And So It Begins: Dodgers Favorites to Win the NL West

I’ve only seen one person say this, but to me it’s pretty clear as well: on paper, the Dodgers are very much the team to beat in the NL West, and maybe even the National League itself. While you may be inclined to question Carl Crawford‘s return, Andre Ethier‘s production against LHP, Matt Kemp‘s hamstrings, Hanley Ramirez‘s dedication, Luis Cruz‘s stability at the MLB level, Chad Billingsley‘s elbow, what new acquisition Ryu Hyun-Jin actually is (a starter or a reliever), Kenley Jansen‘s heart condition, and Nick Punto, no team in the majors is perfect or free from their own questions. They have a rotation that has a one-two punch that can go up against any rotation in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Their bullpen may not be fantastic, but it’s good enough. Their manager may continue to bat A.J. Ellis eighth because I guess he’s a catcher, but this team is built to win better than even the beloved San Francisco Giants. Arizona Diamondbacks, I’ll start talking about you when you get your act together. Padres, I see you coming up and moving your fences in. Rockies, you may just want to lay there for a while.

Oh, did I tell you the funny story of remembering how before Ryu Hyun-Jin signed with the Dodgers that there were whispers from the team residing in Chavez Ravine saying they might still target another free agent even if they had said Korean pitcher signed to a contract? They’re not done yet! Ha! They are playing with video game money that you only get by typing in cheat codes, it’s crazy. For the people that have a big problem with the Dodgers spending all this money in a way that’s done fair and square, I don’t know what to tell you besides you’re going to have a big ol’ bag of get over it. The Dodgers already have a record-breaking payroll and by the time they hit Spring Training, they’re going to have broken that record a bunch more times.

If you are in the mood to torture yourself and count your blessings at the same time, remember how this could have been an off-season where Jared Weaver, Cole Hamels, and Matt Cain had all become free agents. This is not to say they would’ve all become Dodgers though, because there is some consideration to be had to them signing a long-term deal with their current clubs while the pre-off-season was going on. Would have made the off-season more crazy, but aren’t you happy the Dodgers didn’t have the chance to drive up the price for these guys elsewhere (especially for Jared Weaver and his hometown discount of a contract).

So if you’re an NL West fan, fret if you must because your team has a bottom to its pockets, but by no means does a roster on paper before the season even start determine what will actually happen come October. The regular season is a marathon full of a whole bunch of crazyness, and the Postseason is a crapshoot. Did that make you feel better? Yea, I didn’t think so.

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