The Rockies would have won the NL West in 1995, 2009 and 2018 without the Dodgers in the equation. Fantasizing about what could have been takes away from the outlook toward the future, but Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg in a Dodger uniform could take away from it, too.
In a sickening article for Rockies fans to read, the LA Times throws around the names Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg as prospective additions to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The other four teams in the National League West already see the Dodgers as a prospective subtraction.
Both pitchers have ties to Southern California; Strasburg pitched at San Diego State and Cole threw for UCLA.
World Series champions of recent years have either remained contenders in ensuing years (2017 Astros, 2010 Giants), or, in many respects, regressed from being a serious force (2015 Royals, 2016 Cubs although too early to really tell—even the 2013 Red Sox and 2012 Giants finished at or near the bottom of their divisions the following year). It’s hardly a profound statement, as it runs quite similar across all pro sports, but what if the glue that keeps the Dodgers together is the fact that they haven’t won it all?
The Dodgers last World Series win was in 1988, and having won seven consecutive NL West titles, it’s safe to reason the glue keeping them intact has been less Elmer’s glue and more like a bottle and a half of Gorilla Glue suffocating their divisional rivals. It stands to at least reason that a World Series championship may be what it takes to break the Dodgers apart just enough for other teams to contend for a divisional title.
They also remain a large market team, too, in one of the largest markets there is, in a desirable place to play—their spending habits might be able to retain their greatest assets year after year, ring or not.
Elsewhere in the NL West, the conversations of Jon Gray’s potential departure further a disheartening feeling for Rockies fans, even if it’s just mere speculation and at least two years away at this point.
Major League Baseball hosts the 2019 ‘General Managers Meetings’ in Scottsdale this week, a precursor to the annual Winter Meetings. “Big moves rarely take place at this event,” says MLB.com writer Mark Feinsand.
Feinsand goes on to explain how it can set the framework for front office conversation going into the Winter Meetings, and it acts as an event to kick off trade talks and free agent conversations.
If Manny Machado and Bryce Harper taught us anything about free agent signings, our excitement is best curbed for several months, however.
The baseball executives may have to search for a new location to discuss; the Pink Pony on Scottsdale Road used to have “enough GM’s in the room to make 15 trades” on an ordinary night during spring training with team officials around. The Pony is now closed, as is the Scottsdale baseball staple Don and Charlie’s, but if these executives mix in a Yelp review, they’ll probably be just fine in that town.
Construction at San Francisco’s Oracle Park is underway this offseason, as the Giants are moving both bullpens out of foul territory and beyond the outfield fence. Upon completion, only Tampa Bay and Oakland will be the remaining ballparks with bullpens in the field of play.