I have to say, I’m pretty psyched for this weekend’s Dodgers-Yankees series at Dodger Stadium, and all the hype that goes along with it. It’s only the second time the two clubs have faced each other in the regular season, and the Dodgers have won 10 of 14 games played at Chavez Ravine. Overall, the Dodgers are 31-38 against New York.
And the big series couldn’t come at a better time. After losing 11 of their last 13 games, the Dodgers’ bats came alive last night in a critical win. Plus, the club could use a distraction, and this weekend will be all about Joe Torre - the perfect way to take some of the pressure off of the team’s players. I’ve got to admit, there are some intriguing story lines with Joe Torre and Don Mattingly facing their old team, to say nothing of Manny Ramirez playing against one of his former rivals.
According to the Dodgers pre-game notes, Ramirez has the fourth best batting average against the Yankees in the regular season, going .321 with 55 home runs in 200 games. Oddly, Garret Anderson has the fifth best average against the Yankees at .310. Something tells me that the surging Manny has a MUCH better chance to come through in the clutch this weekend than GA does. Prove me wrong GA, prove me wrong.
On the surface, the Yankee influence on the Dodger coaching staff reminds me a lot of Mike Scioscia and the Dodgers influence on the Angels coaching staff (the big difference being that Scioscia has delivered a championship and is in place for the next 10 years, while Torre could retire as soon as the end of this season).
One of my earliest Dodger moments was being 11 years old and listening to the Dodgers-Yankees play during the 1981 World Series while my mom drove us to soccer practice. This is the baseball equivalent of the Lakers and the Celtics, and cold only be topped if the two clubs met in the World Series later this season.
And just to wrap up, following are a few interesting notes in how this series, and some of it’s sideshows, are being painted by the New York and national media:
The New York Post looks at Alex Rodriguez’s frosty take on Joe Torre, while Derek Jeter says “He has been like a father figure to me.”
The New York Daily Newsparticipates in Joe Torre’s pre-game media session yesterday, where the skipper shared his thoughts about the weekend series against his former team.
Lee Jenkins at SI.com looks at “Joe Torre vs. Joe Torre.”
Photo credit: Fantasysportsday.com