Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
# 1 Los Angeles Dodgers
If you want to see bad fans on display, go to a Padres-Dodgers game at Petco Park. Opening Day 2013 I sat right next to a fan fight between a Dodgers and Padres fan, and this is pretty common. The problem with this rivalry is that the Dodgers will claim it doesn’t matter to them. They have the Giants rivalry, a Diamondbacks rivalry where they have actually exchanged punches, and a St. Louis Cardinals team that has eliminated them two years in a row from the playoffs despite one year where they actually shook hands after losing to the Cardinals. Of course that was led by a Canadian.
The Dodgers-Padres rivalry you can look at from a lot of angles. The Clippers left San Diego for LA, but until recently no one cared at all about the Clippers. San Diego fights an inferiority complex to Los Angeles despite being cleaner, sunnier, not as crowded, and just generally better than LA. Pretty much everything but The Price Is Right AND craft beer. Yet these games just always seem to be close. A few quick examples:
1) Comeback Win for the Padres: Last June, the Padres rallied for three in the 9th to beat the Dodgers 4-3. This one was huge because it was the week that San Diego lost Tony Gwynn and was playing with emotion. As Everth Cabrera stated, ”When I hit the fly ball I celebrate like it was a walk-off bomb,” Cabrera said. ”Especially against the Dodgers with all their fans from L.A. here.”.
2) Comeback Win for the Dodgers: Back in 2006, the Dodgers hit 4 home runs in a row in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game, then won in the 10th on a Nomar Garciaparra walk-off. That’s right, just like the Rockies game, the Padres regained the lead in the top half of the 10th before losing it all over again in the bottom half. Said Brian GilesÃ‚Â “YouÃ‚Â expect anything different the way this division has gone the last couple of years. There are a lot of ups and downs in this game. This is going to go down to the wire” Well said Brian.
3) The Fight. This one is pretty obvious, and it sure would be interesting to see the first reactions between Matt Kemp and Carlos Quentin in Spring Training assuming Quentin is still there. What people might forget is that after the initial brawl there was a secondary brawl which involved Jerry Hairston Jr and Matt Kemp waiting outside the Padres clubhouse for Quentin until Padres pitcher Clayton Richard intervened to stop a third fight.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stated at the time,”In a 2-1 game we’re trying to hit him 3-2? It’s just stupid is what it is. He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something is wrong.”
Not to mention longtime Dodger-turned Padre Steve Garvey is immortalized in Padres lore for sending the Padres to their first World Series, thought its debatable who wins that part of the rivalry. Perhaps he will be the key to restoring civility between the two franchises. He and Matt Kemp.
Rivalries are a fun part of the game and fans enjoy following them. By the way the Padres are 369-412 against the Dodgers all time. Time to make up some ground in 2015.
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