Last year, as the Dodgers did the same to my Cubbies, most everything that was talked about and written seemed to focus on how poorly the Cubs played and very little, if any, respect was accorded the Dodgers for winning the series.
While the Cubs did sleep walk through that series, and played like a deer in the headlights, this was, and still is, a very good Dodger ballclub and it's about time we gave them their due.
Sure, they didn't make it to the World Series last year, and it's possible they may not make it this year. Still, Ned Colletti, Joe Torre, and the rest of the Dodgers organization must be doing something right.
Homegrown talent is one area in which the Dodgers have excelled. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have developed into studs. And while James Loney may not have the power you'd like in a first baseman, he has certainly done a decent job.
Catcher Russell Martin has steadily declined each of the past three seasons, but he has to get at least some credit for the success of the Dodgers starting rotation.
Colletti has made some nice acquisitions, as well. Manny may not be the Manny of old, but he is still a threat to be reckoned with. In an "off-year", he had a .418 OBP.
Many Cubs fans, perhaps rightfully so, bemoaned the fact that Ramirez was a cheater when he played in last season's playoff series. But c'mon, whose to say we didn't have any cheaters of our own?
Besides, even without Manny, the Dodgers would have beaten the Cubs last post-season.
And now, despite the Dodgers dismantling a very solid Cardinals team, one that had perhaps the best one-two starting pitching punch in all of baseball in Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, the focus is on how St. Louis played as opposed to giving credit to Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, it's the Dodgers pitching that impresses me the most. When Chad Billingsley is considered your problem child, you know you have a decent starting staff.
Clayton Kershaw is a star in the making. Randy Wolf had a nice season. Hiroki Kuroda and yes, even Billingsley had decent seasons as well. Vicente Padilla is a reclamation project who has turned out well. But it's their strong bullpen that sets them apart.
If the rotation gives them six innings, the game is over. George Sherrill, Ronald Belisario, Ramon Troncoso and Jonathon Broxton are lights out.
Will they go to the Series? Only time will tell. But instead of bemoaning the Cardinals lack of offense, I believe it's time to recognize the Dodgers for what they've accomplished these past two seasons, come to think of it.