On paper, the Giants have the edge over the Dodgers in 9 of 16 categories (including “chemistry“) heading into the 2013 season. The Dodgers are a “purely store-bought team” whose image suggests the opposite of world championships, fundamentally sound baseball and “owners reluctant to give anyone a $100,000 contract.”
We’ll concede a few points. Buster Posey is a better all-around catcher than A.J. Ellis. Bruce Bochy is a better manager than Don Mattingly (he might be the best manager in baseball). If Brian Sabean offered Pablo Sandoval in a straight-up trade for Luis Cruz, Ned Colletti would make the deal faster than you can say “Milton Bradley.”
But here’s where winning two of the last three World Series seems to enlarge the blind spot of Giants fans:
- The “purely store-bought” Dodgers will have four Opening Day starters straight from their own farm system (Ellis, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier). Three of the four will have long-term contracts by the end of the year.
- These are the career numbers for Ethier. These are the career numbers for Hunter Pence, who’s on his third team in two years and will never win a Gold Glove Award, as Ethier did in 2011. Who’s calling this even in right field?
- Speaking of Gold Glove awards … when he gave the G-men the edge on defense, Jenkins failed to mention that the Dodgers have four past winners in camp (Ethier, Kemp, Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez). The Giants? Zero, unless they’re bringing in Willie Mays for more than just an occasional motivational speech.
- The Dodgers have four former closers in camp: Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra and non-roster invitee Kevin Gregg. Jenkins points out that it’s “wise to consider track records here,” so I’ll point out that Giants closer Sergio Romo has five career saves and give the Dodgers the edge in the “bullpen” category.
I could butt in with more rebuttals, but that’s what the Comments section is for. Have at it, Dodger fans.