Blog Entry

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

Posted on: May 1, 2009 6:44 pm

I about choked on my Quaker Oatmeal Squares this morning when I saw that Forbes magazine picked the Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants as baseball's best rivalry.

What are those guys, high on Red Bull? Stricken with the swine flu? No wonder the economy is tanking if this is the way they go about their coverage.

There is no way the Dodgers and Giants are anywhere close to the game's best rivalry. Not anymore. Trust me, I thought about it often this winter as Manny Ramirez sat on the free agent market like dinner  equidistant between two sloths.

If Giants ownership was intent on winning, they would have zeroed in on Manny for two reasons.

One, because they ranked last in the majors in homers last year and power is a clear need.

Two, because not only would Ramirez have strengthened their own lineup, it would have seriously wounded the Dodgers'.

Meantime, if Dodgers ownership was hell-bent on winning, they wouldn't have risked Ramirez landing with the Giants.

As things turned out, the Dodgers played it perfectly. They not only landed Manny, but they did so with a deal (one year, $25 million) that won't hurt them in the future. (Had the Giants at least made more than a few inquiries, by the way, they also could have drawn Dodgers' blood by driving Ramirez's price up).

So hurray for the Dodgers, and because of it, the only way they're going to miss the playoffs is if vice-president Joe Biden causes such a swine flu panic that Bud Selig cancels another postseason.

Yes, the Giants' $83 million payroll is very respectable, ranking 13th in the game in 2009. And yes, they've got a bunch of debt to pay down on AT&T Park, and they've done a very admirable job of being responsible with their finances (the Barry Zito contract notwithstanding).

But when you're talking baseball's best rivalry, you have got to go with two clubs that keep the pedal to the metal all the time. Two clubs that will do anything to win -- in the summer and in the winter.

And right now, that's still Yankees-Red Sox. They go at it for a ludicrous number of hours each time they play, they've met in October three times since 1999 and they spent each winter thumping each other over the head with their wallets.

I'm tired of the excessive hype. And unless you live and die with the Yankees or Red Sox, I bet you are, too. But that's a rivalry. Comparatively speaking, the Giants-Dodgers is recess at the local elementary school.

I know Forbes compiled its list by crunching some numbers ("we looked at every season since 1950 and tabulated how many times the two clubs had finished first and second in their division and how often they'd finished the season within five games of one another. Weighted equally with those two stats in our methodology is how much the meetings matter to fans -- in other words, how much extra money people are willing to pay for a ticket").

What I also know is, if Giants-Dodgers is what their numbers spit out, then it's a bunch of hooey. Because these aren't the days of Giants pitcher Juan Marichal clubbing Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with a bat.

The top current modern rivalries (not counting Interleague play)?

Here you go. And I guarantee this is more accurate than the folks who obviously have been drinking buttermilk long after its expiration date at Forbes:

1. Yankees-Red Sox. In a league of their own -- and yes, it's run by U.S. Mint, not Tom Hanks.

2. Cubs-Cardinals. The fact that the Cubs can't get to the World Series only enhances it. Besides, these are two of the top four or five baseball towns in the land.

3. Mets-Phillies. They hate each other.

4. Dodgers-Giants. Their fans don't like each other, but it's not hate. It's more in the way they prefer to not eat moldy sourdough.

5. Red Sox-Angels. Both stadiums are full when they play, no doubt because they've met in three of the past five Octobers.

6. White Sox-Twins. The proximity of the two teams, the fact that they both regularly contend in the AL Central, Ozzie Guillen's mouth, A.J. Pierzynski's act, the mutual admiration between Guillen and Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire, the fact that the Twins channel Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and refuse to go away. ...

Likes: Joe Mauer back on the field in Minnesota. ... Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on the mound. ... They're doing a very, very nice job over at the MLB Network. If you haven't watched yet, you should. And if you can't find it among your 200 channels, if you've got cable -- no matter the provider -- you have the MLB Network. You just need to find it. ... Ghosts of Girlfriends Past looks like a swell idea for a film.

Dislikes: Had to hit the television mute button watching actress Denise Richards sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh-inning stretch of Friday's Cubs-Florida game. Wow, was that bad (and I speak as someone who can't carry a tune in a bucket, to I can both identify and sympathize). But in the booth with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, she seemed like a very pleasant and intelligent gal.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Young girls
"They've taken husbands, every one
"Young men
"They're all in uniform
"They've gone to graveyards, every one
"They're covered with flowers, every one
"Young girls have picked them, every one"

-- Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?


Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2009 10:39 pm

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

makes an important point when he points to the Finley slam that knocked the Giants out of the postseason. The Dodgers and Giants have been doing this to each other forever. They have taken each other out several times. Joe Morgan, Bobby Thompson...

That cliche about it not mattering where they are in the standings...?

Well, this rivalry practically coined that phrase.

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2009 8:48 pm

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

All rivalaries and or feuds exist because of shared historical perspective. Years of conflict breeding emnity. The more significant the battle the greater the bitterness in the life of the memory. Forbes magazine takes that into account as much as you seem to disregard the long list of pennant significant and franchise making games when they declared the Dodgers/Giants rivalry the greatest of all time in the history of baseball. There is no denying the current dominance of the Redsox/Yankees rivalry on the airwaves due to the sales and marketing of the yankees and redsox to a non baseball fanbase that results in the saturation of weekly nationally televised games that are watched by many due to the public's love affair with anything New York; once the center of the baseball universe when the Dodgers and Giants played there. Boston has cleaned up on a national fan base of Americans who root always for the underdog. Band wagoners come and go with success and more recently the failure of the Yankees and Boston is now more of a Goliath. When the ratings slide and the current competitive balance totters the public will lose interest. The Dodgers/Giants rivalry is not reliant on the media and will continue on not only in meaningful games but stolen players and turncoat coaches. My family has followed the rivalry longer than the junior circuit has existed. If meaningful games are to detirmine ultimately the supremecy in one rivalry over another, as i believe they should, then the World Series should really be the benchmark that all should be graded against. In my family the Giants have always been a despised and respected rival; our greatest hurdle to overcome before battling our true archrival the Yankees. No two teams have ever met up more times to decide the champion of their sport. In any sport. Since the Dodgers/Yankees rivalry did not meet the criteria that allowed the redsox angels to makes your descerning list, I'll just have to take Dodgers/Giants. What is popular today may not be tomorrow. Today does not become history untill tomorrow. Let's go Dodgers!

P.S. Did ya see Jackie Robinson hit that Ball?!

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: May 4, 2009 3:15 am

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

I completely agree. I'm a die hard Giants fan, and the rivalry has been down a bit recently, especially with the Giants having fallen on hard times. But anyone who was at the games in San Francisco this past week saw that this rivalry is heating back up. It was a classic series with great pitching and tons of intensity and support from the fans. There is no way that the Mets and Phillies can be ranked higher than the Giants-Dodgers. No way

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2009 3:10 am

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

I guess I can try to make the argument for Dodgers-Giants...
1. It spans over 60 years of back-and-forth competitiveness.  The Yankees always dominated the Red Sox until 2004.  The Cards win and the Cubs don't.  At least with the Dodgers-Giants you get for every Bobby Thompson and Joe Morgan there's a Mike Piazza and Steve Finley.
2. Two States.  Let's face it, Dodgers-Giants leaving NY for CA transcended baseball.  It led to teams in Anaheim, Houston, and Seattle.  There are baseball's version of Manifest Destiny.
3. So Cal vs. Nor Cal.  Sunny and glitzy LA versus foggy and smuggy SF.  About as polar opposite as it gets.

I'll be the first to admit that in the wild card era, the Dodgers and Giants need to meet in the NLCS to re-emerge as the best rivalry.  One of the things that makes this rivalry so good is how back-and-forth it is.  Can someone name me the last time before 2004 the Red Sox outlasted the Yankees?

If you do the ranking by longevity (which Forbes did), it's #1.  If it's based on today's 24-7 sports environment, it's behind number Yanks-Sox, I'd still rank it #2 since only 5 years ago Steve Finley did clinch the division with a walk-off grand slam and knocked the Giants out of the postseason. 

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2009 11:54 pm

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

As a Dodgers fan growing up in the 70s, I will always hate the Reds.

I miss the 18 games a year against the Reds.

I miss rooting for career-ending injuries to Johnny Bench, that the devil would come and take Pete Rose, that the Reds team plane would go down in Lake Erie.

I miss those days.

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: May 2, 2009 1:34 pm

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

Man Im a Giants fan (living with a Dodger's fan.....hehehe). Granted the The rivalry between the two clubs isnt what it used to be back in the day but it's still not as strong a rivalry as the Yankee's/Red Sox. Personally I would have put the Giants/Dodgers up on the list a little higher like 3rd not 4th.

Comparatively speaking the Giants-Dodgers is recess at the local elementary school.

This is where I gotta disagree though. It's not that least not to me. But what do I know.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2009 12:38 am

Dodgers-Giants best rivalry? E-Forbes

As a Reds fan growing up in the 70s & 80s, I'll always hate the Dodgers.

Just another reason why baseball was cooler to me then compared to now.

I miss the 18 games a year against L.A.

But as esteemed baseball writer Bob Vandenburg always says, "It's a part of growing up."

And by the way, can we just keep it to white or gray jerseys?

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