I hate when the Giants suck.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not exactly a Giants fan. In fact, I've been rooting for the Dodgers since I was 7—almost two decades of bleeding bright blue.
On a scale of teams I hate from 1-10, the Giants are hovering somewhere around 13 on any given day, right next to the Yankees and not far above the Red Sox. So don't go thinking I'm weeping over their latest misfortune of a lineup.
Baseball is less fun when the Giants suck.
Yes, the Giants are the Dodgers' absolute arch-rivals, and no one (with perhaps the exception of the Yankees) can even come close to taking their place. So I should enjoy seeing them stomped into the turf, no matter where or when it happens.
However, something is just missing when the Dodgers are expected to contend for the pennant while the Giants are supposed to make the Padres work to stay in the NL West cellar. Let's face it: it's no fun to just manhandle your rivals all the time.
The reason they're your rivals is because, historically, you've battled back and forth on the sports big stages. Your rivals are supposed to pose some sort of challenge—and maybe even, God forbid, take a few games away from your club.
So it cheapens any victory like Monday's home-opening sweep at Dodger Stadium when the Giants aren't heavyweight challengers—or at least a formidable foe. When elated Dodgers fans come rolling out of the stadium cheering about Orlando Hudson's Opening Day cycle, or Ethier's multi-homer game, or Billingsley and Kershaw striking out a combined 24 batters (against a combined one walk), you keeping hearing, "and he did it against the GIANTS, to boot!"
This is where everyone else else cringes and points out, "Yeah, but they're the Giants. So what?"
You see what I'm getting at? Huge moral victories over evil for a fan base are turned into another victory over a bad team that you're supposed to beat. It sucks all the fun out of it. In fact, this whole opening sweep of the Giants has left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.
The Dodgers shelled a 45-year-old has-been on Opening Day. The next night, Brian Wilson, the Giants closer, followed Bob Howry's fat offerings to Dodger hitters by walking in the winning run to ruin Aaron Rowand's dramatic homer. For a finale, the Dodgers scored seven runs against a team that actually collected MORE hits; difference is, the Giants also gave away at least eight baserunners through plunked hitters, walks, and three fielding miscues.
If this is what our great and mighty foe has sunk to, then wake me up once we've swept the season series, because these games won't be fun in 2009.
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