After recent years of postseason failure, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally realized their dream of winning the World Series by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games.
Ending the franchise’s championship drought was the top priority for everyone in the organization. It was the motivation Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman needed to complete a trade for Mookie Betts prior to Spring Training.
The club will now look to defend their title during the 2021 season without the pressure that accompanied them for most of the past decade.
For Clayton Kershaw, he is relieved to have delivered and hopes typical pressure will be placed on club next year, via Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated:
“We won a World Series in the city of L.A. after 32 years. It’s over. We did it. That’s the feeling that I was always looking for, that feeling of, like, completion. We did it, and that’s not to say we don’t want to win next year, but just the fact that we did it this year, and it’s over with, and we can actually just have normal expectations during the year will be awesome.”
As Kershaw noted, he feels a sense of completion after winning the World Series. It was the lone accomplishment missing from his Hall of Fame resumé that already includes 2014 MVP honors, three Cy Young Awards and eight All-Star appearances.
Even more sweet for Kershaw was that he played a major role in the Dodgers’ championship run. In five starts, he accumulated a 4-1 record with a 2.93 ERA and 0.91 WHIP across 30.2 innings, registering 37 strikeouts against five walks.
Friedman motivated for Dodgers to repeat as World Series champions
Now that the Dodgers have captured their seventh World Series championship in franchise history, they will attempt to become the first team to repeat since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998-00.
The club figures to return the majority of their core next season, but could also add a big name either through free agency or the trade market. L.A. has already been linked to the likes of Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado.
The Dodgers also have decisions to make on their own free agents such as Justin Turner, Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson. No matter how the offseason plays out, Friedman is said to be motivated in helping the club defend their championship next year rather than resting on the accomplishment.
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