OK, maybe the rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers goes back a little further, like to when they all played in New York City. Regardless, Giants slugger Brandon Belt pumped it up a little by saying what's been on a lot of people's minds as new Dodgers ownership has added salary this offseason. L.A. is looking at a 123 percent-plus increase in payroll, you know.
Reporter Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, shadowing the Giants as usual during the team's fan fest over the weekend, jotted down the key quote:
When Belt was asked about the free-spending Los Angeles Dodgers, he replied, to a thunderous ovation, “All I can say is, you can’t buy chemistry.”
That statement will be sure to end up on a few blue bulletin boards.
Meanwhile, the Giants spent most of their available resources re-signing Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Jeremy Affedlt to contract extensions. Conversely, they let go of Melky Cabrera, Ryan Theriot and Aubrey Huff, and are tinkering with saying good-bye to Brian Wilson. Additionally, GM Brian Sabean didn't bring in any big names from the outside. Kind of boring, though you have no choice but to couch any criticism with, "Yeah, but they won the World Series twice in the past three seasons."
And they're not exactly cheapskates.
The Giants are estimated to have the seventh-highest payroll heading into spring training. That's more than the Rangers, more than the Cardinals, more than either team in Chicago. So they spend, even if it's sometimes questionable where. (Oh, and they've won the Series two of the past three years.)
It's funny; Belt's comment reminds me of what Mat Latos said about the Giants in 2010, calling them mercenaries for making a bunch of acquisitions during their first World Series run. It wasn't exactly the kind of spending spree Magic Johnson and Co. have been doing, it's just that — to people in small markets — the Giants can look like the Dodgers.
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