May 27, 2024

Adrian Beltre last played for the Dodgers two decades ago, but he still lives in Southern California. He was golfing with someone he called “a Dodgers guy” not long ago, when four teams remained in the running to win the World Series, and the two men debated the team for which they would be rooting.

For Beltre, that was easy. The Texas Rangers retired his number four years ago.

For his golf partner, not so easy. That guy had Corey Seager on his mind.

“Maybe the Rangers, I don’t know,” the man replied, “but Corey’s over there. He left. I just want to make him lose.”

Beltre laughed as he told the story. He was about to participate in the first pitch ceremony before Game 2 of the World Series, and he was not about to identify his “Dodgers guy.”

“I don’t want to get into the details,” Beltre said, “but they’re not happy that we’re doing good and Corey is here and crushing it.”

For Dodgers fans, this is no laughing matter: In the two seasons since Seager left Los Angeles and signed with the Texas Rangers, the Dodgers have not won a postseason series.

And, for the second time in four years, Seager lifted a World Series championship trophy.

Seager singled to break up Zac Gallen’s no-hitter in the seventh inning Wednesday, then scored the game’s first run in a 5-0 victory that clinched the World Series. The Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games.

Nathan Eovaldi, a prospect traded away by the Dodgers 11 years ago, threw six shutout innings and became the first pitcher in major league history to win five starts in one postseason.

In 2020, Seager led the Dodgers to a title by batting .400 in the World Series, hitting two home runs and reaching base 15 times in 27 plate appearances.

In 2023, Seager hit three home runs in the first four games, including a game-tying two-run home run in the ninth inning of Game 1 and the two-run home run that put Texas ahead for good in Game 3. As the Rangers pulled ahead in the ninth inning, a small but boisterous section of Texas fans serenaded Seager with “M-V-P” chants.

Seager indeed was the most valuable player of the series, joining Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson as the only two-time World Series MVPs.

“It’s truly incredible,” Seager said.

Seager also joined LeBron James as the second player in North America’s four major sports leagues to win the championship MVP award for two different teams within four seasons, according to Stats Inc. The other: LeBron James.

The Rangers, born as the Washington Senators in 1961, celebrated the first championship in franchise history. The five remaining major league teams never to win the World Series: the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rangers awoke on the final Thursday of the regular season with a 2½ game lead in the American League West. They lost three of their final four games, stumbled into the playoffs as a wild-card team, then went 13-4 in the postseason, including an 11-0 road record.

Two years ago, they lost 102 games. They spent $500 million on Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien that winter, and close to another $300 million since then on pitchers Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Martin Perez and Max Scherzer. They also lured manager Bruce Bochy out of retirement, one year and 11 days ago.

“Did I think I’d be sitting here in the World Series the next year?” Bochy said Wednesday. “I mean, I knew that this organization was on the rise. I was getting in the right situation. They wanted to get winning baseball back to Texas.

“But to imagine I’d be sitting here, no.”

Seager is the new Mr. October. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the original Mr. October, hit 18 home runs in 77 postseason games. Seager has 19 home runs in 78 postseason games.

Texas Rangers' Corey Seager hits a single.

Texas Rangers’ Corey Seager hits a single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning in Game 5 of the World Series.

(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

For Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, Seager was the ghost of summers past. In his seven years with the Dodgers, Seager beat up on the Diamondbacks.

“I actually sent Seager a limousine to take him to the airport and bring him to Texas when I heard he was going,” Lovullo joked before Wednesday’s game. “I wanted him out of the NL West so bad.

“He always had the ability to impact a baseball game. He had light-tower power. He could hit for average. He was very dynamic when he was standing up there three, four years ago. But what I see right now is somebody that’s gotten even better.”

Seager, 29, batted a career-high .327 this season. With the Dodgers, his career high in home runs was 26. With the Rangers, he has hit 33 in each of his two seasons, with a 1.013 OPS this season.

Before the 2021 season — his final one before free agency — the Dodgers offered Seager eight years and $250 million. The Dodgers acquired Trea Turner that summer, and they had Gavin Lux lined up as a long-term shortstop solution.

Turner left as a free agent after the 2022 season. Lux suffered a season-ending injury in spring training.

Seager signed with the Rangers for 10 years and $325 million, buying into the pitch that a team that had not won a postseason game since 2015 could play deep into October, and soon.

He is a foundational player, in his prime, and soon he will have a Texas-sized ring to show for it.

In this century — nearly a quarter of which has just about passed — the Rangers have won as many World Series championships as the Dodgers.

So have the Arizona Diamondbacks. So have the Angels, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals and the Miami Marlins.

The San Francisco Giants have won three, the Boston Red Sox four.

The last Dodgers player not named Seager to win a World Series MVP award: Orel Hershiser. He just turned 65.

The Dodgers are rightly proud of the standard of excellence they have set in the regular season. They do not fly flags or put up banners commemorating division championships.

They play for World Series championships, and the best way to win those is to have the best players on the field.

Bingo Blitz Credits Farming Strategies: Success Tips
Coin Master Spins Farming Strategies: Insights from Pros
genshin impact redeem codes january 2023 mobile matters
Get Free Zems on ZEPETO: Tips and Tricks
match masters arena 7 funny game like paper clash royale what
TikTok Coin Generator Safety Tips
Unlimited Gems in Brawl Stars: Myth or Reality?
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
how to get diamonds in hay day tips tricks youtube
tutorial how i get unlimited diamonds in litmatch app youtube
myths of moonrise codes september 2022 g7r
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
Comment obtenir légalement et rapidement des pièces gratuites sur TikTok
Maximiza tus Ganancias de Monedas TikTok con Estos Consejos
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Insights from Pros: Coin Master Free Spins Farming Strategies
Avakin Life Avacoins Farming Demystified

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *