Monday, November 05, 2012

The Giants Anomaly Will Pass

Great article last week from Bob Timmermann over at LA Observed, who reminds us to keep his Giants aberration in perspective:

Without a doubt, the San Francisco Giants have, much to the surprise of most baseball observers, become one of the more dominant teams in baseball. The Giants sweep of the Tigers in the World Series gave San Francisco its second world championship in three years.

Meanwhile, down in Los Angeles, Dodgers fans had high hopes from a good start to the season, only to see the overachieving team from April and May to start achieving at more expected level. And then, when the Dodgers made big trades to bolster a weak offensive attack, the offense got worse.

Up in San Francisco, the Giants made only one trade of note, acquiring infielder Marco Scutaro, who ended up: 1) driving in the game-winning runs in a game that eliminated the Dodgers from playoff contention, 2) was named MVP of the NLCS, hitting .500 and 3) drove in the winning run in the 10th inning of Game 4 of the World Series.

So are the Dodgers headed for an extended period of inferiority to their Bay Area rivals? Probably not. This has not kept the L.A. Times most prominent alarmist/troll/ESPN shouter Bill Plaschke from writing a column bemoaning the sad sack nature of the Dodgers.

Plaschke uses the Giants edge in alltime National League pennants as evidence of that franchise's superiority. The Giants have appeared in the World Series 19 times and the Dodgers 18 times.

(This does not count the 19th Century meeting between the two franchises when the Dodgers, then the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, won the American Association, the second major league of the time in 1889. The Giants won the National League title. The Giants won a postseason series that year that lasted nine games. If you count the 19th Century, the Dodgers and Giants have both won their league 22 times. The Giants also won the National League pennant in 1904, but refused to play a World Series that year. The Dodgers won a pennant in 1900, when no World Series was played either.) [...]

Since the Dodgers World Series win in 1988, the Giants have had the upper hand, making the World Series four times. The Giants edge during this time can be attributed to numerous factors: 1) having the game's best offensive player for a long time in Barry Bonds, 2) achieving financial stability after moving into picturesque (and transit-friendly) AT&T Park out of the horrible Candlestick Park (which has far worse access than Dodger Stadium.) The Giants have had stable ownership and a stable front office. The Dodgers ... have had ... a lot of different people sitting in a lot of different offices since Peter O'Malley sold the team. (In Plaschke's column, he complains about Dodger Stadium's condition, a remarkable change from when he thought it was the most beautiful place in Los Angeles to have lunch.)

The Dodgers new ownership group seems willing to spend just about any or all of its money in order to win. The biggest story of the year was the acquisition of four Boston Red Sox players with enormous contracts. The two most important pieces in the deal were first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who replaced the light-hitting James Loney, and outfielder Carl Crawford, who was injured and did not play for the Dodgers in 2012. If Crawford, a major disappointment in Boston, can come anywhere near his production in his Tampa Bay seasons (a very big if), the Dodgers offense should be improved.

Click over and read the whole article; it's a good one. And get ready, Dodgers fans.


rbnlaw said...

Gentle readers, this comes down to stability. See, back in 1999 or thereabouts, the O'Malley family wanted to build a foosball stadium using part of the enormous parking lot in Chavez Ravine.

The city council, including Mark Ridley Thomas (who was also on the Colosseum commission) said "No." Why? Because LA had an aging relic of a stadium they thought suited an NFL team. Why build a new one with private funds?

This pissed the O'Malleys off to no end; prompting them to sell our beloved franchise to evil incarnate (Fox). After Fox's failed attempts at ownership (bye, bye, Mike Piazza), our Blue hearts were put in the hands of a Boston parking lot attendant. The rest, as we say, is history.

Lesson? Blame the inept LA city council and the idiotic Colosseum Commission for their short-sighted mishandling of the whole NFL/stadium/piss off of the O'Malleys and the resulting mess they made of the Dodgers.

May Stan Kasten have mercy on our souls.

Franklin Stubbs said...