When the Los Angeles Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations in October 2014, he faced plenty of skepticism despite leading the Tampa Bay Rays to plenty of success.
But despite being backed by substantially more resources than were at his disposal when overseeing the Rays front office, Friedman and the Dodgers continued to fall short in October. Of course, that all changed last year with the franchise ending their World Series drought.
While the Dodgers have appreciated their accomplishment for what it was, the focus now is on 2021 and attempting to become the first team to repeat since the New York Yankees won three titles from 1998-2000.
And despite getting over the proverbial hump, Friedman doesn’t believe it needs to result in the Dodgers only having a target on their back, via the “Big Time Baseball” podcast hosted by Jon Heyman and Tony Gwynn Jr.:
“I think we went from being the hunter to now the hunted. But I think it’s trying to flip that mindset. We’re still the hunter. We are the hunter, hunting for the 2021 championship. I think we have the group that can stay focused on that and pull that off.”
The Dodgers returned the majority of their World Series roster, most notably Blake Treinen and Justin Turner. The group also infused elite talent in the form of Trevor Bauer, who openly stated he was frustrated by falling short.
“I want to be a member of a winning team, I want to be a member of an organization that values me and I value them,” Bauer said during his introductory press conference. “It’s about being a part of something that’s bigger than myself and being part of an organization that can win. I want to win a World Series.
“I’ve come in second both in college and the big leagues. I’m tired of it. I want to come in first.”
Muncy among motivated Dodgers
Part of what’s fueling the Dodgers this season is the desire to have the traditional celebration and parade that comes with winning a World Series.
“My goal to celebrate the championship is to go out there and win another one, and then we can have a real celebration,” Max Muncy recently said.
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