The Renegade Rip

Column: No dream matchup in 2016

E9: What you wouldn’t believe about sports.

Sam L. Jaime

Sam L. Jaime

Sam L. Jaime, Reporter

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Well, I guess the dream of a Dodgers-Giants National League Championship Series is yet again washed away. Color me not surprised. It’s a matchup that has been talked about longer than I’ve even been alive, and it would have been amazing. From my perspective, it would have finally been a chance to quiet the “even year” talk filling my text messages and Facebook feed.

While I am thankful the Chicago Cubs beat the Dodgers to the punch, I can only speculate the madness that my life would have become. I can only imagine all of the strained friendships and newfound enemies in my life. I sit and think of how the Dodgers and Giants have only faced each other once in the postseason, all the way back in 1889, when the World Series was a best of 11 series.

Many of you may want to cite the “Shot heard around the world” off the bat of Bobby Thompson in 1951, but that was part of a three-game pennant playoff, which would be equivalent to a game 163 tiebreaker in today’s world. So, realistically, the rivalry, which was born in New York based on class warfare, and carried to the left coast, hasn’t had a proverbial shot fired during postseason play in 127 years. That span is longer than the Cubs’ World Series drought.

This lack of postseason matchups could be in some ways more entertaining than the satisfaction of such. It makes the regular season matchups more important, as more often than not, they tend to be the decisive factor down the stretch. Sure, you could say the same thing about any other rivalry, but, when you know that the outcome of your matchup against your rival generally decides who even gets into the postseason, the value of those games increases. This has especially been the case for the past few seasons considering the absolute luck and clutch of the Giants in the postseason. Still, October baseball trumps all.

It would be a lie if I told you it didn’t fill me with a small amount of joy to wake up the morning after the Cubs cut the Giants’ October short, and find my social media virtually devoid of the usual sycophantic posts that had followed previous eliminations. This was different. There were no “We got next year” type of wound-soothing conversations.

For the first time in what has felt like an eternity, it seems the Giants’ fan base has finally begun to realize that not only is the team not invincible, but that it doesn’t look like a return to the postseason will be as easy as it being an “even year.”

I love it. After having to tolerate the Giants’ ultimately impressive run the past six seasons, and the seemingly endless barrage of blood-boiling celebratory social media content, the side-effect of reality has seemed to settle in for Giants fans.

No more hanging curve balls, no more squib-hits, or seeing-eye singles; no more expanded strike zones, or scoreless outings in do-or-die games. Time and probability have made men of these Giants, and fate has yet again denied us the next chapter of a rivalry that has defied cross-country moves, two world wars, a strike, and the 379 miles between them.

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Column: No dream matchup in 2016