This World Series roster has many players with ties back to the Washington, D.C. area, and at the top of the list is Blake Treinen who made his debut with the Washington Nationals in April of 2014 at twenty-five years of age. Treinen redeemed himself with a scoreless relief appearance in Game 7 of this NLCS, and was saved by a Mookie Betts catch over the wall to rob Freddie Freeman of a home run. Treinen’s bullpen teammate Adam Kolarek who most will remember from his LOOGY appearances in last year’s NLDS against Juan Soto. The lefty reliever was so nasty, and Kolarek played his college ball right around the corner at the University of Maryland. Fortunately in the decisive Game 5 of last year’s NLDS with Kolarek available, it was Kershaw who faced Soto instead of Kolarek and of course Soto smashed the game tying home run to pin a blown save on Kershaw. Oh, the little things.
On the Tampa side, they also have a player who came from the University of Maryland in Brandon Lowe. Lowe was the offensive star for the Rays this year before a kid named Randy Arozarena emerged. Lowe, and his Tampa Bay Rays’ teammate Hunter Renfroe both played summer college ball for the Bethesda Big Train wood bat league in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League. Renfroe was so dominating as the league MVP that he moved up in pre-draft projections and was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 1st round (13th overall) of the 2013 MLB June amateur draft. Renfroe was scouted as a 5-tool prospect, but the Padres decided to trade him to Tampa who loves outfielders like Renfroe.
Maybe the most glaring Dodgers connection is in their front office as Stan Kasten was the original architect for the Lerner’s Washington Nationals ownership group. Kasten, who is now the President of the Dodgers, created “The Plan” for the Nationals back in 2006. With the lack of top prospect talent in the Nats’ farm system, he preached slow and steady wins the race, and with a depleted farm system and a small fanbase, he was 100 percent correct as painful as it was. Ironically, the Nats won a World Series after Kasten departed with his original plan paying dividends, and the Nats won that ring before Kasten’s Dodgers.
Of course there are other front office people that Kasten took with him from the Nats when he took his spot in Los Angeles, and paybacks were just made when the Nats hired Jim Hickey from the Dodgers.
The Dodgers go into this World Series as heavy favorites.