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April 22, 2005
Dodgers Roar To Life

After an off-season marked by odd moves, stranger negotiations, and the dismantling of what appeared to be a pretty good 2004 team, Dodger fans could be forgiven for anticipating a meltdown in the first few games as the new squad found its way around the clubhouse and the field together. After having won its first playoff game since 1988, we figured we might well have to wait another couple of years for the next one after that.

However, Paul DiPodesta has delivered a real team to Dodger Stadium -- one that has gone on a historic rip for the first two weeks of the season, much to the delight of Dodger Blue fans:

And so they have rolled, through nutty deficits and nerve-rattling errors, with five different first basemen and a couple of different Jose Valentins and only one solid, steady, smiling Milton Bradley.

And so they have rolled, nameless shirts and faceless players, through the increasingly outstretched arms of stunned fans along the prettiest first mile in Los Angeles Dodger history.

"I know, people are saying, it's early, it doesn't matter," said Phillips. "But you get this kind of start, this kind of lead on people, you bet it matters."

Especially in this town, under this ownership, in this season, the Dodger players providing the stability that the front office could not, overcoming a winter of communication problems, filling the headlines with the only baseball language that matters.

Wins, 12 in their first 15 games.

Drama, with five wins in their final at-bat in only the first two weeks.

Hope, with their best starting pitcher scheduled to show up for the first time on Sunday.

I love living in Minnesota, but I can't pretend I don't miss the excitement of the baseball season in Los Angeles, and this year will prove most difficult if the Dodgers keep winning like this. So far, they've managed all this without their starting ace and their celebrated closer (Eric Gagne). Imagine what they will be like when both return to full health, and if the team can maintain this chemistry. They already lead the West by three games after two weeks and at 12-3 have an opportunity to build up a lot of momentum before summer.

I know it's early ... but Dodger fans are used to consoling themselves with that thought, not attempt to stop hyperventilating.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 22, 2005 6:39 AM

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