Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants: Rivalry Coming Back

Bill MckillopCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 10:  Russell Martin #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into second as Freddy Sanchez #21 of the San Francisco Giants takes the throw on a fielders choice hit by Manny Ramirez in the fifth inning during a Major League Baseball game at AT&T Park on August 10, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Dodgers vs. Giants rivalry has been going on since the late 1800s and, for most fans, peaked in 1951 with the “Shot Heard 'Round the World."  I think the game and homer was actually a subplot on the hit show M*A*S*H back in the '70s.  This comeback by the Giants, who trailed the Dodgers by 13.5 games on Aug. 11 and won the pennant on Bobby Thompson’s homer, is one of the most memorable moments in baseball.

As a baseball fan, it seems the rivalry has cooled off in recent years and I am glad to see there are hints it could be coming back.  The reason it's coming back is that both teams are competitive and fighting for the same division title or Wild Card spot. 

The Dodgers and Giants play six more times and the Giants are currently 5.5 games behind the Dodgers.  Both teams have been pretty evenly matched over the past few seasons and provide some great west coast baseball.

Year—Team’s Record—W/L

2009—Dodgers Record—7-5
2008—Dodgers Record—9-9
2007—Dodgers Record—10-8

I would also like to thank Brad Penny of the Giants, formerly of the Dodgers, and Larry Bowa, coach of the Dodgers, for getting this rivalry back on track.  The lack of respect Penny and Bowa have for each other and the fact they don’t mind discussing it is classic. 

Here are some awesome quotes between Bowa and Penny going back and forth this year.  Brad Penny recently signed by the Giants after asking the Red Sox for his release and seems to be motivated by his desire to stick it to the Dodgers.

Bowa on Penny—

“You mean the same guy who was never on time, out of shape, and has one complete game?  He has more stuff to worry about in the A.L. East than me.  He has to worry about getting people out.  He was never on time, was out of shape, and never helped the kids out.  Put that on the (expletive) dot-com.  Put it in the headline.”

“I’m in everybody’s corner when they work.  When they’re lazy and don’t work, I could give a [well, you get the picture].”

Penny on Bowa—

“A lot of stuff went on last year.  There were a few people I didn’t get along with on the coaching staff that don’t respect people.  I mean, me and Joe [Torre] got along fine.  I just feel like nobody had my back there.  You’re in the clubhouse and you have players coming up to you saying coaches are saying this to them about you.  And that’s just not a good situation to be in.”

This rivalry has gone on for over a hundred years from coast to coast and now that the Dodgers and Giants are returning to their winning ways, it seems like it’s going to continue for some time.  This could be the premier National League baseball rivalry and could be almost as big as the Red Sox vs. Yankees.

I wonder if the passion and friction between Penny and Bowa will spill over to the rest of the guys.  Either way, this is going to be very entertaining for the fans for both baseball reasons and the side drama.

Dodgers vs. Giants in the final weeks of the season.

Fri, Sept. 11 @ San Francisco 10:15 PM       
Sat, Sept. 12 @ San Francisco 9:05 PM       
Sun, Sept. 13 @ San Francisco 4:05 PM       
Fri, Sept. 18 San Francisco 10:10 PM       
Sat, Sept. 19 San Francisco 4:10 PM      
Sun, Sept. 20 San Francisco 4:10 PM

©2009 The Fair Ball. All Rights Reserved.


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