Padres Editorial: Is This The Year Of The Padres/Dodgers Rivalry?


Earlier this week I was reading an article by Jim Alexander of The Press Enterprise about how the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers rivalry has never lived up to it’s full potential.  He also posed that this could finally be the year that the rivalry lives up to its expectations and I have to agree. I think things about about to really heat up this year.

For too long the Padres have been the third wheel of the National League California teams, and to be honest, it makes sense.

The Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have a rich rivalry that stretches back to before there were even any teams in California. A rivalry that includes names like John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Bobby Thompson, Duke Snider,Burleigh Grimes, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays (Say Hey!) battling for control of the Senior Circuit in the great metropolis known as New York City. It’s because of this history that the Padres, a team that joined Major League Baseball in 1969, have been the odd team out for years.

Add to the fact that the Dodgers have won five championships in Los Angeles, the Giants have won three (in the last five seasons) in San Francisco, and the Padres are still sitting at zero championships in just two World Series appearances. It’s no wonder that the Padres have always been an afterthought.

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However, after watching the first two games the 2015 season, this may no longer be the case. The roots of a great rivalry years in the making is finally coming to pass.

First off, there are players on each team that feel scorned and abandoned by their former teams. Just look at the play of Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp in this series so far.  Kemp is hitting .375 with 3 RBIs and Gonzalez is hitting an astounding .667 with two home runs and three RBIs. Just watch the games and tell me Kemp and Gonzalez aren’t playing with a chips on their shoulders.

Secondly, as Jim Alexander points out, this could be the first year that the Padres 25 man roster and the Dodgers 25 man roster can legitimately go toe to toe with one another. Up and down each lineup there is potential for success. Time will only tell how the lineups will stack up in the end, but I believe at the end of the year we will be looking at two very evenly matched teams.

No matter what happens this season, these first two games have been great to watch. I have loved every minute of it and I hope you have too.

I am hoping the intense competition between these two teams continues throughout 2015, and if the Dodgers and Padres play like they have these first two games, it certainly will.

What do you guys think? Has the rivalry heated up or do you think these two clubs will never have the same passion as LA/SF?

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