Sunday, May 20, 2012

Giants and Dodgers

I'm a lifelong, diehard fan of the San Francisco Giants, but the fact that the Dodgers are tearing up the league this year doesn't really bother me that much.  I'm a firm believer in the notion that it's good for the sport in question when both teams in the great rivalries are good.  In college football, its good when both USC and Notre Dame are good.  In the NFL, it's good when both Green Bay and Chicago are good.  In the NBA, you'd be talking about the Celtics and the Lakers.

The Giants obviously have some issues this year, but as I've been saying for the past 6 years, as long as we've got that pitching staff, we're never going to be far from being a contender.  Indeed, one could argue that the most unlikely World Series champions of this generation were the 1988 Dodgers and the 2010 Giants, both driven to a title by their pitching (and in the case of the Dodgers, a miracle courtesy of Kirk Gibson).

In the last few years, the Dodgers have fallen on tough times as an organization, and for that the blame falls solely on the shoulders of Frank McCourt.  It takes some doing to screw up a franchise as historically successful as the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank McCourt pulled it off.  So today, when you look at the crowds at ATT Park and Dodger Stadium, you see exactly the opposite of what you would have seen for much of the history of the two franchises, after they moved to the West Coast.  The Giants are selling out every game, and there are wide swaths of empty seats at nearly every Dodgers game.  Until recently, I never thought that would be possible. 

With new management, that will change in L.A.  And who knows, before long we may be treated to some Giants-Dodgers games with the intensity fans of both teams were lucky enough to see when the players were named Mays, Koufax, McCovey, Wills, Marichal, and Drysdale.

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