Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, May 27, 2013

South Jersey Times: It’s rivalry week in Major League Baseball. How “natural” is your natural rivalry?

So over the next four days, teams in opposite leagues will meet their natural rivals in four-game series — two games in each park.But let’s just say some rivalries are more natural than others. Following are the 15 “natural rivalries” being contested this week in order of how they fit the mold and the distance between the teams’ stadiums.

1. Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox, 9.9 miles [...]

15. Colorado Rockies-Houston Astros, 1,021.4 miles

bobm Posted: May 27, 2013 at 11:58 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: interleague

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Knock on any Iorg Posted: May 28, 2013 at 06:20 AM (#4453406)
They are geographic rivalries whether "natural" or artificial so let's call them that. Then again Indians-Pirates is a more natural rival based on geography and fan bases than Indians-Reds. More than a few people in that area root for the Pirates as their NL team and the Indians as their AL team so this matchup would test their loyalties.
   2. villageidiom Posted: May 28, 2013 at 06:48 AM (#4453407)
When the concept of "natural rivalries" started, Boston's rival was Atlanta. Made sense, given they used to be a Boston team. But at the time, the Braves were the bsst team in the NL.

At some point this was changed, to the Marlins. OK, John Henry used to own the Marlins. Fine. But that was around when the Marlins won the WS, and were very good.

Then it was changed to the Phillies. This made no sense... other than that around the time of the switch the Phillies were one of the best teams in the NL.

There are eight natural rivalries: Yankees/Mets, Cubs/White Sox, Dodgers/Angels, Giants/A's, Nats/Orioles, Rays/Marlins, Cardinals/Royals, Indians/Reds. Anything else schdduled is just filler.
   3. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 28, 2013 at 07:09 AM (#4453409)
Rays/Marlins would be a rivalry if anyone in Florida actually cared about either team.

Shouldn't Yankees/Dodgers be a natural rivalry for historic reasons (as well as NY-LA)?
   4. villageidiom Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:20 AM (#4453419)
Shouldn't Yankees/Dodgers be a natural rivalry for historic reasons (as well as NY-LA)?
If we're going with "natural" in some way other than geographic, sure. But most of the non-geographic interleague rivalries involve a team that already has a geographic interleague rivalry.
   5. depletion Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4453426)
4) Mumbai - Islamabad
3) Moscow - St. Petersburg
2) Shanghai - Tokyo
1) Mecca - Teheran
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4453430)
Seoul -- Pyongyang
McMurdo Bay -- Barrow
   7. The District Attorney Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4453436)
There are eight natural rivalries: Yankees/Mets, Cubs/White Sox, Dodgers/Angels, Giants/A's, Nats/Orioles, Rays/Marlins, Cardinals/Royals, Indians/Reds.
It's definitely true that the other seven "rivalries" are just whoever's left over. But Padres-Mariners always felt the most random to me. (Not that I have a better idea.)

These four are the only "rivalry games", right, down from six? I'm actually surprised some owners didn't kick up more of a fuss about this. Switching a home game from the Yankees to the Twins or something will cost the Mets a good amount of money, for example. Admittedly, it's only one game, but the way owners treat doubleheaders like the specter of grim death, it seems like one game is normally a big deal to them.
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:53 AM (#4453439)
Is Indians-Reds really a geographically 'natural rivalry?' As #1 pointed out, Cleveland is a lot closer to Pittsburgh than Cincinnati, setting aside the question of what entity they pay taxes to. But then again, Pittsburgh (Pennsyltucky) and Philadelphia (Philthadelphia) residents generally loathe each other despite Pittsburgh being closer to Cleveland, so maybe there's a similar thing with Cleveland and Cincinnati, I don't know.
   9. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4453441)
But Padres-Mariners always felt the most random to me. (Not that I have a better idea.)


FWIW, they share a ST facility, and have for many years.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 08:59 AM (#4453443)
Is Indians-Reds really a geographically 'natural rivalry?'


Yes, it is.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4453448)
I know the brewers were in a bit of quandary when this matchup stuff came about because the choice was between the white sox, who the brewer fans love to hate, or the twins who might as well be kissing cousins. nobody gets 'excited' about playing the twins. Milwaukee fans have long relished having the crew take it to the white sox if possible

the issues were that the brewers already were getting their Chicago 'fix' with the cubs and that unlike the cubs fans who are just annoying when they come to miller park white sox fans and brewer fans get into actual fistfights in the stands. this is a longstanding 'tradition'

so brewers management picked the twins even though they knew the brewer fans would have been far more energized at facing the white sox.

if youtube had been around between 1975-1995 there would be quite the collection of brewer/white sox fan melees. several times legitimate brawls broke out in the stands at both old county stadium and comiskey park.
   12. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4453458)
if youtube had been around between 1975-1995 there would be quite the collection of brewer/white sox fan melees. several times legitimate brawls broke out in the stands at both old county stadium and comiskey park


I'll vouch for this. Heck one Brewers' fan even decided to fight Tony Phillips behind the bleachers...during the game.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4453461)
They are geographic rivalries whether "natural" or artificial so let's call them that. Then again Indians-Pirates is a more natural rival based on geography and fan bases than Indians-Reds. More than a few people in that area root for the Pirates as their NL team and the Indians as their AL team so this matchup would test their loyalties.


There's a deep reservoir of ill-feeling between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, due to the longstanding Browns-Steelers rivalry (even though it's somewhat diminished now that the Browns have been terrible for so long).

That the list in TFA would put the Pirates and Tigers forward as the ninth-best rivalry illustrates how totally bankrupt the entire concept is. People in Pittsburgh don't give a pope #### about people in Detroit, and vice-versa. The Pirates didn't even have a designated "rival" until this season, due to the 16/14 NL/AL league split.
   14. Cris E Posted: May 28, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4453468)
brewers management picked the twins even though they knew the brewer fans would have been far more energized at facing the white sox.

Apparently everyone hates the White Sox to one degree or another. While Twins fans are generally mellower than most, the team's relationship to Chicago and Milwaukee is similar to what Harvey described. They seem to like playing the Brewers, but they like beating the While Sox. (That was great for quite a while, up to the past three years, but not so much since the wheels came off.) Anyway the games against the Brewers sell out whether it an offical Rivalry!(TM) or not.
   15. BDC Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4453486)
The Rangers and Astros were never much of a rivalry, but they had a mild logic to their pairing that has now disappeared because they're intraleague opponents. The Rangers play the Diamondbacks this week: I have tickets to both games in Arlington, so I can't claim to be totally uninterested, but it's a fairly random matchup. Colorado might be more logical (there's sort of a mild Denver/Dallas counterpoint in popular culture and country music). But not that much more logical.
   16. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4453491)
Rockies-Astros, about as much a rivalry as Rangers-Astros.
But hey, the Astros did their part to help the AL interleague record yesterday!
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4453492)
mrams

I barely remembered Phillips with the white sox and I checked and he didn't play against Milwaukee as a member of the sox

just letting you know.
   18. TerpNats Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4453506)
Interesting we hear all this stuff about the Brewers and White Sox now, when back in the '70s, '80s and '90s, it wasn't much of a rivalry, or at least wasn't promoted as one (indeed, a prime reason the Brewers switched leagues was to capitalize on the Cubs' popularity, and the Sox were tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper).

Oh, and Wrigley is closer to Milwaukee than U.S. Cellular is.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4453510)
Interesting we hear all this stuff about the Brewers and White Sox now, when back in the '70s, '80s and '90s, it wasn't much of a rivalry, or at least wasn't promoted as one '


It didn't help that they were in separate divisions (played each other almost as much as they would have were they in the same division, but they were never in competition for the same thing).
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4453512)
Interesting we hear all this stuff about the Brewers and White Sox now, when back in the '70s, '80s and '90s, it wasn't much of a rivalry, or at least wasn't promoted as one (indeed, a prime reason the Brewers switched leagues was to capitalize on the Cubs' popularity, and the Sox were tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper).

since I am interpreting post 18 as being called a liar I will work to be even keeled and ask what is the basis for stating that my prior post was inaccurate?

given that I can quickly find numerous items like the one below:

CHICAGO -- Brewers TV analyst Bill "Rock" Schroeder still remembers the heated rivalry between the Brewers and the White Sox of the past, when Milwaukee was still an American League team coached by Phil Garner.

From fights in the stands, to scuffles between Garner and White Sox manager Terry Bevington and White Sox first-base coach Doug Mansolino, the rivalry was heated, to say the least.

"The ultimate was when Doug Mansolino and Phil Garner got into it and there was a scuffle around third base," Schroeder said. "Phil Garner comes racing out and they start getting into a pushing match. I've never seen that before with a manger and a coach. Ultimately, Mansolino was on his coaching staff later on. Garner liked that kind of fire."

A brawl between players and managers in 1995 forced four-game suspensions for Garner and Bevington.

"Terry would always do things to irritate people," Schroeder said. "I think that was a true rivalry back in those days. The teams didn't like each other too much, because both teams were pretty good."

Garner even publicly called out White Sox broadcasters Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Tom Paciorek to a fight, after the broadcasters suggested Garner was ordering pitchers to throw at White Sox hitters.

   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4453514)
and as for the cubs that was the commissioner looking to help out his old team at the box office since bud always knew where the money flowed and knew that cubs fans would be far more likely to fill up the Milwaukee ballpark than white sox fans.

that and bud is an old nl guy. he loves the cubs and was trying to bring back his memories of braves/cubs

but it was 90 percent about the money

and if that surprises anyone about the commissioner then they need to do their homework
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4453519)
and I know I and other white sox fans have referenced the brewer/white sox clashes of years past on this forum.

so if it's the word 'rivalry' that has folks confused then what word do folks propose for two teams and two fan bases that don't like one another and altercations would regularly break out when the teams met?

if rivalry isn't correct then give me a sub and I will use it
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4453521)
another article which uses 'that word'

It's hard to keep a rivalry going when two teams haven't faced each other in eight years.

But the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox gave it their best shot Friday night in interleague play at Miller Park, meeting for the first time since July 17, 2001.

The Brewers ended a six-game skid against the White Sox, not that any of the current players had a part in it, as they rallied for a 7-2 victory behind the pitching of starter Jeff Suppan and the fielding and hitting of rightfielder Corey Hart.

On that summer evening eight years ago, Carlos Lee played in left field - for the White Sox. Jose Canseco was the Sox's cleanup hitter, in right field.

The Brewers' 3-4-5 hitters were Geoff Jenkins, Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz.

The two teams were bitter rivals until the Brewers moved from the American League to the National League in 1998. There's something about that old saying, familiarity breeds contempt.

But when Milwaukee moved to the National League, suddenly the Cubs became their new Chicago rival. It's a not-so-neighborly feud now between the Cubs and Brewers, particularly after the intense battle for first place in the NL Central the past two seasons.

The White Sox brought plenty of fans dressed in black, although not the huge numbers associated with the Cubs' visits. They started a healthy "Let's Go White Sox" chant in the top of the third inning and were vocal until the Brewers quieted them with three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.
   24. WSPanic Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4453525)
Any team that plays the White Sox on a regular basis will grow to hate them. Once the trash starts leaping out of the stands and attacks your 1st base coach - it's easy to hate them. Add an AJ Pierzynsk and Ozzie Guillen to the mix, and the hate becomes that much easier.

And Harvey - I didn't interpret that as him calling you a liar. Outside of Milwaukee and ChiSox fan bases, many don't remember that being much of a heated rivalry. And the Mil/Cubs thing was presented on a national level as being a natural reason for the Brewers to move to the NL. As a Royals fan, I wish it would have been us.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4453530)
wsp:

well, he used a code word I hear from lawyers all the time and that's the word 'interesting'. every d8mn lawyer in a negotiation will use that word to insinuate that what they just heard or what they read in the docs is some kind of 'misinformation'. so I have learned to loathe that word

but again, I will wait patiently for someone to follow up and let me know the basis of the post.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4453566)
I'm perfectly willing to accept Harvey's point about the Brewers-White Sox rivalry, but outside of their two fan bases I don't think it was exactly well known. Especially since those two teams were almost never competitive in the same year. When did the Brewers and the White Sox ever play a game that had any real consequence for both teams other than purely emotional / psychological?

Hell, from a national standpoint the biggest rivalry the Brewers ever had within the ALE was when Harvey's namesakes were battling it out with the Orioles for the division championship in 1982, in one of the more memorable finishes ever. I still carry a ticket stub for that final game around in my wallet.
   27. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4453568)
Tony Phillips fights Brewers fan in bleachers during Brewers v Sox Game.

This game was memorable for a variety of reasons. 1st. the fight. 2nd it was a 20-8 final, 3rd, it was so foggy and the game was interuppted by fog twice, the teams were hitting fungoes during the delay to test the thickness of the fog while the umpires considered whether to continue or not.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4453572)
mrams

my old eyes failed me. I looked at 1997, not 1996

my apologies
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4453575)
When did the Brewers and the White Sox ever play a game that had any real consequence for both teams other than purely emotional / psychological?


As I said, for teams in separate divisions (particularly in the pre wildcard era), it was almost impossible to play a regular season game with these kind of stakes. That's only compounded by the fact that the teams generally weren't that good for most of the 1970-1994 period.

The Yankees and Royals had a great rivalry in the late 70s, but the regular season games didn't have the same meaning as the Yanks games against Boston and Baltimore, since the teams weren't competing for the same thing.

   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4453579)
it's pretty clear that folks are assigning rivalry in terms of team's competing for the division title

the brewers/white sox 'whatever word you want to use' was purely about bragging rights. and Milwaukee with its chip on its shoulder about being the 'smaller' town and Chicago sneering at Milwaukee as being a collection of rubes and hicks
   31. depletion Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4453582)
Garner even publicly called out White Sox broadcasters Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Tom Paciorek to a fight, after the broadcasters suggested Garner was ordering pitchers to throw at White Sox hitters.

Reminds me of the time a Lockheed-Martin guy put up a slide saying something nasty about Raytheon's mother's radar amplifiers. One of the Raytheon guys challenged him to a fight by the bagel platter.
Seriously guys. It's baseball.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4453587)
it's pretty clear that folks are assigning rivalry in terms of team's competing for the division title


Competing for something is often an important element of a rivalry's development, particularly as its viewed from outside that geography (it's not a dealbreaker, obviously, but it's usually present). I have no doubt you're right about the ballpark experience for Sox-Brewers games and the feelings between the two fan bases toward one another, but those of us outside the two areas would have mostly been ignorant of such sentimetns (which is what I think TerpNats was getting at, rather than calling you a liar). It just wasn't played up that way, and a big reason is because they weren't in the same division.

   33. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4453589)
Pittsburgh-Detroit is one that has potential but hasn't happened yet. Pirates and Tigers in opposite leagues, and the Steelers and Lions have only played each other 34 times in 80 years. It would have been great if the Pirates were competitive through Leyland's tenure in Detroit.
   34. The District Attorney Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4453591)
Well, if a team can only be assigned to one rival, of course the White Sox are going to be assigned to the Cubs.
   35. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4453595)
I wouldn't be surprised if there was no recognition beyond the two cities that the Sox/Brewers had some testy relations over the years, but it was legit.
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4453602)
Pittsburgh-Detroit is one that has potential but hasn't happened yet. Pirates and Tigers in opposite leagues....

"I'M COMING DOWN AT YOU, KRAUT, AND THIS TIME I'M BRINGING A MOUTHPIECE FOR PROTECTION"
   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4453610)
As I said, for teams in separate divisions (particularly in the pre wildcard era), it was almost impossible to play a regular season game with these kind of stakes.


Just for the record, the Brewers and White Sox were both in the AL West in 1970-71. When the Senators moved to Texas, they also moved from the AL East to the AL West, and the Brewers got sent east.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4453615)
Just for the record, the Brewers and White Sox were both in the AL West in 1970-71. When the Senators moved to Texas, they also moved from the AL East to the AL West, and the Brewers got sent east.


Good to know (seriously, I didn't realize that). Without looking at the standings, I'm going to guess there wasn't a lot at stake during those 70-71 contests.

   39. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 28, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4454099)
We all know Pittsburgh's natural rival is West Virginia.
   40. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 28, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4454112)
As Philadelphia's is New Jersey.
   41. rlc Posted: May 28, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4454127)
We all know Pittsburgh's natural rival is West Virginia.


Nah, Penn State.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Francis
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBrewers prospect plays every position, all in one game
(10 - 3:17pm, Sep 02)
Last: zonk

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(4 - 3:17pm, Sep 02)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(103 - 3:16pm, Sep 02)
Last: Good cripple hitter

NewsblogRule change means more players to choose from for postseason roster
(4 - 3:16pm, Sep 02)
Last: Shredder

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(119 - 3:15pm, Sep 02)
Last: GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(211 - 3:14pm, Sep 02)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogBPP: Why do people still think Jack Morris pitched to the score?
(22 - 3:13pm, Sep 02)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(1001 - 3:11pm, Sep 02)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(56 - 3:07pm, Sep 02)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogExtreme Moneyball: The Houston Astros Go All In on Data Analysis
(8 - 2:58pm, Sep 02)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-2-2014
(25 - 2:57pm, Sep 02)
Last: salvomania

NewsblogAthletics Acquire Adam Dunn
(44 - 2:55pm, Sep 02)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(11 - 2:54pm, Sep 02)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogNewsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?
(4 - 2:54pm, Sep 02)
Last: Bitter Mouse

NewsblogDoc Daugherty: Aroldis Chapman not necessary for Reds
(9 - 2:27pm, Sep 02)
Last: bfan

Page rendered in 0.5239 seconds
53 querie(s) executed