Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks’ attempt to stir up a rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team already has a storied rivalry with another team in the division.
Since their time sharing the spotlight in New York, the Dodgers and now San Francisco Giants have been division rivals that have had many moments over the years. The Giants failed to make the playoffs last season, but are expected to compete with the Dodgers for the division title this season.
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants’ owner Larry Baer compared the current rivalry to that of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox:
We’re mindful of the Dodgers, Baer said. We’d be crazy to say we’re not. Maybe it’s a little bit like New York and Boston in a lot of the years. We’re fine with not matching them dollar for dollar because when it comes down to it, it’s an art, not a science, and it comes down to judgments. Drafting Cain, Lincecum, Posey, Bumgarner, et cetera . . . Those were judgment calls, not money calls.
The comparison recalls the time when the Yankees consistently had MLB’s highest payroll and the Red Sox had trouble keeping up in payroll and on the field. Between the two teams, there is a difference of about $70 million in payroll, even though the Giants rank in the top half of payroll among all teams. Last season, the Dodgers saw the rewards from their spending, as they came within two games of the World Series and are now the preseason favorites to win the World Series.
This off-season, the Dodgers tempered their free agent spending but signed ace Clayton Kershaw to a seven-year, $215 million deal, while the Giants re-signed Hunter Pence and inked Tim Hudson and Mike Morse to short-term deals that may help them compete with the Dodgers.
For the Dodgers, they can only hope that the rivalry becomes like the Yankees and Red Sox, as the high payroll Yankees won four World Series titles in a span of five years.
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