The Cardinals Have Become Recent Rivals to Dodgers


Regardless of what Yasiel Puig said or didn’t say, the Dodgers and the Giants continue to have one of the longest and most historic rivalries in sports. When thinking about the pumpkin colored foes, I can’t help the disdain from bubbling up within me. I can’t look at pandas the same way ever again. A certain San Francisco southpaw just asks to be mocked for his name (wasn’t Madison the name of Daryl Hannah’s mermaid character from the cult movie Splash!)? The SF logo brings up all sorts of negative connotations when spied by a Dodger fan. The rivalry still lives on, and it will never die.

Even though the Bryan Stow tragedy questioned the validity of so-called rivals and what fans will do in reaction to their favorite teams, the rivalry is usually quite civil between fans. Sure, a quick jab at Tim Lincecum‘s hair cannot be passed up. Likewise, Giants fans are always willing to bag on Yasiel Puig when they can. They sure enjoy making sure we all know that they have won three world championships while the Dodgers are still looking to return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1988.

While no one should ever get hurt by the rivalry (hurt feelings not included), it definitely is a fun part of rooting for a favorite team. It brings a layer of excitement to a game which normally may not have a such a dynamic story line. USC-UCLA is another So Cal rivalry which I have been a part of, and its a mix of tradition and bragging rights.

Recently, the Dodgers have experienced some new rivalries. The slithery Arizona Diamondbacks moved up on my list of hated teams after the infamous brawl in June of 2013. Ian Kennedy aggressively threw a pitch toward Zack Greinke‘s head, and suspensions rained down thereafter. Former Dodger and then Arizona manager Kirk Gibson was aggressive during his tenure with the Snakes in the wild wild west. After the Dodgers took a celebratory dip in the pool at Chase Field after clinching their N.L. West title, the D-backs and Dodger rivalry seemed to be at its peak.

Live Feed

MLB rumors roundup: Tatis and Yankees, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Rodon
MLB rumors roundup: Tatis and Yankees, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Rodon /

Call to the Pen

  • Why Dansby Swanson makes sense for the Dodgers, explainedFanSided
  • MLB rumors: Dansby Swanson could make Braves worst nightmare a realityFanSided
  • With departures, Los Angeles Dodgers must retool for 2023Call to the Pen
  • MLB Insider: Diamondbacks showing interest in Justin TurnerFanSided
  • Latest World Series Odds for Every Team Following Big Free Agency Signings (Astros Remain Favorite After Jose Abreu Signing)FanSided
  • Even San Diego had brush ups with the Dodgers, and it will be interesting to see how games play out in 2015 between the two So Cal teams. With quite a few former Dodgers on the roster, including one-time franchise player Matt Kemp, I’m sure there will be some tense moments between SD and LA.

    The cross-town rival Angels are always difficult for the Dodgers to beat. It’s hard for me to not root for Mike Trout and my favorite player growing up Mike Scioscia, but the Angels do not play in Los Angeles and should not be treated as though they do. Perhaps it has been more of an annoying comparative relationship than a rivalry between the two teams over the years. I still think of them as the California Angels, and last time I checked they play in Anaheim.

    Oct 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder

    Carl Crawford

    (3) reacts as he heads back to the dugout as the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate their victory in game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the series and will advance to the NLCS. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    The Phillies were a rival to the Dodgers after they beat them in consecutive years in the playoffs. Much like how the Cardinals have knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason two years in a row, the 2008-2009 Philadelphia team were certainly big time rivals of the Dodgers during those years. Shane Victorino, Matt Stairs and Ryan Howards still make your stomach churn when you hear their names, don’t they? The Phillies are now non-threats, but at one time they were the biggest rivals of the Dodgers in their quest for a World Series berth.

    So I totally understand when Yasiel Puig speaks of the rivalry between the Cardinals and the Dodgers. The Red Birds, and their often times hostile fan base (I don’t even want to think about some of the nasty comments so-called Cardinals fans left here at LL during and after the NLDS loss last year), certainly became one of the biggest recent rivals to the Dodgers. Sure, the Giants rivalry is rich with tradition and folklore, but the biggest hurdle for the Dodgers the past two years were those crimson colored birds.

    I’m not denying that I enjoy talking some smack sometimes about the Giants or the Cardinals from time to time. I can say that I’ve met some really nice fans that root for both teams (they are not all bad). Watching the Cardinals defeat Clayton Kershaw was one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch as a Dodger fan. St. Louis is definitely a very successful postseason team, and somehow the Dodgers have to get over that hump and beat them.

    Rivalries fluctuate and evolve over time, yet the Dodgers-Giants rivalry will live on indefinitely. The new rivalries could be more important when it comes to getting to the World Series. Sure, it’s fun to make fun of Buster Posey, but in reality the Dodgers could likely end up playing the Cardinals once again in the postseason. I would be disappointed if Yasiel Puig and other players didn’t get fired up over rivalries or beating tough teams.

    Head-to-Head Records Versus Rivals

    Giants 1,109-1,128

    Angels 43-57

    Phillies 1,068-837

    D-backs 161-135

    Padres 412-369

    Cardinals 940-969

    Even if the rivalry is heated during the regular season, true rivalries are made and renewed during the postseason. The Dodgers have met the Cardinals in the postseason five times. The Cardinals have won four of those series. Craig Minami of True Blue LA outlined the postseason meetings between the two teams going into the 2013 NLCS. The Dodgers ended up losing that series, and the next year’s.

    Yasiel Puig feels the increased rivalry between the Dodgers and Cards, and I do too. The Dodgers have to find a way to beat the Red Birds in order to bring Los Angeles a World Series championship again. If that takes a little feather ruffling in the process…so be it.