Fresh off of winning the World Series in 2020, the Dodgers now have a target on their back heading into the new season. Teams all around the league have their eyes on dethroning Los Angeles as the reigning champs, but no team has done more this offseason as the Padres. They’ve revamped their rotation with the addition of LHP Blake Snell, RHP You Darvish, and RHP Joe Musgrove. They’ve also added catcher Victor Caratini as well as INF Ha-Seong Kim and will be bringing back key contributors from last season.
Despite no longer being a part of the Dodgers organization after stepping down from her role on SportsNetLA, Alanna Rizzo doesn’t believe the Padres are better than Los Angeles. During an interview on MLB Network’s High Heat with Chris Russo, Rizzo acknowledged the work San Diego has done this offseason and the talent they poses, but still thinks they have a lot of work ahead if they want to be considered a true rival to the Dodgers.
“Until the Padres can legitimately beat the Dodgers over the course of a season series, to me it’s still not a rivalry. Is it more of a rivalry in recent years than it used to be? Absolutely, but the last time these two teams met was in the postseason, and the Padres got swept right out of the building.”
Now of course she may be a little biased in her position, but she also makes a very good point in her claim. The Padres, although hoping to topple the Dodgers from the top of the NL West, have done everything that can just to finish second yet again. Not only to the Dodgers boast three former Cy Young Award winners, but they also possess a possible future one in Walker Buehler as well as an abundance of pitching depth that no other team can match up with. When you have pitchers like Julio Urías, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin all fighting to be your No. 5 starter, that should say a lot about your roster.
Let’s be honest, even the fans know this as Petco Park has never reigned in a crowd that is full of Padres fans. This is especially true when they play the Dodgers. Alanna even spoke to this as well.
“It’s Dodger Stadium South. It’s an opportunity to go and walk around the Gaslamp District and have a great time and take in a Dodger game really. It’s not in the seven years I’ve covered that team and even in the five years I was with the Rockies I see a lot of fans that are not Padres fans at Petco Park, which is a great stadium to play in and its a great city to walk around in.”
If there really was a Dodgers-Padres rivalry, you would think there would be more support or representation among their fan base. Maybe that changes this year or maybe not. However, in the wise words of Alanna Rizzo, unless they can compete with even defeat the Dodgers on a regular basis, there’s no rivalry. It could very well get to that level sometime in the future, but until then, Los Angeles runs the West.