Konte presents all the basic information well enough. It’s just that he ignores the “elephant in the room” too often. He does not spend enough time on Barry Bonds’ negative effects on the team, or the number of horrible trades and signings by Giants’ general manager Brian Sabean before gaining redemption in 2010.
He also doesn’t go into enough depth about the corrosive effect that Frank McCourt had on the Dodgers during his ownership. Los Angeles was the standard bearer for success but that hit rock bottom during the McCourt era. Fans disappeared in droves. It wasn’t until recently that a fresh ownership group took over to give the team new life.
I can relate to the book because I’m a part of the rivalry. I know what it’s like to “hate” the Dodgers. I had to deal with obnoxious Dodger fans in college who constantly reminded me and fellow Giants denizens that their team was superior and drew five times as many fans to their ballpark. It also seemed like every time I saw a Giants-Dodgers game the Giants would blow a lead in the 9th inning. I even saw the Giants get no-hit!
But it’s amazing what two titles in three years will do. Now it’s our turn to rub it in about championships and higher attendance. The Dodgers seemed to have regained their footing so it’s like old times again. Konte’s book, despite its flaws, provides an insight to what makes the rivalry so great and is something all baseball fans can appreciate.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at email@example.com.