The World Champion San Francisco Giants Open in Los Angeles
Their NL West counterpart, Los Angeles Dodgers, went another route; after the July trade-deadline passed, the Dodgers were waiting on a potential blockbuster deal- they felt the need to shake things up with new ownership, but instead, all they did was inherit lots of talented, long-salaried players from the East Coast, some of whom are well past their glory days.
It's safe to say the move was not a short-term goal, as the Dodgers quickly fell from contention in the division and were soon thereafter eliminated from the Wild Card.
However, today is a new day, a new season. Everyone is 0-0 chasing the same dream after the completion of 162 regular season marathons.
The Dodgers were the top team in baseball last year through the first month, but consistency fell and so did they. The Giants struggled out of the gates, but picked it up as the season continued, due in large part to the NL MVP, Buster Posey, the combination of a consistent starting rotation (minus Tim Lincecum's 10-15, 5.38 ERA) and a lights-out bullpen.
The Giants, winners of two World Series Championships in the last three seasons are out to form a dynasty - the first one since the Yankees in the late 90's, and they are doing it with their own style of play. Hero ball is not part of their vernacular. The Giants are a scrappy, well disciplined ball-club who try to minimize mistakes and move runners along the base-paths by any means necessary.
The Dodgers are beginning the season at almost full strength, only missing their starting shortstop, Hanley Ramirez. Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez will open their first season with the Dodgers after spending some miserable time in Boston together over the last season and a half. Matt Kemp is sandwiched between those two in the top half of the lineup so it should be a battle this afternoon with the Giants' Matt Cain on the mound.
Kershaw and Cain both have recent success against in these rivalry games. Cain, who pitched a perfect game last season fresh off signing his $126 million extension will look to continue his string of dominance after being named the opening day starter this season. Clayton still has yet to sign that glorious extension, and rest-assured, when he sees black and orange, he smells blood.
Baseball is back!