The Los Angeles Dodgers still hold a commanding lead in the NL West and still have the best record in baseball, but they have lost six in a row and eleven of twelve. This has some Dodgers fans panicking, and wondering if a season that once seemed destined for the history books will end with yet another ignominious playoff exit.
While it’s every fan’s God-given right to panic, there’s a difference between panic and despair for the future. The former is an emotional response to bad stuff. The latter carries with it some amount of pessimism that is roughly based on reason. “They stink now,” the despairing Dodgers fan says, “so the NLDS is gonna be the end of it.”
Bah. This may be a crappy stretch for the Dodgers, but despairing fans should know that basically every great team — including World Series champions — go one one or two skids a year. Here some of the more notable ones from World Series champs since we began this website:
- 2016 Cubs: Lost nine of ten between June 30 and July 9 and eight of twelve between May 11 and May 23;
- 2015 Royals: Lost nine of eleven between May 24 and June 6 and nine of twelve between Septemeber 4 and September 16;
- 2014 Giants: Lost six of seven and seven of nine in early to mid August and six of eight between September 19 and September 26;
- 2013 Red Sox: Lost nine of eleven between May 3 and May 14 and seven of ten between August 8 and August 18;
- 2012 Giants: Lost seven of ten between May 1 and May 11, seven of nine between June 29 and July 8 and seven of eight between July 25 and August 2;
- 2011 Cardinals: Lost twelve of fifteen between June 10 and June 26;
- 2010 Giants: Lost seven of nine between May 17 and May 26 and nine of ten between June 23 and July 2; finally
- 2009 Yankees: Lost seven if nine between May 2 and May 12 and nine of thirteen between June 9 and June 23. They also lost three of their last four heading into the playoffs if you care about such things.
The point here isn’t that the Dodgers will definitely be OK. They may not be! The point is that every team has a bad skid or three from time to time, World Series winners included. The Dodgers losing these games are less preferable than them winning them, obviously, but their losing them carries no predictive value whatsoever.
So dudes: stop panicking. Or, if you can’t do that, at least stop despairing.