It's the morning of April 27, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are sitting in third place, five games behind the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies and a half-game behind the reigning champs. Instead of bathing in the early-summer sunlight, baseball's iconic West Coast franchise is stuck in the murky cloud left billowing from the exhaust pipe of the Frank McCourt machine.
But even though the fans are avoiding the ticket windows, looking longingly down the 5 freeway at the (again) competitive Angels, and waiting for Mark Cuban to show up with a checkbook in his hand and a "DFFL" (Dodger Fan For Life) tattoo on his chest, there are still games to be played.
Conventional wisdom tells us that April is just one month out of six on the schedule. Recent history agrees. From 2000-2010, only 30 of the 66 eventual division champs held down first place on May 1.
The Dodgers have 137 games (or approximately 2,045 parking lot arrests, if you'd rather count that way) remaining. So while the rest of the country antes up on the Rockies and Giants, here are five reasons why I think the Dodgers will still have a say in this race...