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The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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Troublesome Changes To The Team And Organization Has Only Led To The L.A. Dodgers’ Downfall

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Amid the brutal clean sweep from the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers are left with yet another great season gone to waste as they choke in the playoffs. However, the lack of offense and strikes this series isn’t their only downfall but the clubhouse culture seems to be crumbling with every new headline. There have been many changes not only to the roster but the organization as a whole. 

We’re seeing the team juggle between creating the best possible lineup and upholding the all-inclusive image they strive for.  And at the same, they’ve been getting themselves far into too much controversy for an MLB team. 

Here’s where the troubles began. 

This past June, the Dodgers hosted their 10th annual Pride Night celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with the usual pregame events, photo ops, and pride activists. However this year the Dodgers invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of queer and transgender performers who advocate for love and acceptance while using their satirical humor to shed light on issues of sex, gender, and identity. 

This unsurprisingly sparked backlash and protest from Catholic and Christian fans; even players like Clayton Kershaw were upset with the group’s depiction of Catholic nuns. 

This controversy erupted weeks before Pride Night when the Dodgers announced they would be giving the Community Hero Award to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. After receiving much outrage from fans, they soon announced the group will no longer be attending which led to disappointment from the LGBTQ+ community.  Many others, including long-time partner LA Pride, backed out of the event. 

With the amount of negative press, the Dodgers chose to reinvite the Sisters, and in attempt to please the team’s diverse crowd, they announced a Christian Faith and Family Day. The push for inclusion and representation amongst all religions and beliefs from fans as well as players like Kershaw led to the event’s “bigger and better” comeback since 2019. This included pre and post-game activities, performances by Christian musicians, and testimonials from players about religion and faith. 

Having a team with such a large diverse fanbase in a city like L.A. comes with varying ideals and beliefs. However, with the Dodgers being so much more than a baseball team, they have a reputation to uphold. They are one of the most valuable money-raking teams in the league willing to make any changes necessary to keep the attendance up.

Including cutting ties with unreputable players that are bringing bad publicity to the team to avoid more controversy. Trevor Bauer and Julio Urias were both incredible starting pitchers and much needed additions to the bullpen. Unfortunately their MLB careers were thrown away as the two got caught up in some serious scandals exposing their immoral behavior off the field. 

Pitcher Trevor Bauer started with the Dodgers in the 2021 season and was put on leave a few months later. This followed after accusations of sexual assault from his then partner which left his major league career in shambles. Although it is unclear whether he is truly guilty of the claims made by his accuser Lindsey Hill, the league isn’t taking any chances. 

Bauer has since defended his reputation and he now continues his baseball career in Japan for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball. All while having a pretty good season as a starting pitcher in their rotation. 

Then meanwhile, Julio Urias was a key component of this year’s Dodgers pitching rotation. On September 3, he then was put on administrative leave due to accusations of sexual assault as well, and the organization was hit with heavy hearts. 

His talent as a young starting pitcher was missed this postseason and into the short lived playoffs, as he was a big part of the team’s success in the 2020 World Series. However with many rookies stepping up to the plate and veterans having the best season of their career with the team, it seemed as though his absence wouldn’t do any damage to the bullpen. 

In spite of notable pitchers like Kershaw, Lance Lynn, and rookie Bobby Miller, Urias might have been what we needed as he has proven to do well under pressure. With run after run given up in the early innings it is clear the pressure got to their heads costing us this series. On the other hand it is a shock how veteran world series winning players like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman completely dropped the ball offensively. 

Between all the bad press and now the team choking in the playoffs after having arguably their best season yet,  it is unclear what the next move is for them. Fans expected so much more especially with such talent across the field and the organization needs a fresh start. It seems as though having such a strong season has shifted the focus from the field to the stands and the press surrounding the organization. However, they seem to have forgotten what we the fans want: respectable, talented players and a world series title. 

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  • M

    MMOct 22, 2023 at 10:17 PM

    The bullpen refers to relief pitchers, not starting pitchers.

  • M

    Michael O'ConnorOct 21, 2023 at 9:32 PM

    Get rid of front office. Friedman. Quit Dumpster diving for players at trade time. New Ownership with baseball first and egos last.