In the previous season, they had 4 star outfielders, but only room enough for 3 to play. It bruised a lot of egos and it was interesting to see how things would play out this season. They traded away one of the main guys, Matt Kemp, for what seemed to be a dud trade. As it turns out, Yasmani Grandal, a main player from that trade that has been a great addition to the team. I for one thought he'd be a dud player, but, I'm glad to be wrong.
Back in March, there was much circulating about trading some other guys. One of them was Andre Ethier. Back during Spring Training, I went for a day to see a game and saw him signing autographs. I was joking about how he would probably soon be gone from the team. Well, after 3 months into the season, he's shown why he is a valuable member of the team. He's been hitting well, and again, proving me wrong in my assumptions.
Carl Crawford also started off the season with much promise, but he was sidelined with an injury for much of the season so far.
Also during Spring Training, I saw Yasiel Puig during some batting practice, and it's amazing to see how hard he can hit the ball. He also was expected to have an MVP caliber season, but early-on, he was sidelined with a hamstring injury. This lead many to think he had finally reached an over-rated stage in career, and that he should be traded. Admittedly, I am a Puig fanboy and will stand up for him whenever needed. It's been frustrating to see him sidelined, but I got to be there for his return game and it was awesome. I got to see him hit a line-drive laser for a double, which drove in a couple runs. And yet, when he has played, he has shown the talents that he belongs with the team.
Silently, Scott Van Slyke (Scott Van Skills) has been a huge asset. He's gotten many clutch hits, had a walk-off homerun or two, been awesome as an outfielder. Don't let him shave the beard!
Then the rookie, Joc Pederson, has been having an interesting season. He played a few games towards the end of the 2014 season and it seemed like he may have been overhyped. He couldn't hit the ball. This season, he started off on a tear. His average has fluctuated, but his bat has had power. It was fun to watch him nearly win the homerun derby too. It's been fun to cheer him on and I can't wait to see him mature as a batter. His fielding is up there with the best and is the best centerfielder the Dodgers have had, according to Vin Scully.
All this to say, the Dodgers are in first place. And it's been with multiple guys carrying the load, some of which I never expected to be here this far into the season. Sometimes I can get caught up cheering for one guy, while booing (openly and secretly) the other. But, I have to remember that baseball is a team sport. Clayton Kershaw can't win games unless the offense and defense do their part. And, just like life, we need to support each other by doing our part.
It's now the middle of July, and I hope to see these guys in October, along with my fellow fans! Go Dodgers! "They may be bums, but they're my bums!"