Can the Yankees and the Dodgers meet in the 2022 World Series?
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has predicted that his team will win the Fall Classic based on his stacked squad. The Dodgers don’t appear to have any gaping holes in the lineup as well as their pitching staff.
The Yankees didn’t make any anticipated big splash in the offseason, but lately they have made some low-profile additions such as Tampa Bay pitcher Dave McKay and Texas catcher Alex Trevino, and Mets reliever Miguel Castro in a flurry of last -minute moves before their opener Thursday.
New York did drop catcher Gary Sanchez in a relatively quiet Sunday night shuffle that brought them Minnesota third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and catcher Ben Rortvedt.
If Donalson stays healthy, he will bring a big bat and consistent glove at third, and Kiner-Falefa solves the problem at short. Rortvedt, who is sidelined with an oblique strain, is a dependable glove to go with Kyle Higashioka. With Trevino also in the mix, the Yanks won’t have any catching issues like they did with Sanchez.
Aaron Judge’s contract extension could happen any day, and it would place a tight bow on a potential gift-wrapped AL East title and beyond if all the pieces can fall into place.
It all could mean a collision course for the powers of both coasts in another World Series classic, and provide baseball with a needed boost from its spring stall. Baseball’s two biggest markets and high-profile teams can create an unprecedented environment.
The Yanks and the Dodgers could meet for the first time in the Big Dance since 1981 when L.A. ‘s Fernando Valenzuela, who won the N.L. Rookie-of-the-Year and Cy Young Award honors and helped the Dodges to bounce back from a 2-0 deficit to sweep the next four games for their first title since 1965.
Previously, the two teams rekindled their rivalries from the old Brooklyn-Bronx days in 1977 and ‘78 when the Yanks swept a pair of titles from their West Coast rivals.
Reggie Jackson was center stage in 1977 with his three-home run game –claiming the title Mr. October and marketing the “Reggie” candy bar – Bucky Dent and little-known Brian Doyle (remember him?) paced the Bronx Bombers to the crown.
It’s hard to believe that the two haven’t met since 1981, but there is plenty of chatter already that a 41-year rematch could be down the road. Although the Mets may have something to say about it if Jacob DeGrom and Dan Scherzer become a dominant duo.
This potential matchup all boils down to the Yanks’ starting pitching behind Garrit Cole. If Luis Severino and Jameson Tallion can bounce back along with what is already in their stable, the Yankees should be in contention. Domingo German should be back in early June and Zakc Britton will return to the bullpen likely after the All-Star break.
Los Angeles brought over Freddie Freeman to add another big bat in their lineup to go along with Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. They retained Clayton Kershaw as some of their younger arms will mend behind staff ace Wayne Buehler. Trevor Bauer also can be a factor, depending when the league suspends him for abuse allegations.
The Yankees and the Dodgers apparently have all the pieces. But again, this is April, and no team can win a championship on paper now. The factors surrounding them could be endless.
If you’re an oldschooler, you can appreciate the days of Yanks-Dodgers in the late 70’s and early 80’s when ABC had Howard Cossell and Keith Jackson create an unforgettable ambiance.
Keep your fingers crossed for a Yanks-Dodgers matchup. It will rekindle the memories and help the state of the game.