By Earl Heath
Contributing Sports Writer
When a team wins a World Series before the Champagne corks are popped one of the first questions asked is, “Can you win it again next year?” History shows that it’s against the odds.
The last National League team to repeat as World Series Champion was the Cincinnati Reds in 1975-76. The 1999-2000 New York Yankees were the last American League team to repeat as Champions and that was the tail end of a three-peat.
The odds are long but if there’s a team that’s stacked to do it this year’s edition of the Dodgers are ripe for it.
“We have a chance to do something special and win a championship,” said Skipper Dave Roberts. “That’s part of the fun you don’t play the game on paper, we have to play 162 games this year and see where we end up. But if you look at the talent potentially we could be as good as any team the Dodgers ever fielded.”
Mookie Betts is the spark of the offense he will bat lead-off, followed by World Series MVP Cory Seager, Justin Turner bats third, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollack, and Chris Taylor.
Betts a five time a five-time Golden Glove winner and was name American League Wilson Defensive Player of the year three times while with the RED SOX will help sure up the defense.
This week the team opens up on the road against the Rockies at Coors Field. Roberts has Clayton Kershaw as the opening day starter.
It will be Kershaw’s record ninth opening day start. He previously started 8 straight from 2011-2018. In 2019 it was shoulder soreness that put a hold on things. During last year’s COVID shortened year he was having back problems in spring training.
Kershaw just turned 33 and loves being in Los Angeles.
He will be followed by newcomer Trevor Beauer, the Cy Young winner Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Dustin “Hippie” May naps the fifth spot in the rotation. The 23year-old had a 2.63 era and struck out 13 in Cactus League outings.
The Bullpen will feature David Price who will see his first real game action season. 2012 AL Cy Young winner will come start the season in the bullpen for the first time in his career. He will be joined by Tony Gonsolin as long to mid relief duties.
“I’m open to anything,” said Gonsolin. “I just want to get on the mound and pitch.”
It will be the first time Fans will see the World Champions at home.
“I don’t know what it looks like,” said Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young Award winner. “But I love being here, I love the Dodgers. I love everything about this organization and I just feel really fortunate that I have gotten as many opportunities as I have had to win a World Series and now that we have finally won you just don’t take that for granted.
I really have enjoyed my time here and will continue to do so.”
ADD DOGERS: The Dodgers home opener is Friday April 9 at the Stadium. Approximately 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend.