As we saw again last weekend, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees dominate the hype, but in a Forbes magazine ranking of the best rivalries in baseball, the East Coast arch-foes rated only second.
In first place? The Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.
From the magazine: "One of baseball's most enduring rivalries, the Giants have a slight edge over the Dodgers -- 1,154 wins to 1,133 -- in this series, which has always been competitive. Some of baseball's all-time greats have played in this series, including Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider, Juan Marichal and Roy Campanella. The only bicoastal feud in baseball, it's also one of the most intensely felt among players. Dodger great Jackie Robinson decided to retire from baseball entirely when he found out he'd been traded to the Giants."
The much ballyhooed rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals earned only sixth place. As the magazine rationalized, "It's simply not a very good rivalry when one team puts together eight World Series-caliber teams (Cardinals) and the other one finishes in last or second-to-last place in 29 of the 60 seasons we measured."
What did New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel say when asked why the team made catcher Hobie Landrith its first pick in the 1962 expansion draft?
How about acting like a big-play receiver?
Discovered: A possible reason for the Cleveland Browns' finishing 4-12 and in last place during the 2008 regular season.
For at least one key player, it might have come down to a lack of concentration.
Former Houston Texans defensive back Will Demps told ESPN the Magazine that Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards asked him about career options outside of football during the game.
"Last year, I was with the Texans, and when we played the Browns, Braylon Edwards asked me between plays if we could talk after the game about modeling and acting," Demps said.
Cleveland lost the game and Edwards had three catches for 38 yards. If that kind of performance continues in 2009, Edwards might need Demps as a reference for a new career.
"Without a catcher you get a lot of passed balls." (Question and answer provided by reader John Stalberg of Santa Monica.)
From Dan Daly of the Washington Times, musing about the nickname of former Missouri defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy" Hood: "It just doesn't fit the position; it's too light, too breezy. It's like nicknaming a middle linebacker Cuddles."