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Dodgers team destined for greatness

LA has huge lead in NL West and has shown resiliency this season.
MLB.com

It has been 29 years since the Dodgers appeared in the World Series and most Dodgers fans will consider this season to be another disappointment if they don't go to the World Series. I don't think they should worry. I think this year's Dodgers team is destined for greatness.

I know it is possible for the Dodgers to have a major collapse and miss the playoffs. In my opinion, it is highly unlikely. They have a 14-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are in second place in the National League West. Yes, everyone remembers the "Shot heard around the world" when Bobby Thompson sealed a fantastic comeback by the 1951 New York Giants to knock the Brooklyn Dodgers out of the World Series. Last year the San Francisco Giants had the best record in baseball at the 2016 All-Star break, but they were only a Wild Card team at the end of the season.

It has been 29 years since the Dodgers appeared in the World Series and most Dodgers fans will consider this season to be another disappointment if they don't go to the World Series. I don't think they should worry. I think this year's Dodgers team is destined for greatness.

I know it is possible for the Dodgers to have a major collapse and miss the playoffs. In my opinion, it is highly unlikely. They have a 14-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are in second place in the National League West. Yes, everyone remembers the "Shot heard around the world" when Bobby Thompson sealed a fantastic comeback by the 1951 New York Giants to knock the Brooklyn Dodgers out of the World Series. Last year the San Francisco Giants had the best record in baseball at the 2016 All-Star break, but they were only a Wild Card team at the end of the season.

The Dodgers have demonstrated an unusual ability to come back from any deficit this season. They haven't given up in any game. Thirty-one out of their 73 victories were come-from-behind wins. This is a symbol of a great team. Every night there is a different hero, so they aren't relying on the same player to excel every game.

Manager Dave Roberts has confidence in every player on his roster, so he has no qualms about giving his regulars periodic rest. This helps to keep everyone fresh. Everyone understands he is important to the winning effort. The Dodgers have wonderful chemistry in the clubhouse, and no player performs selfishly because they want to achieve the ultimate goal, winning a world championship.

The Dodgers have the correct mix of veterans and inexperienced players, and both are performing up to unrealistic standards. Just before the 2014 season, the Dodgers signed a journeyman utility infielder named Justin Turner to a Minor League contract. Turner didn't beat out Dee Gordon for the starting second base job, but he impressed management with his overall performance, earning a utility role. Soon he was the starting third baseman, contributing regularly to the offense. Since then, he has been one of the Dodgers' main offensive producers while he has played Gold Glove defense at third base. This year other than being an All-Star for the first time in his career, Turner is leading the NL in batting with a .356 average.

The Dodgers have kids who are performing beyond anyone's dreams. Chris Taylor, who practically was dumped by the Seattle Mariners in 2016, has shocked everyone with his fabulous play. During the offseason, Taylor revamped his swing to add power. Now it seems every time the Dodgers need a big hit, Taylor delivers while also playing outstanding defense in left field, a new position for him.

Video: SF@LAD: Dodgers score four in 7th to take the lead

Corey Seager, the unanimous 2016 National League Rookie of the Year, doesn't understand what a sophomore slump is. Beginning the season slowly since he missed almost the entire Spring Training with a strained oblique, Seager earned his second consecutive All-Star selection.

What can you say about Cody Bellinger, except "Wow!" He wasn't supposed to be in the big leagues yet. He has gone to the All-Star Game, participated in the Home Run Derby, and is second in the league in home runs. Though Bellinger is a frontrunner for the NL Rookie of the Year, he also deserves to be in the conversation for NL MVP.

Sarah D. Morris can be reached at sarahmorris27@gmail.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers