Saturday, February 20, 2010

Retro B/R Article: 10 Reasons Why Being a Giants Fan Is Better Than Being a Dodgers Fan

This probably happened to be the craziest article I ever wrote for Bleacher Report. Seriously, I don't do drugs, but you would think I'm a meth addict after reading this thing. A lot of the stuff is just so "inside," I don't think any reader could possibly understand the references I make in this article.

I quote Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dodgers Dogs, Leo Durocher and Fred Merkle in this piece. If that doesn't sound like a drug-addled piece, I don't know what does. If anything, this piece probably gives Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland" and William S. Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" a run for their money in terms of "Wow, what the hell was this guy taking when he wrote this?" status.

But for the was not on drugs when I wrote this.

From Bleacher Report

It is one of the best rivalries in baseball, up there with the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals-Chicago Cubs rivalries.

Whenever the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers play, all baseball fans in the West Coast (and even some in New York) turn their eyes and ears to the Bay Area or Southern California.

Not many rivalries generate as much discussion and hatred between opposing fans like the Dodgers-Giants.

Not many rivalries in sports, let alone baseball, are as even record-wise as well.

However, this is not an article on which team is better on the field or historically.

This instead is a thesis, a proclamation of 10 well-justified (and maybe somewhat uncanny) reasons on why cheering for the boys in black and orange in the Bay is a whole lot better than rooting for the bums in blue and white down in Hollywood.

So, please as you continue reading, take these theses with consideration (or if you're a Dodgers fan, take them seriously and to heart because they are aimed at you).

1. Cheering for the Dodgers is unpatriotic.
The Giants were actually called the New York "Gothams" from 1883 to 1885, but they developed the nickname "Giants" after their owner and manager Jim Mutrie used to refer to his players as his "Giants" after wins, and thus the nickname stuck.

The name "Giants" correlates so much with America. "Giants" represent strength, courage, and fortitude.

Furthermore, the Giants name is also the nickname of the football New York Giants, which for a while was the exact name of the Giants baseball team until 1958 when they moved to San Francisco and changed from the New York Giants to the San Francisco Giants.

Even more signs to the Giants' connection to the football counterpart being patriotic? The football New York Giants' colors are red, white and blue, which are the colors of the American flag.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, do not have such a patriotic connection.

While the nickname originated from the term "Trolley Dodgers," the most well-known kind of "Dodger" in American history is a draft "Dodger" e.g. a U.S. citizen who skips out of the country to avoid military service.

The draft "Dodgers" were most prevalent during the Vietnam War, an era where not only the draft "Dodgers" were sticking it to America, but the baseball "Dodgers" were as well.

The Dodgers took the NL Pennant in 1966 and 1974, and studies are being finalized that prove the Dodgers' success in baseball at the time was the main reason why there were so many draft "Dodgers" during the Vietnam War.

Furthermore, the Dodgers colors are blue and white, which is the color of the Finnish hockey team that almost beat the beloved "Miracle On Ice" team in the Gold Medal game in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Thank God Mark Eruzione and company came through. If the Finnish team won, the Dodgers would have as much trouble proving they belong in America as Danny Almonte did trying to prove he was only 12 years old in the Little League World Series.

2. Giants still lead the all-time head-to-head series.
I don't want to hear "Well, the Dodgers have won more since both teams moved to California" hoopla.

I don't want to hear the Dodgers won more World Series titles or pennants.

Overall series head to head: Giants, 1,156. Dodgers, 1,134. (With 17 ties).

Until I see the Dodgers pass by in the head-to-head, the Giants are the better team. No arguments

3. Roger Craig was cooler than Tommy Lasorda.
Roger Craig had cool phrases like "Hum Baby" and got the most out of guys like Robbie Thompson, Kevin Mitchell, and of course, the dynamic duo of Matt Williams and Will "The Thrill" Clark.

In addition, Craig would have never been knocked down by a foul ball like Lasorda was in the All-Star game. It is heavily theorized that if Craig was coaching third base and the ball came to him, he would snatch the ball, smash it in his palm and eat it. That's how cool he was.

All Tommy Lasorda really had was a Sega Genesis video game that wasn't that fun to play, and had a weird "pseudo-drawn" portrait of himself on the cover of the box sporting a Sega Sports cap.
Studies have shown that Lasorda's video game cover picture was responsible for 75 percent of children's nightmares in the United States in 1989 shortly after its release on the market.

4. The Giants' former "steroid-riddled" left fielder is cleaner than the Dodgers' current "steroid-riddled" left fielder.
Remember Dodger fans; Barry Bonds was never suspended for steroid use while he played.

Never mind that there were no steroid rules in place while Bonds was in action.

Never mind that there was heavy evidence that he did indeed use "steroid products" from BALCO.

Never mind that his head grew like Ken Griffey Jr.'s in The Simpsons after Griffey drank that "Wonder Tonic" Mr. Burns gave him as a replacement for booze.

In this stat-driven age, it is only the numbers that count.

Number of games Bonds missed due to steroid suspension: zero.

Number of games Manny Ramirez missed due to steroid suspension: 50.

Furthermore, Ramirez has built on this "steroid-hoopla" celebrity as evidenced by his "Mannywood" fan section in left field.

What did Barry's steroid celebrity produce? He catapulted the ESPN careers of Mark Fainaru-Wada,
Pedro Gomez and Roger Cossack.

I'd say the results of Barry's celebrity are more honorable.

5. The guy who left the Dodgers for the Giants did more damage than the guys who left the Giants for the Dodgers.
One of the worst moments in my life?

Hands down, former Giants second baseman and 2000 MVP Jeff Kent and his press conference where he cried because he "always dreamed of playing for the Dodgers."

Things got even worse when our former ace, Jason Schmidt, left for Los Angeles the season after Kent signed with the Dodgers (though this ended up being a good thing for the Giants because Schmidt was at the end of the road career-wise and the Dodgers vastly overpaid for him. Thus, taking him off our hands was basically killing two birds with one stone for us).

However, despite Kent and Schmidt's crossover to Southern California, they didn't do much damage against the Giants.

The real double-crossing that did damage in this rivalry was when longtime Dodger player and manager Leo Durocher left the Dodgers midway through the 1948 season to manage the rival Giants.

The reason for his leaving? Dodgers ownership wasn't happy with the results of Durocher's managing, even though he compiled 738 wins and only 565 losses in eight-and-a-half seasons, which included capturing the NL Pennant in 1941.

So to stick it to his former team, Durocher managed the Giants in seven-and-a-half seasons to two pennants, a World Series title in 1954 and the single most devastating moment in Dodgers history:
The 1951 Bobby Thomson homer off of Ralph Branca, e.g. "The Shot Heard Around the World."
Kent leaving to the Dodgers looks pretty tame in comparison to what Durocher did to his former team.

Giants nation has been thankful for Durocher's decision since.

6. The Giants' famous "goat" has a better nickname than the Dodgers' famous "goat."
In 1908, Fred Merkle hit the game-winning base hit against the Chicago Cubs to win the NL Pennant.

Unfortunately for the Giants, Merkle, so caught up in celebration, forgot to touch first base in the process. The Cubs put out Merkle, the game continued, the Cubs won and Merkle was forever christened with the name Fred "Bonehead" Merkle in the press.

There will never be a nickname as good as "Bonehead" in the history of baseball.

The Dodgers' famous "goat", Ralph Branca, doesn't have a nickname (or any nickname I can think of) that can touch Merkle's.

Whether that is a good or bad thing is still to be determined, but I'm putting that on the list anyways.

Perhaps though the nickname Manny "I swear the estrogen stuff that was clearing out my system wasn't going to be used for steroids" Ramirez might surpass Fred "Bonehead" Merkle someday.

7. A game at AT&T Park is a better experience than a trip to Dodgers Stadium.
Going to a game at AT&T Park is more of a delight than a chore. You can take the BART train into the city. You can take the MUNI transit to the stadium. You can walk around the downtown Embarcadero, observing the beautiful, seaside view.

You get treated to a wonderful, old-fashioned park that is also technologically modern at the same time (You get Wi-Fi, for chrissakes!).

There isn't a lot to not like about AT&T Park. The overall experience can't be beat.

However, while Dodgers Stadium itself is nice, the fans at Chavez Ravine are incredibly rowdy and you basically fear your life if you're an opposing fan walking through the parking lot (the only worse place is the Oakland Coliseum during football season. If you're an opposing fan, you better have life insurance).

Furthermore, you have to deal with the notorious LA traffic.

If Larry David and the show Curb Your Enthusiasm taught us anything, the best way to get to a Dodgers baseball game is to pick up a hooker and put her in the passenger's seat so you can ride in the carpool lane to the stadium.

Does that sound like a relaxing way to travel to the ballpark?

8. The food is better on fans' mental psyches at AT&T Park than Dodger Stadium.
AT&T Park's staple food, Garlic Fries, only gives you bad breath.

Dodger stadium's "Dodger Dogs" make adolescent males self-conscious about certain regions on their body.

You decide which is worse.

9. J. Peterman Doesn't like Los Angeles.
J. Peterman of the J. Peterman catalogue said on the Comcast Sportsnet show, The San Francisco Chronicle Live, that he doesn't like living in Los Angeles because of the people. And, with that assumption, it can be safely said Peterman doesn't like the Dodgers either.

It is unknown how Peterman made the interview after living so long in privacy in Burma, and whether or not he returned to Burma after the interview was conducted.

(For the record, everyone knows the country of Burma is more widely known as Myanmar, but it will always be Burma to Peterman)

It is known however that he still mourns Elaine's dead friend, Susie, a former lover of his.

10. The moments for Giants fans of Dodgers-Giants games are just better.
Bobby Thomsen's "Shot Heard Around the World," coming back to take the pennant despite being 13.5 games behind the Dodgers in 1951, sweeping the Dodgers in 1997 to take the NL West, Brian Johnson's game-winning home run, Eddie Murray grounding into the key double play, "Hum Baby," 1954 and 1962 in general.

There are a lot of great moments for Giants fans to remember when it comes to this rivalry.

As for Dodgers fans and their best moment?

Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez stealing home against the Giants in the movie The Sandlot.

And that wasn't real by the way.

After all, who pinch-runs at third?

1 comment:

  1. We love Merkle at Sporting Chance Press and your readers who want more on Merkle can come to and order a copy of Public Bonehead, Private Hero by Mike Cameron. Thanks.