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:
"They've taken husbands, every one
"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?