Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the postseason nine consecutive years and become the model of consistency that each team strives to attain.
And this season is no different as they are once again the favorites to win the World Series. But at one point this past offseason, that felt like less of a given. The team lost Corey Seager and Max Scherzer early in free agency, and Kenley Jansen as well once the MLB lockout ended.
However, it didn’t affect their odds much as they replaced that trio with Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel, who are both arguably upgrades, and Andrew Heaney, who isn’t a future Hall of Famer, but looks like a breakout star through two starts.
Their ability to continue to win and acquire talent no matter what happens is the envy of the league and puts a target on their back. As Jansen said via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, every team wants to be the one to defeat the Dodgers:
“Everyone wants to beat the Dodgers,” Jansen said. “Now I’m on the other side, of course I want to beat them, as much as I love them. That organization will be, for the rest of my life, in my heart. But now that you’re on the other side, you want to beat them.”
Mookie Betts also expressed a similar sentiment last season, saying each opponent always brings their best when they face the Dodgers, but it’s something the team has embraced.
“I think we all have one goal in mind, and that’s to win again,” he said last April. “We know it’s going to take a lot of hard work, we know there’s a bullseye on our back. But I would rather be playing with a bullseye on my back than trying to chase to get to the top.”
Jansen has accomplished nearly everything in his career as one of the best closers in MLB history. He is a World Series champion, three-time All-Star and two-time National League Trevor Hoffman Relief Pitcher of the Year Award winner.
But one thing he has never done is beat the Dodgers, and he hopes that changes this week.
Roberts hopes Dodgers fans welcome Jansen back
With the Braves returning to L.A. for the first time since Jansen signed there, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is hoping fans give the franchise’s all-time saves leader a warm welcome.
“Absolutely not,” Roberts answered when asked if they should boo Jansen. “He better get a very big standing ovation, because he earned it.”
Speaking in a lighthearted tone, Roberts did add fans could boo Jansen if he converted a save against the Dodgers.
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