How Many Total Matches In World Cup 2018 Need For LA:Middle Infielders More Need Than Half A Season To Work Together Into A Championship Team

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Need For LA:Middle Infielders More Need Than Half A Season To Work Together Into A Championship Team

All over the baseball world, writers and pundits are applauding the acquisitions of the Dodgers. At the trade deadline, Los Angeles landed two veteran All-Stars to improve their middle infield, hoping that duo would lead last year’s National League Champs to their first World Series title since 1986.

Brian Dozier, who recently set the record for home runs by a second baseman, came to the West Coast in a deal with the Minnesota Twins. Just the day before, Los Angeles made a trade to acquire slugging shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles.

Most likely, these acquisitions will help the Dodgers’ offense, but they could very well have a negative impact on what happens on the diamond. Both Machado and Dozier have more than proven their defensive abilities, having won multiple Gold Gloves between them.

However, baseball history seems to indicate that center fielders need a lot of time playing together before they can win it all. A look back at recent Novembers gives insight into how important it is that the second baseman and shortstop spend more than just a few months together.

Last year, Houston had the phenomenal pair of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, who have played side by side for an extended period of time. Twelve months before the Cubs had youngsters Javier Baez and Addison Russell, who had gotten used to each other the previous season.

The year before, veterans Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar manned the middle of the diamond for the second consecutive season, helping the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series title in thirty years. The connected middle infield, combined with an excellent and deep bullpen, took the series from the New York Mets.

That tandem had come close in 2014 when the Royals won the pennant but lost to the Giants in the Fall Classic. San Francisco’s middle infielders had only been together since just before the All Star break, when rookie Joe Panik was called up to the Big Leagues to take over second base in late June.

Fortunately for the Giants, they had a veteran Gold Glove winner at shortstop to help his young doubles partner acclimate. Brandon Crawford more than filled that role, having already played on San Francisco’s championship teams in 2010 and 2012.

For further proof of the importance of a well-connected shortstop and second baseman, one can look even further back. In the nineties, the Yankees dominated postseason baseball, anchored by shortstop Derek Jeter and his doubles partner Chuck Knoblauch.

What about the decade before that? Detroit Tigers teams of the Reagan era enjoyed the luxury of having Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker play side by side, highlighted by a World Series title in 1984. In the seventies, the Big Red Machine was fueled by having shortstop Dave Concepcion and other baseman Joe Morgan for extended seasons that culminated in back-to-back championships in 1975 and 1976.

You can find many more examples in the annals of baseball, but you know what is much harder to find? The answer is a single team that has gone on to win the World Series after replacing both shortstop and second base in the middle of the season, which is what the Dodgers hope to accomplish this year.

Dozier hit a home run in each of his first two games with Los Angeles, and Machado collected four hits. However, baseball history suggests that the newcomers will need more than two months together to lead their team to the ultimate goal.

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