By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) – They may be down 2-0 in the World Series, but the Dodgers are just happy to be heading home.
At least in L.A., their tears won’t freeze as they trickle down their cheeks.
But who can blame them for complaining so much about their stay in Boston. Shame on Major League Baseball for making them play in crowded confines of Fenway Park, and in the frigid conditions that hit Boston every October. The nerve.
The Dodgers appear to be blaming everything but themselves for being in a 2-0 hole to the Red Sox. After Game 1, it was pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who said the bullpens in Fenway Park are too close to fans, making for a “brutal” time for pitchers as they warm up. If you thought the backlash from that ridiculous beef would keep the Dodgers from making more excuses, you were wrong.
This time, they took aim at the cold temps in Boston. Based on what the Dodgers have had to say, you’d think the first two games of the series were played somewhere in Russia.
“It’s definitely an element,” reliever Ryan Madson said prior to Game 2. “[Tuesday] night in the bullpen we had a couple of heaters going. It was warm out there, but to get up and move around. I didn’t feel as gummy as usual when it’s 75, 80 degrees.”
Madson also complained that he couldn’t get a proper grip on his breaking pitches, building in another excuse should he falter in Game 2. And falter he did, allowing Boston to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. The righty came on with two outs and the bases loaded, and promptly walked Steve Pearce on five pitches to walk in a run. After taking a first-pitch ball, J.D. Martinez followed with a two-run single to put Boston on top for good.
Madson hasn’t been charged with a single run yet this World Series, but he’s allowed all five of his inherited runners to score. At least he and the rest of the Dodgers can go back to wearing shorts and a t-shirt with the next three games in sunny California. After dealing with temps in the 40s (and a windchill in the 30s) in Game 2, he warmed himself up with some more complaining following another terrible outing on the mound.
“Just go back home, warm up a little bit, thaw out, and hopefully have our bats thaw out as well,” he told reporters after the Game 2 loss. “[The cold] definitely makes it tougher, but everybody else deals with it just the same.”
But Madson isn’t alone. Even Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had some thoughts on the cold, building an ice fortress around what the team should really be focusing on: The fact that they’ve been completely outplayed by a superior team.
“It’s difficult. I mean, I think every person responds differently. But for us, this is the first time we’ve played in obviously weather like this. San Francisco a little bit, but nothing like this, so it’s an adjustment,” said Roberts. “That’s part of the homefield advantage and especially being in the bullpen, where you have a little heater but still have to kind of get hot and stay hot. It’s more of a challenge.”
It’s forecast to be in the 80s for all three games in Los Angeles, so maybe the Dodgers will heat up and make this a series. But even if they do, they’re still going to have to win in Boston if they want to win their first title in 30 years. We hate to throw a bucket of cold water on their World Series dreams, but it doesn’t seem like they’re a team capable of winning in Boston based on what they’ve done — and said — on and off the field the last few days.