MLB 2011 Season in Review: Los Angeles Dodgers Hits All Highs and Lows
The Los Angeles Dodgers 2011 season was a great year for individual accolades and a disastrous one for the organization.
The team was dragged through the media mud this season due to the divorce between owner Frank McCourt and his now ex-wife Jamie, who is also the former Dodgers' CEO. What a mess this continues to be, but it appears to be coming to an ugly end.
The Dodgers took another hit from the media on Opening Day after an opposing fan, Bryan Stow was beaten by two Dodgers' fans outside of Dodgers' Stadium. Stow, a San Francisco Giants' fan, was beaten so badly he remained in a coma for months.
This story is still making news, most recently because Dodgers' lawyers, paid by owner Frank McCourt, are trying to argue that Stow is partly in fault for his near fatal beating.
It's somewhat of a miracle that the Dodgers finished the season with an 82-79 record.
The only positive press the Dodgers received all season was on the field. MLB was the mediator in the McCourt’s dispute and actually took over custody of the orphaned franchise. With the divorce now finalized, the question now turns to whether or not McCourt will remain owner because of monetary reasons.
Despite this brutal divorce and negative attention in the press with the Stow case, there were plenty of Dodgers' moments in 2011 that impressed.
For starters, right fielder Andre Ethier made his best attempt at dethroning Joe Dimaggio for all-time longest MLB hitting streak. While Dimaggio's 56-game streak may never be touched, Ethier made a valiant effort with 30 straight games that ended in early May.
While Ethier looked like an MVP candidate at the time, it's center fielder Matt Kemp who should take home the honors when announced.
Kemp ended the season with a .324 batting average. His 39 home runs, 126 RBI, 115 runs and 353 total bases were all first in the National League. Kemp also led all MLB players in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 10. He also had 40 steals on the season.
This shows his worth, as without him the Dodgers would've easily have been under .500.
Another bright spot for the Dodgers was 23-year-old left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw. He finished tied for first in the NL with 21 wins, sported a 2.28 ERA, which was best in the bigs, and struck out 248 batters.
One of the most memorable Dodgers’ moments for the season came on May 29 versus the Florida Marlins. Ethier and Kemp combined for four hits and two runs while Kershaw threw a complete game shutout as he only allowed two hits and struck out 10 Marlins’ batters. The best part, Kershaw himself went 2-for-4 at the plate and added an RBI. The Dodgers won 8-0 that day, as Kershaw beat the Marlins by himself.
Kershaw recently won the Warren Spahn Award for being baseball's best lefty and will most likely be named the NL Cy Young winner. At only 23, Dodgers fans have to be excited with their future with their young stud.
For better or worse, 2011 was a memorable season for the Dodgers, and 2012 is something to be excited about.
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