So Long, 2013

dodger_dugout_2013nlcs_game5

Over the last few days, I’ve been polishing off two pieces for the upcoming 2014 Hardball Times Baseball Annual. One is a season in review of the NL West, which focuses heavily on the birth of a rivalry between the Dodgers & Diamondbacks. The other is more Dodger-specific, and looks at how the organization has gone from the lowest lows of McCourt to one step away from the World Series in barely more than two years.

What I’ve realized by writing these pieces is that no matter how badly this season ended last night, and no matter how awful it was to see Clayton Kershaw get lit up the way he did, this was a truly great season, arguably the most enjoyable one I’ve ever seen. I really don’t think it can be overstated how atrocious the first two months were, when we were subjected to Luis Cruz and Dee Gordon and Brandon League daily, nor just how incredible the second half was, when Yasiel Puig amazed and Hanley Ramirez ripped and Zack Greinke dominated and games weren’t just won, they were won in ludicrous ways.

We can be disappointed at how it ended — and I am, though I suppose it’s easier to stomach a blowout than a nail-biter, or worse, something that ended on an error or a poor managerial decision — but the fact that this team not only made it to the playoffs but made noise there, after being on pace to set historical lows, after Matt Kemp‘s lost year, after “having too many starters” and then needing to use Matt Magill and Stephen Fife before April was even done, after the injuries to Greinke and Ramirez (thumb) & Ramirez (hamstring) & Ramirez (shoulder) & Ramirez (back) & Ramirez (ribs) and Andre Ethier and everyone else, to the point that the entire 40-man roster had seen big league time, well, that was a whole lot more enjoyable than watching the most expensive team in club history slowly crawl in at 74-88, or whatever it might have been.

The end wasn’t fun. But it came in the second half of October, not the second half of June, and that’s meaningful. When I think about how much has changed, well… let me put it this way. On Opening Day of this season, I called 2013 “the most anticipated season of Dodger baseball in years.” When I think ahead to what 2014 might be, with a full year of Puig and (fingers crossed) better health from everyone else, I’m not entirely sure I was right about that.

As always, the end of the season doesn’t mean the end of the road here. Tomorrow, we’ll kick off the offseason with a look at the the status of the 40-man rosters, and get into the fun of building next year’s club and season reviews next week. Thanks, as usual, for being here to make it fun.

1636 comments
GinFizzBear
GinFizzBear

I don't expect that I will comment often until April, but I wanted to say thanks to Mike and the posters here for making 2013 more enjoyable; you guys are funny!  

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

So uh, I called it.

I hate them all.

Fucking Flyin Bitchface.

Douchebags one and all.

KMT59
KMT59

And I just had to work my way back to the site since the home page isn't loading and everyone is gone

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

Alrighty, I'm out. Just wanted to wish @LA_Woman a happy birthday. Catch you guys later

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

10 Free Agents: Ricky Nolasco, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston Jr., Michael Young, Brian Wilson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Marmol, Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, J.P. Howell.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

you know what? I'd rather lose a game the way we lost yesterday than the way the Tigers lost. Losing your last game of the year in that manner is just.... terribly depressing.

TaintsnifferMcGillicutty
TaintsnifferMcGillicutty

IDC what anyone says, i lovelovelovelove playoff baseball regardless of the teams playing! I will tune in for every WS game, it's a party!

Blue Collar
Blue Collar

As much as I hate Victorino, I hope he hits a dinger against St. L and does that exact same celebration when Wainwright is pitching.

PagansOedipalComplex
PagansOedipalComplex

@Blue Collar Wainwright is less of an evil than Victorino

I hope he collects a golden sombrero and Big Papi hits a 550 foot shot off of Wainwright and pimps the hell out of the shot

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@DeucesWild @LA_Woman  And to you, too! Sigh... I guess this is what happens when we're in the postseason, and there's no game scheduled on our birthday. ;-(

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@KMT59 @LA_Woman @DeucesWild @efb  I'll let him know if I see him around. It's so funny... he and I live blocks away from each other and go to some of the same places in the 'hood, but we don't know what each other looks like!

KMT59
KMT59

@LA_Woman @KMT59 @DeucesWild son is crawling all over me and I can't fall back to sleep and since he is sick I want to be near him if his fever starts up again

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman Kind of the same here. It'll probably be pops and me at BJ's since they have a bit of everything

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@DeucesWild @LA_Woman  Our family tradition when I was growing up used to be that we could pick whatever restaurant we wanted. But now that it's just Dad & me and we have such wildly different tastes (and he's not adventurous), I just go to one of his regular restaurants.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman Thanks! I know, it really sucks. At least my Chiefs are on tv at 1 and I get a free meal of my choosing lol