Ed. Note: Staff Takes is a new weekly column that will allow the Fish Stripes staff to utilize their expertise and explore other topics around baseball that do not necessarily involve the Marlins. Don’t worry, we’re not shifting away from Marlins coverage, tempting as it may be at times. - TB
The Dodgers have lost 10 in a row and 15 of their last 16. They have seen their 13 game lead in the loss column for home field advantage shrink to four. Fans are panicking. Players are showing their frustration. Columnists are baffled. But this might be the best thing to happen to the Dodgers.
Let me throw out a wild take for Dodgers fans out there. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me while calling me a moron. But I am not the type of person who thinks conventionally. I like to think outside the box.
You should root for the Dodgers to continue to lose.
WAIT A SECOND! Hear me out before you call me stupid! Let me wipe the egg yoke and splattered tomatoes off of my shirt while I explain my mindset. I am by no means saying the Dodgers should lose out. I am not claiming the Dodgers should purposefully blow their division lead and throw away everything they built into the trash. I am just suggesting they let the Washington Nationals pass them.
I can already hear your first complaint! “What about home-field advantage!?”
Yes, home-field advantage would be nice perk to have. But ask yourself this question, “who would I rather play in a five game series: the winner of the wild card game between the Diamondbacks and Rockies or the NL Central Champion?” I think it's an easy answer; especially if this past week is any indication. Let the Nationals deal with the second and third place teams in the NL West. Who knows, you may still get home field advantage in the NLCS. It's not like the Nationals have ever made it out of round one of the playoffs.
The Division Series is so tricky. Sometimes you run into a couple hot pitchers or a bullpen throwing gas and there is nothing you can do. I wouldn't want anything to do with Robbie Ray, who is pitching as well as anyone in the National League over the past few weeks, or Zack Greinke, a pitcher that Dodger fans are all too familiar with. The Diamondbacks are a scary team. They have a ton of talent and I think their familiarity with the Dodgers personnel would make them the worst matchup in the NLDS.
We are slaves to the “what have you done for me lately” mentality. The Dodgers are an insanely talented collection of individuals, but they are also human. When they pulled off miracle comeback win after miracle comeback win, that was a pace that could not possibly be maintained. If anything, it is a good idea to get the losses out of the way now. It is better to be playing this poor in September, than to be playing this way in October.
I know it is very difficult as a fan to deal with losing. Ten losses in a row does not breed encouragement. But this is what happens during a 162 game season; water always finds its level. I don't ask for you to root against your team; that's something I would never encourage a fan to do. All I want you to do is consider the idea that losing home field advantage in the National League Playoffs may not be the worst thing to happen to the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers.