A Dodger fan looks forward to 2018 while remembering 1988
Tomorrow is Opening Day. The Dodgers play the Giants as they did thirty years ago, and all Dodger fans hope for a better result in 2018 than they had on Opening Day in 1988.
The Dodgers had an abbreviated offseason since they went to the World Series for the first time since 1988. All Dodger fans hope the new season erases the bad memories of Game 7 in 2017. Dave Roberts shouldn’t have started Yu Darvish, now with the Cubs, but unfortunately, he did. The Dodgers traded for Darvish in July, so he could start big games. He stunk in the World Series, and the offense couldn’t capitalize on countless scoring opportunities during Game 7, making the Dodgers lose an epic World Series, leaving a bad taste in many Dodger fans’ mouths.
During the offseason, the Dodgers didn’t do much. They wanted to lower their payroll, so they wouldn’t have to pay luxury tax in 2018. They obtained Matt Kemp, Tom Koehler, and Scott Alexander. Kemp, the former Dodger, had a great spring training. Koehler injured his shoulder, and nobody knows when he can pitch. The jury is still out on Alexander.
The Dodgers had a mediocre spring training. It was mostly quiet until Justin Turner’s fractured wrist. Turner’s injury opened the door for Kyle Farmer to make the team. Wednesday after having a fantastic spring training, Andrew Toles was optioned to Triple-A, so the Dodgers could keep Joc Pederson on the roster. Pederson had a great World Series but a lousy offensive spring training.
The Dodgers ended their spring with a win and a blocked pipe flooded the field at Dodger Stadium. A bad omen for 2018?
Thirty years ago, everything went the Dodgers’ way. After two years with losing records, no one expected anything from the 1988 Dodgers. Yes, they made a few trades and free agent signings. No big deal.
The 1988 Dodgers will live in our memories forever. They had grit and determination to win. Mickey Hatcher would fall down on the base paths and then crawl to the next base safely. When Fernando Valenzuela injured his shoulder, a new ace emerged named Orel “Bulldog” Hershiser who didn’t allow a run in 59 innings during late August and September.
No Dodger fan will forget where they were when a gimpy Kirk Gibson deposited a Dennis Eckersley’s backdoor slider into the right-field stands to complete a dramatic World Series Game 1 victory. The Dodgers, underdogs, beat the powerful Oakland A’s in five games for their last world championship.
To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the 1988 world championship, the Dodgers set aside the seat where the home run ball landed. The proceeds from the sale of the seat where Gibson’s homer landed will go to Parkinson’s disease research. Gibson now suffers from Parkinson’s.
No one knows what the 2018 season will bring for the Dodgers.