The Dodgers – Giants Rivalry Flares Up Again

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If you thought the Hatfields and the McCoys was a big feud, you’ve never met the Dodgers and the Giants.

Here are a few names to jog your memory: Juan Marichal and John Roseboro, Candlestick Park and Tommy Lasorda, Barry Bonds and Steve Finley.

That little feud from the hills petered out a long time ago, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants just stirred theirs up again – and right in time for a matchup tonight between the two clubs with nothing less at stake than the N.L. West title.

Free agency and the modern era have seen Dodgers become Giants and vice-versa, so the baseball war cools off from time to time between the players. But every now and then, something like last night happens, and look out mama – those boys start to see red when they look into the other’s dugout.

Such is shaping up to be the case after Yasiel Puig was plunked on the ankle last night by Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Apparently Monsieur  Bumgarner didn’t like the way Puig was looking at him as he sat on the ground with a painful ankle. Bumgarner said a few choice words to Puig, who then rose and suggested Bumgarner might want to repeat those words when a man is facing him – and IT WAS ON!

No matter how many times you see benches clear between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, you will never see Dodger dugouts and bullpens empty with guys sprinting to the center of the action as they do when it’s the Giants.  I half expect the peanut vendors to crash the field when a Dodgers-Giants rhubarb breaks out.

That was the scene last night, you say. The boys have had a night to sleep and get over it, right? Well it aint over for everybody. Julie Sterward-Binks tweeted a couple of hours ago that Bumgardner walked by her TV crew and vented to them, “If I wanted to do it on purpose, I wouldn’t have hit (Puig) on the ankle.” So much for letting bygones be bygones. You can bet he’ll have a few more statements to make about Puig to his teammates in the locker room.

There’s also the question of how many bygones Clayton Kershaw will let pass when he takes the mound tonight. Not only was Puig hit last night, but he was also hit in the first game, along with two more Dodgers. Kershaw won’t hesitate to protect his teammates, but with the title on the line he won’t want to give the Giants any free baserunners either, even if they do advance with a bruised behind.

My bet is if Kershaw’s fastball and Public Enemy Number One, his curveball, are working, and if the offense gives him a few runs under his belt, an unlucky Giant just may feel some Dodger Blue baseball seams right on the seat of his pants.

I can’t wait for first ptich!

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