Southern California baseball fans are a tad upset. They wanted an Interstate 5 World Series. Instead, the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies will be playing in the Interstate 95 World Series, disappointing many baseball fans here on the West Coast.

The Dodgers, of course, did not really care which American League team they would have faced, so long as it was the Blue Crew staking claim of the 2009 National League pennant. Yet, for the second consecutive year, that honor belongs to Philadelphia.

Losing in consecutive League Championship Series in back-to-back years, the Dodgers are not at all happy they stalled in their quest for their first World Series appearance since 1988.

“There is still a bitter taste in my mouth, the way it ended,” outfielder Andre Ethier tells Campus Circle about the Dodgers’ recent playoff loss. “I hope we are making strides, and the day we are not, I guarantee you they will start making some moves around here.”

Indeed, there will definitely be some changes this off-season, what with 16 free agents for Ned Colletti to deal with. Some of those players will not be back.

However, manager Joe Torre believes Los Angeles is on the verge of winning big.

“The Dodgers, the last couple of years, have been a presence,” he tells Campus Circle. “I’d like to believe that is not going to change anytime soon.”

Torre adds the Blue Crew have indeed made significant strides this year, but also acknowledged some changes have to be made.

“Overall, I think we’ve come a little bit. But there are certain areas we have to address,” Torre quips. “We understand we have to look at pitching. That is one area you can never be too strong in.”

As for whether Torre will return to the team after his contract ends in 2010, the manager is noncommittal.

“I keep saying I will never do it beyond my contract, but I’ve waffled many times. My wife still doesn’t believe me when I tell her I am going to retire.”