The original Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and featured a big horse race. This year, baseball's Oktoberfest celebrates the eight teams that were skilled enough to keep playing deep into October and, if they're lucky, finish the year with a trophy, a platter of sausages, and an imperial pint of Hofbräu. Next up, the Los Angeles Dodgers, as penned by Diamond Leung.
Jose Lima at this time last year was the proud owner of the only Dodgers postseason victory in the past 20 years.
That it was Lima who won was more than just a trivia answer. It summed up an era of October futility for a franchise that strived for so much more.
And it's still relevant as evidence that, well, you simply never know who'll show up come playoff time.
That doesn't change the fact that Dodgers should have acquired Cliff Lee at the trading deadline.
General manager Ned Colletti said he came close, but it should have gotten done. Throw in some extra cash if you have to, throw in an extra prospect if you must.
Because when you have the National League's best record, you shouldn't be going into the playoffs looking like an underdog.
Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw have had fine seasons, but one doesn't have playoff experience and the other is 21 years old. Hiroki Kuroda starred last year, winning his two outings.
But who knew Chad Billingsley could possibly fall off the map?
Not Joe Torre, but time and time again, he's warned that the Dodgers needed more pitching because you can never have enough. The Dodgers got him Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla. OK, but what they needed was a reigning Cy Young award winner.
Lee doesn't have playoff experience, either He's been very good this season, but has struggled of late with the Phillies. But yes, the difference between Lee and Garland/Padilla was still worth whatever you price you had to pay.
Once again, you have the league's best record. Cash in your chips. Don't simply hope for another Lima-like win.
Is it possible that Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp could slug their way to a World Series title? Absolutely. But would it have been more likely with Lee in the fold?
Their chances in the crapshoot that is the playoffs would surely have been better with such a trump card.
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