When the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers met in the 2016 National League Championship Series both teams were looking to end a World Series drought. But whereas it was approaching three decades for the Dodgers, the Cubs had waited over one century. One hundred and eight years, to be exact.
After eliminating the Dodgers in six games, the Cubs overcame a 3-1 series deficit against the Cleveland Indians to be crowned World Series champions. The victory parade was among the largest ever seen.
The celebration will resume Monday — and Wednesday — at Wrigley Field. Including their own, the Dodgers are playing in a third home opener this season. The Cubs will raise a World Series flag during a pregame ceremony Monday and receive their rings on Wednesday.
Justin Turner doesn’t plan to watch either celebration, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Absolutely not,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “If I can, I’ll go sit in the clubhouse where it’s warm. I want to experience it. But when I do, I want the first time to be when we do.”
Turner’s sentiment was echoed by Kenley Jansen:
“I’m not trying to talk (trash) about them. They deserve it. They were the best team last year and they beat us. But if you’re playing with all your passion, to see the other team celebrate – it (stinks). Why should I watch it and get that sour taste again? That’s not a motivation to me. The motivation to me is we got close.”
Corey Seager, however, sees some benefit in watching the victor receive their spoils, but isn’t yet certain if he will remain in the dugout for the festivities:
“It’s one of those things that you don’t want to see but you have to – just to let it sink in more,” Seager said. “You never want to fail. But you want to see what it’s like to win. I view it as something that you want to work towards, almost. I don’t know yet. I want to (see it) but I don’t want to.”
Jansen allowed just one hit and collected 10 strikeouts in 6.1 scoreless innings over three appearances in last year’s NLCS. His three innings of work in Game 6 was a career high.
Turner had one four hits, including one home run, and three RBI in 20-bats during the series. Seager had six hits and one RBI in 24 at-bats.
On top of the challenge that comes with facing a talented Cubs team, the Dodgers will need to solve two left-handed starters during the three-game series. They draw Jon Lester in the series opener, and former teammate Brett Anderson in the finale on Thursday.
After this week, Chicago and Los Angeles will next meet May 26 for the start of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium.