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The Dodgers and Short-Term Panic

For 22 years, the Giants have been able to say, "if not us, then at least not them." It’s usually of little consolation, but it’s better than being inconsolable. For a couple of decades, the Giants haven’t had to watch a parade down Sunset Boulevard. Or do they call it "The Sunset Boulevard?" No matter. We haven’t had to watch Tommy Lasorda gurgle something vile while holding a trophy above his head. That’s…something, at least.

And this year felt even better than the schadenfreude of previous years. Last year, the Giants were bad. That’s not strong enough. They were worse than bad. They were hard to watch. Insufferable. The 2008 Giants were…why is this so hard to put into words?

Jose Castillo

#8 / Formerly of the San Francisco Giants



Mar 19, 1981

Thank you. That will do just fine. So when the Dodgers lost to the Phillies last year, it was fantastic, but it was bittersweet. The Giants were awful with a slight chance of awfuler. A push for .500 was the optimistic goal for the Giants in 2009, so how much pleasure could we have taken in last year’s Dodger collapse? A whole hell of a lot, but that’s missing the point, which should be coming along any second now.

This year was different. The Giants actually made the Dodgers aware of their presence. It wasn’t an especially close divisional race, but the Giants were contending for something, and they were successful enough to leave us without the face-in-the-mud apathy from previous years. We almost made it into the playoffs, and that would have made it even more crushing if the Dodgers had won it all. As it turned out, that fear also made it even more satisfying when the Dodgers didn’t win.

One of these years, though, we won’t be so lucky. It might not be in 2010 – it might not be in 2050 – but one of these years, the Dodgers will make the playoffs and rape and pillage their way to a title. Them’s just the odds. And if the Giants aren’t able to contend in a given season, that’s just one less obstacle for the Dodgers to overcome.

So my point is this: I think the Giants should win a bunch of games, and I think they should build on their success from this season so they can contend next season.

Startling, yes. But I really think the Giants have a bit of a short-term clock ticking. Lincecum and Cain are 40% of a good rotation right now. Pablo Sandoval is a legit middle-of-the-order hitter right now. Those are difficult pieces to come by, but the Giants have them. And if there’s any help from the farm, Buster Posey excepted, it shouldn’t help the Giants a whole bunch in 2010 or even 2011.

And the Dodgers aren’t going anywhere. The Cey-Russell-Lopes-Garvey fears I used to have with prospects like Andy LaRoche and Chin-lung Hu aren’t quite as pronounced as they once were, but the talent is still there. While I think that Ned Colletti is still the kind of general manager who would covet players like, oh, Juan Pierre in free agency, even he isn’t capable of breaking up their nucleus for something shinier.

So the Dodgers’ relative success will be a big part of my offseason hopes, proposals, and fears. Thinking only in the short-term is a great way to get suckered into another Aaron Rowand kind of contract, but there’s even more of a short-term concern now. The Dodgers are good. The Giants are kinda good. I’m not going to get too scared about long-term deals affecting the team in 2015 as much if they make the 2010 Giants a substantially better team. I don’t know if the Giants will be kinda good in 2015, so I’ll worry about that then.

In conclusion, I would like to announce that my fear of the Dodgers winning the World Series in the near future has manifested itself in a hope that the Giants will give Matt Holliday millions and millions of dollars. I would appreciate it if you talked me off this particular ledge.

Also in conclusion, welcome to the offseason, Dodgers. Hee hee.