The Los Angeles Dodgers enter Friday’s series opener with the Detroit Tigers on pace to reach 116 wins this season, which would match the all-time MLB record shared by the 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners.
Los Angeles has already made a bit of history this season by going on a 43-7 stretch, which tied a mark for a 50-game span set by the 1912 New York Giants. Whispers of ‘best team ever’ have been heaped on a juggernaut that’s 51 games above .500.
While the Dodgers remain in position to join the Cubs and Mariners in the record books, it’s hardly on the minds of those in the organization.
“It’s something we haven’t talked about,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said during an appearance at Dodgers All-Access.
“I think the most important thing is, if we’re fortunate enough to be in that position, is doing everything we can to get our guys the most ready they can be in October. That may mean something different for each guy. For some guys it might be a little rest. For some guys it might be continuing to play through.
“Beating 116 would be incredible, but that’s not what the overarching focus is. The overarching focus, the thing that drives us, is winning those 11 games in October.”
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi shared the same sentiment. He noted several of the franchise’s former players who were in attendance at the special event, in part because of their factoring into a World Series.
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“I’ll take the 11 (October wins) over the 116 any day,” Zaidi said. “The guys that have won championships here are really celebrated. That’s what this city is hungry for, so I think we’re going to put ourselves in the best position. The other accomplishments that come along the way are great, but [winning the World Series] is really our goal.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was on the panel with Friedman and Zaidi, echoed the front office’s stance. Justin Turner and Alex Wood similarly said the focus is on the playoffs, not their record, after becoming the first team in Los Angeles franchise history reach 50 games above .500.
Whether they possibly match or exceed 116 wins this season, the Dodgers are all but guaranteed to set a franchise record for most wins. That currently belongs to the 1953 Brooklyn team, which won 105 games but came up short to the New York Yankees in the World Series.