For years, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have had a bitter rivalry that exaggerates much of the light-hearted animosity that has historically existed between the two cities. When the teams play each other, the respective stadiums quake with the traditional “Beat L-A” or the newer, admittedly prosaic, “Gi-ants Suck, Gi-ants Suck.”
The rivals competed in September to determine the winner of the National League West division. The Dodgers won the series, allowing them to squeak into the playoffs as a wildcard. As painful as it is for me to relive the moment, the Dodgers lost their first playoff series to the St. Louis Cardinals, playing five games that seemed to eerily mirror the Dodger’s short-lived playoff career last year. To make matters worse for Dodger fans, the Giants won their first series and then advanced to the semi-finals, while the Dodgers packed their bags and hung their heads low.
The Giants next played the Cardinals (the same team who had utterly crushed the Dodgers a week previously). It is difficult — impossible, maybe — for me to convey the emotions I felt as a Dodgers fans during this series. My options were to root for the Cardinals, even though they had directly robbed the Dodgers of their playoff spot, or (it’s blasphemous to even think about it) to root for the horrid Giants. Much to the dismay of Dodger fans, the Giants won, and advanced to the World Series to play against the Kansas City Royals.
It’s a classic David and Goliath story; the Royals haven’t played in a post-season game in 28 years, and the Giants have been in the World Series three out of the last five years. The series was tied, and the whole thing is very nerve-wracking for baseball fans from Kansas City to San Francisco. I’ll be honest: I can’t watch the games. When the TV is turned on, I put on headphones and retreat downstairs because it breaks my heart every time I look at the TV screen and don’t see that one noble and beautiful color: Dodger blue.