The predictions of major league experts for the 2023 season were almost completely wrong. This is because of the San Diego Padres, to which Ha-seong Kim belongs.
Two out of three hosts of MLB Network’s morning program ‘MLB Central’ predicted that San Diego would advance to the World Series. Mark DeRosa, manager of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) U.S. team, also predicted San Diego’s advancement to the WS.
The reason SD was selected as a candidate to advance to WS is because in addition to the existing superstars, shortstop Xander Bogaerts was invested and recruited by investing $280 million, greatly improving the team’s power. They swept the Oakland Aces game over the weekend and started a four-game winning streak for the first time this season. But it’s too little too late.
Before the season, the prevailing prediction for the LA Dodgers, who were in the same division as San Diego’s prediction of advancing to the WS, was that they would “advance to the postseason but not win the district.” This too went off spectacularly. They swept the Seattle Mariners on the weekend, winning the district championship and advancing to the postseason for the 11th consecutive year.
They won the district championship 10 times in 11 years, showing off the power of a prestigious team. This is the 3rd longest consecutive postseason streak in MLB history, 11 years in a row. The longest streaks include 14 years with the Atlanta Braves (1991-2005) 메이저놀이터 and 13 years with the New York Yankees (1995-2007).
There is a reason why the Dodgers’ 2023 district championship is highly regarded. This is an achievement achieved in a situation where there are many injuries on the mound that holds the key to the pennant race. Offseason free agent recruitment was also minimal compared to the Padres. After the 2022 season, they did not spend a lot of money in the free agent market. Fans were very anxious because there was no power reinforcement.
The Dodgers starting rotation for the opening game included Julio Urias (out due to domestic violence), Dustin May (elbow surgery), Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard (released), and Michael Grove. Currently, Kershaw is the only one left. Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Lance Lynn (reinforced by trade), Gavin Stone, etc. Tony Gonsolin, who recorded 16 wins, 1 loss and 2.14 last season, also had elbow ligament surgery during this season.
The decisive reason why the pre-season expectations and results of this year’s Dodgers and Padres differed 180 degrees was the chemistry known as team work. This is why third baseman Manny Machado (31) is receiving a lot of criticism. As the team’s highest paid person, he is unable to become a leader and is instead criticized as the main culprit in breaking the team chemistry.
Recently, local media reporter Kevin Acey of the San Diego Union-Tribune questioned the Padres’ clubhouse culture. The frustration of not meeting expectations in 2023 is the clubhouse culture, or team chemistry.
In comparison, the Dodgers are the exact opposite. After confirming the district championship over the weekend, top hitter Mookie Betts said, “We care about each other and like each other. “The tight-knit team culture helped us win,” he said. Kershaw, the team leader, also said the same thing. Team Casmistry is an invisible force.
Baseball is a mental sport. The famous Yogi Berra pointed this out a long time ago. He said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.”
In baseball, the same amount of power can be the difference between winning and last place. There is no team sport where individual records are as advanced as baseball, but where team chemistry is as important.