Can The Dodgers Make It Two Parades?

Few things can bring the diverse and spread out city of Los Angeles together as one. The Westside and the Valley have little use for each other most of the time.

But the Lakers are doing that right now — and all that is right with LA will be on display on Wednesday downtown (and, sadly, probably a few knuckleheads, too).

The Dodgers could make it two parades in one year in Los Angeles. They can make it the year of champions in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers have the pieces but — as the Lakers had — they need a lot of breaks to go their way.

There’s no question for anybody outside of Red Sox and Yankees fans (who don’t know the rest of the world exists) that the Dodgers are in contention, At  42-20, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are running away with the National League West. As much as one can be assured of making the playoffs with less than 40% of the season finished, the Dodgers have it. They have the swagger of a playoff team.

That swagger comes because they have the best pitching staff in the majors so far — a 3.57 ERA as a team. Other teams are hitting just .235 against them. Chad Billingsley picked up another win Sunday and leads the team nine wins on the season and a 2.72 ERA. Los Angeles has a great bullpen anchored by Jonathon Broxton and his 16 saves.

But it is also a young staff. The breaks the Dodgers need are for their pitchers to stay healthy and not to fall apart in the heat of August or in the bright lights of the playoffs. And once in those bright lights, they are going to need somebody — Hello Clayton Kershaw! — to step up and deliver quality starts.

The Dodgers also have that swagger because of what is happening with their bats — they have the second best batting average in the majors. They are getting hits up and down the lineup — everyone expected Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to do well, but who expected Juan Pierre to lead the team? Plus, the Dodgers will get Manny Ramirez back in the lineup, and pitchers throughout baseball will feel the hairs on the back of their necks stand up.

The Dodgers certainly will need some luck — a best-of-seven baseball series is painful short and little breaks can change a series.

But the Dodgers and Los Angeles are due some luck. It has been 21 years since one of baseball’s proudest franchises has sprayed Champaign around the locker room after the last game of the season.

It’s time for a second parade in Los Angeles this year. We’ll figure out a way to pay for it.

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