|Flexing Its Muscle - The Dodgers won it all in '88 - they won their division by seven games, won the NL Championship Series and hammered Oakland in the World Series, 4 games to 1. Kirk Gibson, the NL's Most Valuable Player, had a season to remember in 1988. He was named MVP in his' first season in the NL. Gibson brought intensity and a winning attitude to help carry the Dodgers to the World Crown. Signed as a free agent in February of 1988, he hit .290, scored 106 runs, 25 homers and 76 RBI's. |
Worth Watching For - 1989: The Dodgers signed free agent Eddie Murray, one of the American League's most consistent hitters over the last 10 years. Center-fielder John Shelby rates as one of the league's top fly-catchers and his bat produced 10 HRs and 64 RBIs. Shelby is a valuable proven major leaguer.
Team Veterans - Orel Hershiser raked up 23-8, 2.26 ERA numbers during '88. He was awarded the NL's Cy Young Award and was the hero in the World Series - winning the Series' MVP. Mike Scioscia may well be the smartest catcher in the league. He sets up hitters, directs the pitching staff and provides a steady bat. .257 BA.
Needs For Improvement - Injuries to key pitchers, Fernando Valenzuela and John Tudor, will cause nightmares for manager Tommy Lasorda in '89. Lasorda will have to work his magic and hope Tim Leary who had a fine 17-11, 2,91 ERA, 228 innings and right-hander Tim Belcher 12-6, 2.91 ERA, each will put past injuries behind and have another year like 1988. The Dodgers finished at 94-67 in 1988. Baseballhistorian.com - Manager's notebook - (Rotating Green Boxes)