My increasingly negative attitude about my first place Dodgers has me doing some self-evaluation on a weekly basis. Why am I so frustrated with a team that has one of the best records in baseball, and is 4 games clear of the rival Giants in the NL West ?
It’s the Giants. It’s those dastardly San Francisco Giants. Yeah, I know they just lost their seventh in a row tonight. Big deal. Their fan base can dry their tears with the same handkerchief they use to buff their three World Series trophies. They have flipped the script on the rivalry and now there is a sense of urgency for the free-spending Dodgers to win pennants and World Series. I certainly want the front office to be patient with the kids and not force quick fixes, but the interminable off-season of having the Giants continually win World Series titles while the Dodgers spit up moth-balls in October has cast a pall over this rivalry for me.
It’s probably my fault, but deep down I have always judged the Dodgers by how they are doing against the Hated Ones. So, even as Jack Clark was taking seven weeks to round the bases in Game 6 of the 1985 NLCS to eliminate the Dodgers, this 14 year-old could take solace in the fact that the San Francisco “You Gotta Love These Kids” Giants were losing 100 games. Things just weren’t that bad. Then, when Jose Oquendo gutted the Giants in 87′ and then Gibby and Hershiser led the Dodgers to an improbable title in 88′ I was in heaven. That made two titles and 5 NL Pennants in my 17 years on this planet, while the Giants had done diddly-squat.
Now, the tables have not only turned but there is pressure being applied. Since 1988 the Giants have 3 World Series titles and 5 NL Pennants. Those three titles have come in the last five years making the off-seasons misery. Dodger fans like myself have always believed we were the better franchise with the better organization, but I can’t argue that right now. The words simply won’t form. The terminology to make those arguments are not in my lexicon. The Giants have scoreboard. They have put-up, therefore making me shut-up. And please Dodger fans, don’t come at me with Division titles. Division titles are like getting a ticket into the dance with the pretty girls. Just because you are at the dance doesn’t mean the girls will bat their eyes at you.
So, forgive me for my negativity. I’m sorry. I simply have been watching the Giants add hardware while the Dodgers throw 270 million dollars at a team that has only two serviceable starting pitchers, spent 48 million dollars on a pitcher that has spent much of his career injured, has employed a bullpen filled with washed up infielders that throw hard and an offense that is the worst in the league at manufacturing runs, a skill that is not just needed but required in October. Forgive me if leading the NL West doesn’t have me in a lather……