the next five NL West crowns -- and five more shots at winning it all -- so a failure to win the World Series this year wouldn't be a permanent failure. But until they do win one, the Dodgers represent a staggering investment in unconsummated greatness.
The Dodgers won't have the league's highest payroll this year, but they have been by far the most expensive team of late, outspending the Astros and Cubs combined over the previous half-decade. They have also been baseball's best team, winning more games than any other club, and they've had the best pitcher of the generation starting two games in every postseason series. That's not a bad way to live! But it makes everything short of the ultimate goal a failure, especially because they have the sport's 11th-longest World Series drought, an entire generation's worth of not winning it all.
The stakes are much lower for the Astros and Cubs, who've won the past two titles. Once a team has won a World Series, not much moves the needle for a while. The Astros and Cubs are playing for two things: to build up their dynasty claim, which probably requires three titles in a short time; [url=http://www.officialauthenticsaintsstore.com/Nike-Ryan-Ramczyk-Jersey.html]http://www.officialauthenticsaintsstore.com/Nike-Ryan-Ramczyk-Jersey.html[/url] or to stay relevant, which is to say, to avoid disaster, keep a 90-win outlook, keep
their season-ticket sales strong and justify their long rebuilds with long competitive windows. If they don't collapse this season -- see the 2017 Giants, the 2014 Braves, the 2014 Red Sox and the 2012 Phillies for what that would look like -- then no damage done and not what you'd call a failure. But if they don't win the World Series, it'll be standing still and probably not what you'd call a success.
Few storylines in baseball have been as compelling, dynamic and promising for as long as the overlapping Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper storylines. Strasburg was perhaps the most hyped amateur pitching prospect of all time. Harper, from his midteens, was perhaps the most hyped hitting prospect of all time. Then they were teammates! Wow! In the years since, each has been, at times, among the most dominant baseball players in the world. Harper had, in 2015, the best offensive season since Barry Bonds; Strasburg had, in 2017, a 0.70 ERA in the second half, including his two postseason starts.
As a story, this has been perfectly paced and plotted, through obstacles and separations and payoffs withheld, a story both of predictability (the young prodigies grow into mature heroes) and unpredictability (the Nats, with these two historic forces, with the second-best record in baseball over half a decade, have failed to win a single postseason series). One assumes a story like this is moving toward a huge payoff. But Harper (along with Daniel Murphy and Gio Gonzalez) is about to hit free agency. This could be the final act of the Strasburg/Harper story. A World Series victory is the finish you're counting on. An appearance in it is the bare minimum. A "to be continued" -- i.e., Harper signing an extension -- would be tedious but still promising.
The Yankees are the Vegas favorites, but they're young, they're already ahead of schedule, they'll have and be a ton of fun, they'll be able to spend a lot of money next winter and they're probably entering a five-year period during which they'll win 500 games and (more than likely) at least one title. They have a lot of goals this season -- incorporate Gleyber Torres into the mix, keep their pitchers healthy, get along well with new manager Aaron Boone, get either Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton (or both) to 62 home runs and win the World Series [url=http://www.officialtitansfootballshop.com/titans+johnathan+cyprien+jersey]Authentic Johnathan Cyprien Jersey[/url] -- but as long as they don't move backward it's hard to see this not being an incredibly fun season.
Last year, the Red Sox entered the season as World Series favorites, saw their offense collapse, fired their manager and lost in the ALDS. We still concluded it was a successful season, but barely. This year, they're consensus underdogs in their division, so reaching the same stage -- either by beating the Yankees in the AL East or winning the wild-card game -- would be a worthy enough goal, even if they are spending more than any other team this year. If they can do it without Hanley Ramirez's 2019 option vesting, with Price pitching well enough to opt out of or be worth the rest of his contract, and with Devers or Benintendi getting MVP votes, they'd be in position to go toe-to-toe with the Yankees in 2019.
Cleveland was arguably the best team in baseball last season, [url=http://www.authenticcanadiens.com/dustin-tokarski-jersey_c-475.html]Authentic Dustin Tokarski Jersey[/url] and it has [url=http://www.carolinahurricanesofficialonline.com/Adidas-Trevor-Van-Riemsdyk-Jersey]http://www.carolinahurricanesofficialonline.com/Adidas-Trevor-Van-Riemsdyk-Jersey[/url] been the best team in the AL over the past five. It got bounced from [url=http://www.officialpiratesproshop.com/Tony_Watson_Jersey]http://www.officialpiratesproshop.com/Tony_Watson_Jersey[/url] the ALDS in 2017 after blowing a 2-0 lead and now has the longest World Series drought in baseball. So maybe expectations are as high there as they are for the Dodgers or Nationals. But Cleveland is one of the toughest markets to compete in -- only the Rays have drawn fewer fans in
the past half decade -- and the Indians' current run of five good seasons and a few promising ones to come is a huge achievement. The core is almost entirely under team control beyond this season, and the Indians probably won't be pushed too hard by a division rival until 2020. A division title, a strong rookie season from top prospect Mejia and another attendance boost (last year the Indians drew 2 [url=http://www.packersofficialfootballshop.com/Super-Bowl-Richard-Rodgers-Jersey]Womens Richard Rodgers Jersey[/url] million fans for the first time in a decade) would keep the momentum going and the window wide open. [url=http://www.wholesalejerseyspaypal.us.com]cheap jerseys china[/url] [url=http://www.AuthenticJerseysCity.com]cheap jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.MajesticWholesaleJerseys.com]cheap jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.MeJerseysChina.com]cheap jerseys free shipping[/url] [url=http://www.cheapchinajerseys.us.com]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.nhljerseyssupply.com]wholesale jerseys[/url]
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