Today is opening day, which officially marks the beginning of the MLB baseball season. For me, it’s one of the best days of the year and it can never come soon enough. ESPN did not disappoint today and the first two games they aired were classic baseball rivalries between the Yankees and Red Sox and the Giants and Dodgers. As a baseball fan it doesn’t get better then these two matchups. This got me to thinking, however, as to which rivalry game is best for fans to watch.
A quick trip down memory lane gives this question a historical perspective that I think both matchups deserve. The amount of games these teams have played against each other is simply amazing. The Dodger and Giants, going back to their New York and Brooklyn days, have played each other a total of 2,373 times—yeah, that’s close to 15 full baseball seasons for those of you who are counting. The Yankees and Red Sox come in at a similar number with a total of 2,118 games played. This is a ridiculous number of games, and even though the Giants and Dodger have played slightly more, the difference is marginal at best and I don’t think efficient enough to decide which matchup is the baseballs finest.
Some might say that the rivalry with the most Hall-of-Fame players is the best in baseball. However, I don’t believe this is a good indicator in differentiating the quality of these matchups. Both have rivalries boast numerous Hall-of-Famers. The list is too long to go down name by name, but to mention a few—Ruth, Mays, Robinson, Koufax, DiMaggio, etc etc.
I think what matter most in answering this question, is which rivalry is most relevant today. Some would say the Yankees and Red sox are obviously the most relevant. They’d point to the ALCS matchups in the early 2000’s—which I wouldn’t argue with because those series were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Ultimately though, I think the Giants and Dodger are most relevant in TODAY’S league. I say this because when comparing the Dodger and Giants vs the Yankee and Red Sox, it is clear that San Francisco and Los Angeles have the better teams. The Yankees are predicated to be at the bottom of the AL East this year and the Red Sox finished dead last in the division last season. On the other hand, you have the Dodgers, who some consider to be one of this years best teams (from a talent perspective) and the Giants, who won it all both in 2010 and 2012.
In the end, I think these two rivalries are among the best in all of professional sports and the distinction between which is best is left up entirely to whomever is watching. Simply put, fans can’t loose with either of these games. What do you think? What is baseballs best rivalry today? Feel free to leave comments below. Until next time, check me out on Twitter @JCConway1.