Now He Hates LA
I just had to get something off my chest today.
I really hate the Los Angeles Dodgers!
And today on the heels of the San Francisco Giants' 10-0 loss to the boys in blue, I asked myself, "Why?"
So here's my answer. I've been a Giants fan since I was a little boy, growing up in Daly City, just south of Candlestick Park.
I remember sitting in the right field bleachers, trying to catch Willie McCovey moonshots.
And ever since then, the sight of Dodger blue just sickened me. That's just the way it was. If you were a Giants fan, you hated the Dodgers.
As the years went on and as I hopefully became older and wiser, that hatred got stronger and stronger.
I worked for the Giants in the late '70s and early 8'0s in the press box and used to watch the "Friday Night Fights" in the left field bleachers with my binoculars. And man, were those some fights.
In those days, nobody got killed (fortunately), but the combination of alcohol and two groups of fans who despised each other was not a good mix. The security folks at Candlestick always had their hands full when the two teams played, especially on Friday nights.
Year after year, it seemed the two teams would play games that mattered, whether it was head to head for the league or division title or to knock the other one out at the end of the season, which happened many times.
Who can forget Joe Morgan's big home run to sink the Dodgers' pennant chances on the final day of the 1982 season?
And Brian Johnson's game-winning home run in 1997?
Two springs ago, I met Brian at a spring training game and had the chance to thank him personally. It was a nice moment.
I remember Mike Ivie more then once with big homers against LA, including a grand slam.
I literally almost killed myself in my own living room in September 2010 when Juan Uribe (now a Dodger) hit that big home run against Jonathan Broxton to beat the Dodgers, on the way to the Giants World Series win.
I remember having more then a few adult beverages that night, jumping up and high-fiving my wife, my dog and the refrigerator before getting lightheaded, falling backward, hitting my head against the tile kitchen floor and surviving. Good thing I have a hard head.
And we'd all like to forget Steve Finley's 10th inning grand slam in 2004 that put a stake through the heart of the Giants playoff hopes.
The rivalry goes back to the Brooklyn and New York days and certainly precedes all of us. The two teams didn't like each other then, and they don't like each other now.
But the fans like each other even less.
Last year's Brian Stow incident brought out the ugly side of the rivalry. Since that time I think many of us have tried to be more civil about it.
There's no reason to physically harm someone for any reason, certainly sports, and it's unfortunate that the rivalry has given a criminal element a reason to do bad things.
And that's another thing that makes me hate the Dodgers: their fans.
Dodger fans are the only fans I know who go out of their way to be harassed.
They show up at Giants games that don't even involve their team all decked out in Dodger blue.
Do they expect us to be happy about it?
In spring training every year, a group of Dodger fans parade through Scottsdale Stadium with a Dodger flag and walk through to the tune of boos and having things thrown at them.
I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.
Granted, these are the type of Dodger fans that cause trouble. The Raider fan type.
But why you would go somewhere you're not wanted just to upset people is beyond me.
Dodger fans in general are just too much "in your face."
I actually do have some friends who are Dodger fans. After years of counseling, I can reveal that now.
How Much Do You Hate the Dodgers?
And those people are okay. But even those that I like who are fans of the Dodgers are a bit difficult to joke with or discuss the rivalry with. They tend to have a bit of an edge when it comes to things and they are a bit too "in your face" about it.
When the Giants won it all, I didn't spend a lot of time rubbing it in to them. Trust me, if they won the series, they would be all over us.
So when games like yesterday happen, I have trouble watching all of them. Blowouts are never fun, but a blowout at the hands of the Dodgers is downright painful.
And I have to admit, when the Giants blow out the Dodgers, it's a thing of beauty, for all of the reasons I've cited above.
So I'll be in front of my TV set here in Thailand once again today. At 3 a.m. chanting "BEAT LA" along with the crowd.
Hopefully I'll have a little more to cheer about!