Opinion: Kevin de León’s defenders emerge, but they’re still a minority
From the start of the year, there was one dominant, almost exclusive narrative among media accounts in Southern California, and that was that the Dodgers were a team on the rise.
“They’re still underdogs,” said ESPN’s Buster Olney recently. “In years that mattered, they were. They’re a little bit soft. But all of a sudden, they’re a young, very talented team on the upswing of an outstanding year. They’re in position to take control of one of the sport’s elite franchises that are in a battle with themselves to make the postseason every year.”
Olney and the rest of the sports media have mostly taken the “up in arms” approach with the Dodgers, while ignoring the fact that the Dodgers actually are in position to take up the mantle of Los Angeles supremacy. It’s a stretch for the media to have a narrative that is so extreme that it becomes the only story.
That’s not what’s being written in the papers and on social media, nor what the baseball world seems to be talking about, and it’s frustrating — and not just for these writers, as they are trying to get their stories right. If all you heard was that the Dodgers were a team on the rise, with a young core, then you missed what the real story — that of why they are a team on a mission, not merely for any one of a dozen teams, but for one of the four dominant franchises in the modern era of sport — is.
The Dodgers are like many teams in recent history, and like many teams around the country, they are in a transitional time.
The Dodgers are in a transitional time, and their biggest challenge this year is to maintain control over the narrative.
The Dodgers have seen their season slip away of late, and the fans who follow the Dodgers know that. But in a