Re-energized by Guggenheim Baseball Management saving the franchise from Frank McCourt’s reign, and a run to the National League Championship Series in 2013, expectations for the Los Angeles Dodgers grew exponentially heading into the 2014 season.
In August of that year, ace Clayton Kershaw infamously proclaimed it was “World Series or bust” for the Dodgers. His comments matched with former manager Don Mattingly’s belief the club should embrace their expectations, but nonetheless caused a media firestorm.
That came as a surprise to Kershaw, who later explained it’s a view he believed all teams shared. Los Angeles has yet to get over the hump, reaching the NLCS last year for only the second time during their four-year run as NL West champions.
The Dodgers are among the favorites to win the 2017 World Series, and on Tuesday, Corey Seager expressed the sentiment Kershaw did in 2014, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“Yeah, that’s always got to be the mindset. The goal at the beginning of the year is always to win a World Series, and if you don’t, it’s a disappointment. Last year was a disappointment. It was a good year but still a disappointment to lose.”
The Dodgers return the core of a team that went 91-71 and erased an eight-game deficit to San Francisco Giants to win the division. That was despite losing Kershaw to the disabled list for more than two months, and setting an MLB record by putting 28 different players on the DL.
Although Seager is not one to put personal accolades ahead of the team’s accomplishments, his 2016 campaign was wildly successful even if it did not end with the Dodgers hoisting the World Series trophy.
Seager was the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year selection and finished third in NL MVP voting. The 22-year-old once again is expected to play a significant role in the heart of the Dodgers lineup, all the while providing steady defense at shortstop.