Major League Baseball is looking for something to sell their product. With a goal of expanding the game on a global scale, the upcoming series featuring the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers might be precisely what baseball needs.
For the majority of the San Diego Padres’ existence, they have been dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Coming from a fan of the Padres and a native San Diegan, that was a hard sentence to write. But it is true. There is no denying that fact.
Sure, in the ’80s and early ’90s, the Padres always seemed to play the Dodgers tough no matter the condition of their budgeted roster. It is perhaps then when the rivalry started to really blossom — at least if you are a fan of the Padres. The fans from San Diego could only wonder what a roster full of stars would look like as they took the field. Ask most Dodgers fans’ opinion on the Padres, and they would refer to the franchise as their little brother — a sad statement, but something that could not be argued with merit.
But as Bob Dylan once wrote, “The Times They Are a-Changing.”
The current Padres franchise is full of relevant major league players. The lineup, the starting staff (when healthy), the bullpen. The Padres are no joke. The Dodgers’ players and front office realize the threat San Diego represents to their empire. Los Angeles has consistently been a dominant force in the N.L. West in recent years, but they have failed to win it all. These failures hardly diminish their success as of late, but most fans of the team are hardly content without a World Championship.
Now the San Diego Padres stand in the way.
The Padres are a team full of “cocky” young players who play the game with enthusiasm and reckless abandon. If a ratchety old baseball coach watched the San Diego Padres play, children and women would need to leave the area. The curse words coming from his mouth would be jaw-dropping.
The game has changed. The old book of unwritten rules does not apply anymore. Those outdated ways of policing the game are barbaric and contradictory. Most who preached these rules really had no idea of why they were taught this way. They just know it was how they were taught to play the game.
Not that the Dodgers are a boring team, but they certainly cannot compare in swagger with the Padres. Baseball is slowly moving towards the exciting aspects of the game and fans are loving that fact. Bat-flips from hitters and fist-pumps from pitchers are actions that are here to stay. Those who are offended must gain thicker skin.
This upcoming series will provide many exciting moments for the game of baseball. If the league wants an exciting game to sell its product, then the Padres and Dodgers should easily deliver on Tuesday. Mookie Betts and Fernando Tatis Jr. are special talents. The kind of players that are worth the price of admission.
There is animosity between these two teams after Trent Grisham took Clayton Kershaw deep a few weeks ago and celebrated that fact. The Dodgers gained motivation from his actions and there will plenty of fuel for Los Angeles come Tuesday. San Diego is attempting to shed the little brother label and is playing for the respect of Major League Baseball. In a horrendous year for many, this series is set up to be an entertaining end for one club’s dream, and perhaps the the next step in another’s.