Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers season did not end the way any of them hoped with another early exit from the postseason after they were swept in the National League Division Series by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It also marked the third straight season the team fell short of expectations with a surprising upset by a team that finished with 16 fewer wins in the regular season. While the roster underwent significant overhaul during the offseason, the core of stars remained while more role players and youth was added to the club.
By all accounts, the Dodgers’ roster was close with great chemistry both on and off the field, which added to their disappointment after the series loss.
A few of the first-year Dodgers took over as team leaders, including Jason Heyward, who has been a vocal leader throughout his career. After the loss, Max Muncy recalled the message Heyward shared to the team, via Foul Territory on YouTube:
“Jason Heyward kind of jumped up and he was super thankful of all of us and the front office for assembling the team, and all that kind of stuff. Just classic Jason Heyward. Every year there’s always a guy that speaks out like that. It’s a very somber situation. My thing is I like to get everyone a bunch of beers. You don’t really need to say anything. It sucks, the season is over, it didn’t end the way you wanted it to. There’s only one team that wins that last game, and you want to be it. When you’re not it, it’s kind of a terrible feeling. So I don’t feel like too much needs to be said. I just try to hand out as many beers as I can.”
Heyward most notably gave a clubhouse speech during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series to the Chicago Cubs while they were in a rain delay. Cubs players recalled how the mood changed from somber to inspired as they went on to pull out a victory to win their first title in more than a century.
The Dodgers now face a long offseason with many questions to answer and the need to add starters both to their rotation and at multiple positions in the everyday lineup. Dodgers president of baseball operations already confirmed Dave Roberts will return to manage the team, which answers one of those questions.
Jason Heyward thanked Dodgers fans after season
Heyward now enters free agency once again after setting himself up for a solid contract offer from another team that could push him out of the range the Dodgers are willing to pay. He could still return to the organization, but he made sure to thank L.A. on Instagram after a successful season.
The veteran expressed gratitude to the organization for giving him a chance and recalled his 14 years at the Major League level.
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