Classic Rivalry About to Ignite

Classic Rivalry About to Ignite
>You know it's a new day in the Giants-Dodgers rivalry when the major topics include scooters, medieval helmets and Yasiel Puig's maturity. It's safe to say this time-honored theater has seldom been more compelling.

Looking back, it's always been about contrasts. From the moment the Giants arrived in San Francisco, they crafted an image of fearsome power hitting against the Dodgers' superlative arms. The flamboyant Tommy Lasorda managed against stern Frank Robinson, Humm Baby Roger Craig and an ex-Dodger with a grudge, Dusty Baker. Barry Bonds did a pirouette out of the batter's box (1997) and left an L.A. franchise in ruins.

There's a hint of the mismatch in this season's dynamic, and the Dodgers know it. While the Giants cavort, savoring the beauty of an all-for-one clubhouse, the Dodgers have been pouting, complaining and putting forth only sporadic bursts of energy. Manager Don Mattingly has admitted being concerned about their absent "sense of urgency," and when Adrian Gonzalez was asked recently about an apparent lack of motivation among his teammates, he responded with a terse "no comment."

Still, don't you get the feeling this is leading to something monumental? Scanning the anticipated threats around the National League - Washington, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati, while casting serious doubts about Milwaukee's hot start - it's easy to imagine the Giants and Dodgers meeting in the postseason.
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