splashy moves in the offseason and the Padres definitely did, so a lot of people think San Diego has passed LA in the NL West power rankings.

Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy isn’t so sure. He was on “Loud Outs” on MLB Network Radio on Friday, and he talked about hype and why it’s not all that matters.

“You know, I think everyone’s talking about the Padres right now — and probably rightfully so, they’ve made a lot of big moves in the offseason and they did eliminate us in the postseason — but, you know, we are still the defending NL West champs, we’ve taken the division nine out of the last ten years or whatever it is, and we still have one of the best teams in baseball. I know not everyone thinks so just because we didn’t go out and make big offseason moves, but that’s because we already have all the pieces in place, you know? We made a couple additions to complement it, but we’re still gonna be one of the best teams in baseball, and we can’t wait to get out there and prove it. But if people don’t want to talk about us, that’s fine. Let everyone else have the hype they have to live up to.”

Muncy is absolutely right, of course, and even more importantly, he has exactly the mindset you want your players to have coming into the season. It probably is a good thing to let another team be the super-hyped team this year, but Los Angeles still has a star-studded roster of players who are likely to have big years in 2023.

The division will probably be closer than it was in 2022, but the 22-game margin between first and second place was nearly unprecedented, so of course that gap was going to close. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. In 2021, LA had to fight to the very end and maybe wore down a little bit in the postseason, but in 2022, it was the opposite problem. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Los Angeles hadn’t played a meaningful game in about three months. Was that the reason for the slump in October? It’s impossible to know for sure, but it definitely didn’t help.

It should be a fun, exciting season, and the Dodgers should have, as Muncy said, one of the best teams in baseball. Is it Opening Day yet?

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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