His eyes gleaming, his season over,
"This team is not going to give up," Jansen said. "We're going to bring a championship back to L.A. I promise you that."
On any day before Wednesday — on Feb. 1 or July 1 or Oct. 1 — the words would have sounded like a pledge. But Jansen spoke on Nov. 1, minutes after his team lost to the
The 2017 Dodgers won 104 regular-season games and accumulated enough accolades to fill a trophy case — a fifth
“I’m not really thinking about next year,” pitcher
The collection of talent does not guarantee a return to the Fall Classic. Houston assembled a similarly youthful roster. There will be healthy challenges from the
No team has won back-to-back championships since the Yankees captured three in a row from 1998 to 2000. Since 2000, four teams have appeared in the World Series in consecutive seasons: the 2000-2001 Yankees, 2008-2009 Philadelphia Phillies, 2010-2011
Only the Royals won a title in their return engagement — after falling in Game 7 the year before to San Francisco. Kansas City leaned on that agony throughout the following season. Dodgers manager
"I know our guys and I know that there won't be a hangover," Roberts said. "They will be more incentivized, and I think they'll be hungrier."
Except baseball does not always reward its best. The Indians blew a 3-1 lead in the World Series to the Cubs last October. Focused on atoning, the Indians raced to the best record in the American League this season. Yet they still fell in the first round to the Yankees.
When the heartache subsides, the Dodgers will still enter the offseason in an enviable position. They support the game's largest payroll and run a well-stocked farm system. The overwhelming majority of their roster can return for 2018, and the front office may choose to make only cosmetic changes to the composition of this group.
Last winter, the Dodgers doled out $192 million to re-sign Jansen, third baseman
After the game, Darvish admitted his passion for baseball had ebbed during the last three years. When the Dodgers acquired him from Texas in July, Darvish felt re-invigorated.
"I just want to come back and pitch better," Darvish said through his translator, Hideaki Sato. "It's tough, but personally I want to come back to the Dodgers."
Darvish could command a nine-figure contract, and the Dodgers are unlikely to meet that price. But there may be a fit if Darvish takes a discount. Otherwise, the Dodgers may pursue Cubs starter Jake Arrieta to add to a pitching staff that already includes Kershaw, Hill, All-Star Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu, with former top prospect Julio Urias returning from shoulder surgery.
The Dodgers are also expected to chase two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, if he becomes available.
Ohtani would be a luxury item for the Dodgers. A tour around the diamond reveals the comfort of their position: First baseman Cody Bellinger, shortstop Corey Seager and catcher
In the outfield, the team will return
Many of the faces are likely to be the same in 2018. The Dodgers can only hope that the end result, despite the warnings of history and the difficulty of the task, will be different.