Angels/Dodgers: What I Learned About The Freeway Series

travis proctorCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23:  Matt Kemp (L) of the Los Angeles Dodgers greets Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels during batting practice at Dodger Stadium on May 23, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This weekend I attended my first Dodgers and Angels game. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, and the stadium was sold out.

Before this series started last week, I read an article about how Dodger fans couldn't care less about the Freeway Series. At the same time, I also thought it really wasn't a big deal to Angel fans either. The teams have never been in a postseason battle, and there really wasn't much of a rivalry.

But after leaving the stadium, I can, without a doubt, say that Dodger fans and Angel fans both care about the Freeway Series.

Now, this isn't a traditional rivalry in the sense of the Red Sox and Yankees; it's more of a Clippers and Lakers rivalry. Granted, the Angels are much better when compared to the Clippers, and the Dodgers aren't the same powerhouse franchise that the Lakers are, but it's like a big brother and little brother rivalry.

The Angels are, no doubt, the little brother, and have just recently (over the past seven or eight years) started to enjoy consistent success. The Dodgers are the big brother who has been around the block, as they have a greater history and a storied franchise.

In recent interleague play, the Dodgers have struggled against the Angels (this year they broke even at 3-3).

For Dodger fans, it's like getting beat up by your little brother. Dodger fans don't want to see the Angels surpass them. The Dodger fans feel a little threatened by the Angels, and, while they probably wont ever admit it, I could sense it at the stadium.

These two teams are battling for Southern California. Personally, I don't believe this will ever become a true rivalry until the teams meet in a World Series. As of now, it's a case of little brother trying to out-do big brother. The Dodgers want to remain the main team in Southern California, but as the Angels' success grows, so does their fan base.

It remains mostly a friendly rivalry for now. There is not a lot of bitterness between fans, and you don't get the sense that one really hates the other. At this point they are still brothers.

One day these teams will meet in a World Series, and that is the day we will see the gloves come off, and a real rivalry will begin.


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