LOS ANGELES — With a cool night chasing a smog-filled afternoon, 50,000+ baseball fans crowded into Dodger Stadium to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers fail to win the World Series for the 30th consecutive year. The question now is not “how does this keep happening?” but “why does this keep happening?” and the years-in-the-making-answer is now clear:
The Dodgers have always been in the World Series.
Or, at least, they will continue to be for the rest of our lives — there is no stopping the Dodgers from reaching the World Series. They have too much talent, too much money, and they are an international syndicate. There is no point of the season where they will be too far back and no star player at the deadline they won’t be able to acquire.
The Dodgers being the permanent representative in the World Series every year for the rest of our lives isn’t the worst thing in the world, though. For one thing, we have a chance to watch the Dodgers fail to win the World Series in the World Series every year. For another, their continued presence really irks the baseball traditionalists and midlife crisis-experiencing men paid to cover the World Series. The President of a war-torn country tweeted admonitions at them. The rise the Dodgers unintentionally get out of some people is as entertaining as the Dodgers failing to win the World Series, which they failed to do for the 30th consecutive year.
The “analytic wave” that these codgers are railing against has already flooded and consumed the industry — they’re mad about being unable to control the world changing around them. The Dodgers are on the bleeding edge of baseball analytics and they still haven’t been able to win the World Series for all their smarts and resources. It’s a win-win for not-Dodgers fans.
But if you’re reading this and you’re mad at me for saying the Dodgers will be the National League representative in the World Series for the rest of our natural lives, just understand that I don’t make the rules — the Dodgers will be in the World Series every year for the rest of our natural lives. It’s just one of those things we can’t avoid, like Halloween movies. I’m talking about HALLOWEEN movies featuring the masked killer Michael Myers.
There have been eight Halloween / Michael Myers movies released since the Dodgers last won the World Series (including one this year!), and just like that franchise, the Dodgers are an unkillable force. For one more night, for one more Halloween, their ghoulish energy was put to rest.
Grant had become weary of writing these for fear of gloating and because he knows a reckoning is coming. It’s impossible for a franchise this determined and this resourceful to not win the World Series forever. I agree, but I also can’t help but get a mild thrill out of the idea of the Dodgers getting to the World Series every year and not winning it.
We’ve been incredibly lucky with our luck. The Giants won three when we were thrilled with one. We never thought we’d even win that one. Dodgers fans might never feel like their team is going to win one, but the difference here is that Dodgers fans will get to see their team in the World Series every year for the rest of their natural lives.
And that’s what we’re really talking about here. This was an uneasy series to watch in some ways: Clayton Kershaw really is the best pitcher on the planet, but all the things people say about him in the postseason have really, finally stuck; Kenley Jansen couldn’t stop giving up runs; Manny Machado revealed himself to be a butt; Yasiel Puig played with his whole butt; it took an historic 18-inning game for the Dodgers just to get a win against the mighty Red Sox, and yet, the Dodgers were in the World Series again, because that’s how they’re built. And they will be again. And again. And again and again.
It’s hard to complain about a team being in the World Series every year, even if they don’t win when they get there. This particular World Series loss really stung for all those reasons above — it’s tough when a series loss calls into question foundational components of an organization.
Still, it wasn’t all on the Dodgers here: for the second year in a row, they ran into a really powerful team they just couldn’t slow down. For the second year in a row, they’ll head into the offseason with some big question marks about their team. For the second year in a row, the Dodgers will obsess over how close they came and believe they have the talent to get right back to the World Series. For the second year in a row, we’ll be rolling our eyes and “of course”-ing the idea that they’ll ju be in the World Series in 2019.
But for the 30th consecutive year, the Dodgers didn’t win the World Series.