This is the 18th in a daily series of short looks at each team in MLB. The opinions expressed are my own..
The Los Angeles Dodgers. The official team website says: It's time for Dodger Baseball!
Fans of the Dodgers probably wished they could focus on baseball. Unfortunately the media circus surrounding the Dodgers made it feel, at times, like a bad soap opera. Unfortunately this one hasn't been canceled and will continue to play out in 2012.
Despite the off-field distractions, the LA Dodgers put together an 82-79 record in Don Mattingly's first season as manager. THis earned them 3rd place in the NL West.
- Matt Kemp -- .324/.399/.586, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 115 R, 40 SB
- Clayton Kershaw won the pitching triple crown (led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts -OK he tied with Ian Kennedy for wins) Kershaw went 21-5, 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 248 K, 233 1/3 IP
- Kenley Jansen set a Major League record by striking out 16.1 batters per nine innings (with a minimum of 50 innings). Jansen fanned 96 in 53 2/3 innings. He ended the season with a 2.85 ERA.
- Javy Guerra converted 21 of 23 save opportunities this year.
- Frank McCourt - The owner has caused more distractions and problems for the team than you can shake a stick at. His filing of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and messed up personal finances left the team in financial limbo in 2011 and this will continue into 2012.
- Juan Uribe, Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal. That's three-quarters of the starting infield accounting for eight stints on the disabled list, two season-ending operations and a trade. Their injuries, and the resulting lack of production, mirrored what happened throughout the roster, resulting in more than 1,000 games missed by injury.
- The Dodgers have spent more than $1 billion over the past 13 seasons on multi-year deals without reaching the World Series.
- Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully announced he would return for 2012.
- Don Mattingly's entire coaching staff will return in 2012.
- The Dodgers will switch radio stations for the 2012 season. AM 570 FOX Sports will broadcast all 162 regular-season games.
- The Dodgers declined to exercise 2012 options on pitcher Jon Garland and infielder Casey Blake, both of whom underwent season-ending operations in 2011.