A little over a week ago I started a blog post entitled “Reason To Hope” about how Dodger fans had reason to be optimistic about the Dodgers even though they were in a nosedive – not able to beat anybody, including the worst team in baseball. I was even going to include my prediction of a winning streak following the losing streak. But I got pulled away and never finished it. Oh, how I wish I had.
As the losing streak wore on, the more confident I became that the Dodgers would turn things around. Why did I believe this? Because a prolonged losing streak is one of the best things a club can go through. Why do I say this? Because a long losing streak stirs things up. Players get angry and if the streak goes on long enough, they get desperate. The team begins addressing weaknesses that often go overlooked when they are winning every other day. As each day goes by, the players arrive to the ballpark with greater determination than they had the day before. The intensity level increases to a point where players are willing to do anything to get a win. The team begins to play with a playoff-like intensity. Then the breaks start going their way and when they do, they start winning again – and often winning big. For an example, check out the game-by-game results for July and August 2006 for the Dodgers.
I should say the above is true only for teams that
1) Have highly competitive players
2) Have a lot of talented players
3) Have time left to turn things around.
All three were true of the Dodgers and that is why I was confident that they would turn things around.
Will they go on to win their division? I offer no predictions there.