Los Angeles Dodgers End World Series Drought

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers no longer need to hear about 1988 as they are World Series champions after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6. Corey Seager was named World Series MVP, adding it to same honor he received after a historic National League Championship Series.

Getting to the mountaintop was both a marathon and sprint for the Dodgers. They were in the World Series a third time in the past four years and have won the NL West eight consecutive seasons.

For all their divisional and postseason success, a championship continued to elude the Dodgers. They came painstakingly close in 2017, falling to the Houston Astros in a World Series that since has become tarnished by a sign-stealing scandal.

L.A. went into 2020 among the World Series favorites and facing even loftier expectations due to trading for Mookie Betts and David Price. Of course, this year would wind up being anything but normal.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought Spring Training to a grinding halt and delayed the start of the season until the end of July. The schedule was reduced to 60 games, putting pressure on clubs to avoid slow starts.

That eventually was eliminated in some sense when MLB announced the 2020 postseason would be expanded, though that brought about the challenge of overcoming the possibility of more variance through a Wild Card round.

With what many on the roster deemed the best team they have been around, the Dodgers steamrolled through the regular season to finish with the best record at 43-17. L.A. rode that momentum to a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series, and enjoyed the same result at the expense of the San Diego Padres in the NL Division Series.

However, they stumbled against the Atlanta Braves, falling into a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS. It brought about talk of their demise and yet another year of October disappointment. The Dodgers responded by winning the next three games to reach the Fall Classic.

The Rays pulled off a stunning win in Game 4, which led to more questions on how the Dodgers would respond from an emotional defeat. That was emphatically answered the following night, and on Tuesday they etched their names in franchise history.

Now the 2020 Dodgers can be identified as champions alongside the 1988 team, rather than compared to them.

2020 World Series doesn’t come with asterisk

A consistent message from the Dodgers was this year’s champion would not be diminished by a shortened regular season. It was a sentiment Justin Turner reiterated ahead of Game 6.

“We understand it’s a different season,” he said. “That was one of the first things we talked about when we got back together: ‘Look, no matter how many games we play, no matter what the postseason looks like, if there’s a championship to be won, we’re going to go after that and do everything in our power to bring it home.’”

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